How to Protect Your Phone Number from Being Stolen?

Haseeb Awan
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March 30, 2022
Modified On
June 22, 2024

Introduction

You must be wondering, "Why Should I Protect My Phone Number" After all it's just a number.

In this age and time when the usage of mobile phones has increased, so has the mobile phone crimes. With an increasing amount of hybrid/remote work environments, online shopping, and primarily online investing in cryptocurrencies and traditional equity investments, our phones are becoming more targeted and vulnerable due to limited security measures by the individuals, on their devices and with the traditional mobile service provider. That is what makes cell phone numbers vulnerable to security threats.

Since, today, your phone number is linked to all your important accounts such as Bank account, email, social media accounts, crypto wallets, and more. Not securing your phone number may end up in a huge financial and data loss. Hackers can easily hack and monitor your mobile phone using your phone numbers as most people don't keep their phone numbers confidential as they should. Hackers take advantage of that and do much more harm and damage with little effort using your cell phone number. Your online assets and accounts are relatively easy to target for hacking and data breaches once the hacker gets hold of the number linked with them.

This blog will discuss how hackers can exploit your phone number and cause you grave harm. Continue reading to find out the best ways to secure your phone number.

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How Do Hackers Steal Cell Phone Numbers?

First things first, can someone steal your phone number?

The short answer is Yes.

While many people think that sharing a phone number is harmless, it's a crucial piece of information for hackers. In fact, cell phone numbers can be considered even more critical than a SIN number as so much valuable and personal information is verified with cell phone numbers.

More surprising is how easily hackers and fraudsters can steal cell phone numbers. But how do hackers steal phone numbers, and how do they use them to harm the victims?

It's easier than you think.

Mobile number hacking has been increasingly reported all over the world. Here is the most common way hackers find the mobile phone numbers of the victims:

  • Phone numbers are linked to several online accounts
  • Mobile apps ask for a number for verification along with other personal information
  • Creating a profile on online social media requires a phone number
  • Banking and other apps request personal information, including your phone number 
  • You add your numbers to review products or services
  • Your number is available on your website, business card, and more.

Once the hacker gets their hand on your phone number, here's what they can do with it:

Port Out Scams

Porting is when a hacker sends the phone number to a new network operator. This fraud is a massive security threat in the telecommunication industry. A fraudster can receive personal information, contact your cell phone operator, and transfer your phone number to a different SIM card. The fraudster can effortlessly impersonate you and use your number for scamming and other nefarious purposes.

SIM Swapping

You use your phone number to verify different accounts, apps, and online platforms. To sign-up for a 2FA authentication, you also use your phone number for login verification or account access. In SIM swapping or SIM card replacement, your number is used to get two-factor authentication codes to access account information easily. After SIM swapping, hackers can drain your bank account, humiliate you online, and steal sensitive data.

Therefore, it is essential to practice the best habits for phone number protection.

Who is At Higher Risk of Getting Their Phone Number Stolen?

The straightforward answer is that anyone with:

  • High net-worth (money in the bank account), mainly if they invest in cryptocurrencies, 
  • High-profile individuals like executives and celebrities, and people,
  • Organizations who have direct access to sensitive customer information and,
  • Companies' trade secrets, such as law, accounting, hedge funds, government organizations, and even software companies, are at higher risk.

Mobile phones are part of the necessity like food and clothes. Not only for adults, but it has become a must-have device for kids and teenagers. While cell phones are suitable for educational, communication, and business purpose, they can be dangerous if not used correctly. There are risks and pitfalls in using a mobile phone the wrong way, so learning and teaching mobile phone security to youngsters is essential.

Moreover, hackers are no longer satisfied with phishing emails and are now sending text messages to trick people into clicking fake links. This also alerts the hacker that the cell phone number is active and can be used for fraud and hacking.

Many people complained that they were the victim of cell phone number attacks. But a particularly fierce wave of attacks has hit those with the most valuable online accounts: virtual currency. 

The phone number hijacking attacks shed light on vulnerabilities that can be exploited against almost anyone with valuable emails, sensitive information or other digital files, including business owners, bankers, activists and even journalists.

Why You Should Protect Your Phone Number?

We use phone numbers for various reasons and often share them without a second thought. We use it for sign-in websites, online shopping, services and more. App sign-up and sign-in for gaming applications and phone numbers are crucial to accessing apps. 

Without a doubt, your phone number is a more powerful ID than any other personal information; therefore, sharing a phone number has higher risks. Your phone number will be more sensitive in the coming years than your social security number.

Therefore, if your phone number is vulnerable, hackers can quickly access your online accounts and use them for malicious purposes. They can use it to impersonate you and steal your money, blackmail, and phone scams.

That is why you must protect your phone number to eliminate/reduce the damage. 

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How to Secure Your Phone Number

We have already established how your number can be exposed and used for malicious activities. Let's look at some crucial tips on securing phone numbers from hackers. 

Here are some preventative steps you can take to help protect your phone number:

  1. Set a security option for your phone. Network carriers offer different security features like SIM card lock to avoid SIM card swapping.
  2. You can opt for biometric authentication to secure phone numbers.
  3. Sign up for 2FA (two-factor authentication) for your SIM. Call customer services to activate this option.
  4. You can download third-party authentication apps that generate a time code to get strong security.
  5. Use password managers to get strong and unique passwords.
  6. You can also follow other preventative measures to read privacy guidelines before signing up for online platforms. 

While all of these factors are important to keep your number and online data secure, many people like to approach mobile service companies like Efani for mobile security.

How Efani Secures Your Phone Number from Being Stolen?

In addition to providing 100% mobile phone security to our customers, We offer unique security protocols that consist of 11-layers of the proprietary client authentication process. 

We also offer our customers adequate protection again SIM swapping, location tracking, and E2E encrypted data with zero-level authentication.

Secure Your Phone Number Today

Securing Your Phone Number Using Major Carrier

We have listed the four most used cellphone carrier and how you can secure your phone number if you have one of them. Even though most of the practices are quite similar, however, all the 4 major carriers have a little different ways for phone number security and customer accounts protection.

Securing Your Phone Number using Verizon

If you have Verizon as your cellphone carrier, you can go for number locking to prevent an unauthorized port out or SIM Swap of your cell phone number. You can select the phone numbers associated with your account to lock and secure.

Also Read: SIM Swap Attack Prevention Techniques

Securing Your Phone Number using T-Mobile

Biometric Verification

TMobile offer biometric validation that allows you to verify your account by your T-Mobile ID when you call Customer Care for assistance. You can do it by using the T-Mobile app and your biometric credentials such as Face ID or fingerprint recognition.

Port Validation

Another way to secure your phone number if TMobile is your carrier is by setting a 6-15 Digit passcode to your account to restrict port changes.

NOPORT

Besides biometric verification and port validation, NOPORT is another layer of security offered by T-Mobile. However, it isn't clear if every customer can enable this feature. You can opt for this feature If you’ve experienced fraud on your wireless account. T-Mobile will require you to visit their retail store and show a government-issued photo ID  to have your number ported to a different carrier or get a new SIM card if you have NOPORT enabled on your account.

Conclusion

Our phone number is just as significant as our social security number today. Since all of our bank accounts, corporate accounts, and even social media accounts are linked to our phone numbers, securing our phone numbers is crucial to staying out of any problems. The above-mentioned strategies can save hassle and keep you at peace knowing your phone number is safe.

You can secure your phone number 100% by subscribing to Efani's SAFE plan.

Want Guaranteed Protection Against SIM Swap? Reach Out to Us.
Haseeb Awan
CEO, Efani Secure Mobile

I founded Efani after being Sim Swapped 4 times. I am an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the crypto and cybersecurity industry. I provide Secure Mobile Service for influential people to protect them against SIM Swaps, eavesdropping, location tracking, and other mobile security threats. I've been covered in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Hulu, Nasdaq, Netflix, Techcrunch, Coindesk, etc. Contact me at 855-55-EFANI or haseebawan@efani.com for a confidential assessment to see if we're the right fit!

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