How to Protect Your Phone Number from Being Stolen?

By Haseeb Awan

In this age and time, the usage of mobile phones has increased, especially during the pandemic. With an increasing amount of hybrid/remote work environments, online shopping, and especially online investing in cryptocurrencies and traditional equity investments, our phones are becoming more targeted and more 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.

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 just 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.

How Do Hackers Steal Cell Phone Numbers?

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 important 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 got 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. By doing this, 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 even 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.

Who is At Higher Risk?

The straightforward answer is that anyone with:

  • High net-worth (money in the bank account) especially if they invest in cryptocurrencies, 
  • High profile individuals like executives and celebrities and people,
  • Organizations who have direct access to sensitive customer information and,
  • Company trade secrets such as law firms, accounting firms, hedge funds companies, government organizations and even software companies are is 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 cellphones 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, and that is why 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 to 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, and therefore, sharing a phone number has higher risks. In the coming years, your phone number will be more sensitive 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 need to protect your phone number to reduce the damage. 

6 Tips to Protect 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 and more. Check our mobile phone protection plan to learn more about us.

Want Guaranteed Protection Against SIM Swap? Reach Out to Us.