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How to protect against number theft

In this article, we'll detail the cornerstone ways to protect yourself and your family from mobile fraud. Be vigilant and protect your phone number as much as possible!

August 18, 2020

Many services ask for a phone number and / or email to register or log in to the site. This prevents the registration of fake accounts, but on the other hand uses the user's personal data. If the number is received by fraudsters, then the signal is lost, you will not receive messages and other notifications.

We will tell you step by step what to do to prevent your number from being stolen in five steps.

1.Do not indicate the number on unfamiliar online services

Online services do not need to necessarily receive data about a phone number, so you should not indicate it on registration sites. Most of the online resources have already switched to registration via email. By the way, if you do not want to overload the main mail, you can create a separate one for registration on sites.

2. Using other two-factor authentication options

Try not to include a two-factor authentication (2FA) number. Use authenticator applications or hardware security, such as the FIDO U2F standard, instead.

These options ensure that your account access is not SIM or phone dependent. In the case when the phone number is the only way of identification (for example, to log into Whatsapp or Telegram), do not forget to set an additional password for the application so that people who can take the phone do not get access.

3. Use a prepaid SIM card

Legally issued cards are difficult to counterfeit. As long as the prepaid SIM card is not tied to any name or other form of identification (including a credit card or ID number), it is almost impossible to "replace" it.

4. Test your most vulnerable accounts

Some of the accounts on the sites have already lost their relevance. For example, your number was linked to a home delivery site or to buy airline tickets, but you no longer use these services. In this case, you should untie the number and delete the account.

If you do not use the number indicated on the site for a long time, it is worth finding out how you can protect yourself from replacing the SIM card. Why not check how easy it is to access your email, chat, or bank account using just your SIM card and some of the information available, like your date of birth or full name?

5. Put a lock on your phone bill

Contact your telephone company to find out what mechanisms are available to protect your SIM card. Some companies offer to set a password for customer service, while others will require you to go to a service center in person and verify your identity.

These are the main points that will help protect yourself from phone number theft. Following the best practices will help you keep mobile security under control.

6. Why is it important to protect your phone number

Fraudsters who gain access to mobile can use it to register on sites. This is especially dangerous for those who tie a bank card to a phone number. Today, by phone number, you can get access to personal data on the Internet, go into personal accounts. Therefore, protect yourself by preventing fraudsters from obtaining information about you.