Smartphones have skyrocketed in this time and age, particularly during the epidemic. Due to limited security precautions by people on their phones and with conventional cell phone service providers. Our devices are becoming more vulnerable and targeted as the number of remote/hybrid work environments, internet shopping, particularly online investing in conventional equity investments, and cryptocurrencies grow. Mobile phone numbers are subject to security concerns because of this.
Because most individuals do not keep their cellphone numbers secure, attackers can easily monitor and access your smartphone utilizing your cell phone numbers. Attackers benefit from this and use your cell phone number to cause far more damage and harm with minimal effort. Once an attacker obtains the phone number associated with your online accounts and assets, they are pretty straightforward to target for data breaches and hacking.
This article will look at how cybercriminals can use your cellphone number to harm you.
What Techniques Do Hackers Use to Steal Cell Phone Numbers?
Although many individuals believe that providing a contact number is safe, cybercriminals consider it critical info. Because cell phone numbers are essential to verify essential and private information, they are regarded as even more vital than a SIN number.
The ease with which fraudsters and hackers can get phone numbers is even more astonishing. But how can cybercriminals get contact numbers, and what do they do with them once they have them?
The hacking of mobile phone numbers is becoming more common worldwide. The most popular method for cybercriminals to obtain victims’ cell phone numbers is as follows:
- Mobile applications require a phone number and other personal details for authentication.
- Numerous online accounts usually link to cell phone numbers.
- A phone number is needed when creating an online social media profile.
- To review services or products, you add your numbers.
- Personal details, such as your phone number, are requested by banks and other applications.
- Your cellphone number is available on your business card, website, and other materials.
Here is what an attacker can do with your contact number once they’ve obtained it:
Port Out Scams
When a hacker transfers a cell number to a different network provider, this is known as porting. In the telecommunications business, this scam poses a significant security risk. A hacker can retrieve sensitive data and then call your cellular phone provider and transfer your cell number to a new SIM card. It allows the impostor to easily mimic you and use your phone number for defrauding and other illicit activities.
Your contact number is used to confirm many applications, accounts, and even digital sites. When signing up for two-factor authentication, you can also utilize your mobile number for login or account access. Your number requires 2FA authentication credentials to access account details during SIM card replacement or swapping conveniently. Cybercriminals can empty your banking accounts, embarrass you online, and take critical information after SIM swapping. However, you can subscribe to Efani’s SAFE plan and get guaranteed SIM Swap Protection.
Who is most at risk?
The simple answer is that anybody who has:
- High net worth (amount of funds in banking account), mainly if they engage in cryptocurrencies,
- High-profile persons, such as celebrities, executives, and people,
- Businesses that have direct accessibility to confidential customer data and,
- Law businesses, hedge fund firms, accountancy firms, government agencies, and even software enterprises are all at risk of losing their business secrets.
Like clothing and food, mobile phones are becoming a necessity now. It has become a must-have item not just for adults but also for teenagers and kids. Smartphones are helpful for communication, educational, and business purposes, but they can also be harmful if not utilized properly. When it comes to misusing a smartphone, there are hazards and drawbacks, so teaching and learning mobile phone security to youngsters is essential.
Furthermore, cybercriminals are no longer content with sending malicious emails and are instead sending text messages to entice consumers to click on misleading links. It also informs the attacker that the mobile number is operational and exploited for identity theft and hacking.
Many individuals have reported becoming the target of mobile phone number scams. However, people with the most valuable internet accounts, such as virtual money, have been targeted in a particularly vicious round of attacks.
The cell number hijacking attempts exposed flaws that hackers may use against anyone with critical data, emails, or other digital assets, including bankers, business owners, journalists, and activists.
Six Ways to Keep Your Phone Number Secure
We’ve already demonstrated how your phone number could be hacked and exploited for harmful purposes. Let’s take a look at some essential hacker-proofing tips for phone numbers.
Here are some precautions you can take to keep your cell number safe:
- Configure your device’s security settings. SIM card lock, for example, is a security measure offered by network operators to prevent SIM card swapping.
- To protect cell phone numbers, you can use biometric verification.
- Enroll your SIM in 2FA (two-factor authentication). To use this feature, contact customer support.
- You can achieve security protection by downloading third-party authentication applications that issue a time code.
- To create a unique and robust credential, utilize password managers.
- Other preventive actions include reading privacy policies before signing up for internet platforms.
Although these aspects are vital for keeping your phone number and online information safe, many individuals prefer to entrust their mobile security to organizations like Efani.