Now, do you give your mobile contact details to others or fill forms online without knowing what someone can do with your cell phone number? Then you need to read this article, it could be quite frightening when you come to terms with what others could do once they have access to your cell phone number; when you are asleep?
No! Even while awake and still using your mobile device, unauthorized entrance into one’s smartphone through the cell phone number has the potential to complicate issues for you, hacking into your phones and stealing that personal information.
As technology advances to make life easier, security concerns such as the ability of hackers to have access to personal details become more imminent. Even a recent EU consumer report on kids’ Smartwatches confirms this security risk.
As cell phone numbers are becoming a security issue, let’s see ten things someone can do when they access your cell phone number and what you can do to reduce the risk.
7 things others could do with your cell phone number
Now, let’s take a look at the security and life-threatening outcomes when someone else has your mobile phone number.
1. They could look up your details
Yeah, now when you’re all excited about giving your cell phone number out to a new friend you need to tread with caution. It’s possible this new stranger can look up your details online. With a small fee, you would be surprised at how much personal information an individual can gather about you online.
Through the services of online directories, strangers with your cell phone number, email, or your name could look up more about you than you can imagine. They can have access to your employment history, social profiles, criminal records, residential address, names of your relatives, your email, and more. You don’t need me to spell the implications of such an action, especially if your stalker has an ulterior motive.
2. Opening a new account on your behalf
It might sound strange, but data rogues could use your current cell phone number to access your contact details. Fraudsters could either create a new account or upgrade your mobile phone plan on your behalf. The amazing thing is your phone stops working suddenly, and you start receiving a new bill for services not used.
3. Auto-snapping of your photo for sharing
And now the extent to which your information could get compromised is further made worse by the presence of auto-photo snapping malware. It’s a malware that can capture your details, photos and then send them to pre-determined contacts.
Are you aware that as you go from your home, office, and more locations, existing malware could snap your every single move? Yes, though designed initially as helpful tools, they have become manipulative tools, dangerous in the arms of the wrong crowd.
4. Now, who’s posing as you?
Phishers and fraudsters after having access to your cell numbers and personal data do pose as you. Consequently, they create a clone of your cell number and get to work. Also, fraudsters could call others, hospitals, or your bank to ask for financial records, health status, and other confidential information for whatever purpose. That’s not all, fraudsters and even organizations could intercept your phone calls and data for use.
When you leave out some vital information meant for the records, fraudsters can help supply modifications using your mobile number to the bank or hospital. Again, if it has been a long while you checked, operated the account, or visited the hospital, they take advantage of that to access your records.
5. Threats, violence, death, kidnapping
Sometimes, you release your cell number to a stalker just to get the person off your back, and then you start receiving threatening messages. A report shows that 1 out of 12 women and 1 out of 45 men in the United States experience stalking issues in their lifetime. Also, it states that as much as 25% of those hunted were by strangers. Seventy-eight percent of the victims were females and 87% of the stalkers been males.
Stalking could lead to violence, murder, kidnapping, series of threats, and more. We understand that not all stalkers have wrong motives but how do you know till you become a victim of their antics?
6. They could sell your details to a third party
When you receive promotional marketing SMS or calls, have you ever wondered how they got hold of your mobile numbers? Well, your mobile number provides an excellent business opportunity for mobile marketing companies not only in the US but also overseas.
Some organizations can collate and resell your mobile number to those involved in promotional marketing, So, just be sure to guard your cell numbers jealousy.
7. Tracking your location
Besides monitoring your details or stalking you after accessing your phone numbers, your location could get monitored at all times. People watch other people’s positions for different reasons, both good and bad. Although it’s an invasion of the other’s privacy; employers, spouse, parents, etc. still monitor their wards or employee’s location.
Your cell phone number, therefore, provides an avenue to track your location. The Wi-Fi and GPS settings or tracking capabilities help make it easy for others like a boyfriend or even a girlfriend to keep a tab of your activities.
How to prevent your cell phone number from abuse
If you want to take care of the personal details and cell numbers you have, then, read and apply the following tips and tricks as possible. Dealing with security issues is not comfortable for many, and getting your mobile numbers shared across data breaches is the worst scenario, but like with any problem, there is always a solution, however that could take a long time. Instead, here is what to do to prevent your contact information from being discovered, shared, or used on the dark web.
Give out a fake or second phone number
Get a second phone number with Hushed and avoid sharing your real cell phone number on social media or give them to strangers freely. Many trusted organizations exist that provide you with a false second number for a fee. That way, you can give out those numbers to contacts you are not so sure you want to have dealings with again. A burner phone works better for registering on social networks and dating sites to protect the profile details and real identity.
VPN is a must-have tool
Use a secure Virtual Private Network like NordVPN whenever you can on your smartphone or home network, it secures and encrypts connections between your mobile devices and the web, and even better a VPN hides your IP, so, it will be harder for hackers to intercept the connection and get your details like numbers, email, etc…
Think about your passwords and logins
Do not use the same ID and password on all your online accounts like Facebook, it makes it easier for hackers to access your details across different devices. In addition, when you have lots of sites and social accounts, use a password manager tool and save time, you don’t have to remember your passwords, but just one master login detail.
Secure your smartphone
Improve your cell phone security features and use apps and other security services from Apple, Google, and others to safeguard against thefts of particulars. Next, set up security measures to prevent easy access to your contact information or to make changes to your phone settings, package upgrade, and more. Next, set up two or three-step verifications, PIN, and password verification for your security.
Be careful about sharing your information
Be sure before you give out critical personal details over the phone, sometimes you receive funny calls claiming to be your phone carrier or any other service provider which is fake and they just try to request sensitive information.
If you suspect that any of your cell numbers or details are being used by others, go through your records, both financial and other vital records regularly for signs of changes not made by you. If there is any risk, you should report any case of stolen identity and prevent further breach visit state institutions for help or protection.
Always remove data you no longer use
If you have other devices like laptops or phones, make sure you get rid of that unused data and personal information. One day, that device might be accessible to others, and thus, they’ll have all of your contact details and other sensitive data that you don’t want to share with anyone. For that reason, delete the personal information when you want to discontinue the use of an old phone.
Securing your life and that of your friends and loved ones is first your primary responsibility before it’s that of the government. Your actions or inactions are sometimes the cause of the theft of cell phone numbers and other personal details. Be wise and secure your family against fraud and other security challenges.