Transcript

It’s Important To Protect Your Mobile Phone Number – And Your Phone

It seems like everyone you deal with – from the doctor, to social media, to online-shopping sites – wants to know your mobile phone number.

Should you give it out even when it’s mandatory? That’s up to you, but some experts recommend you protect that number as much as possible to minimize becoming the victim of identity theft scams that could prove costly to you or others.

While not as vital as your Social Security number – which is necessary for getting loans, filing taxes or completing other important transactions – you should share your mobile phone number only when absolutely necessary.

Here are some reasons not to give out your mobile number:

  • It can lead to smishing attacks, where scammers send text messages to your number with links to sites designed to place malware on your phone or collect personal information about you.
  • Some scammers try to get your number transferred to their own phone, which would route your calls and texts to them.
  • If someone takes your number, they could trick your family or a business into scams because the number would appear to be yours.

While security experts say you should keep mobile numbers private whenever possible, they also say it’s more important to guard your phone itself from theft or attacks, since your phone provides access to email, contacts and other potentially important information.

To guard your phone:

  • Be careful where you put it.
  • Passcode-protect it, so people can’t unlock it and get to your personal information.
  • Use strong passwords and sign out of apps or websites when you’re not using them so if your phone does get into the wrong hands, crooks can’t access things like financial accounts or important email.
  • Don’t store lists of passwords on your mobile phone.

While we live in a world where communication is vital, it’s important to protect any information that could hurt you if it falls into the wrong hands.