Have you ever thought about what personal information your phone number hides? How much info can you get from a cell phone number? Most of us see this number as a set of random digits we get when buying a SIM card. However, it can be easily used for identity theft or breaking your privacy. Malefactors may use the location number tracker to get all your itineraries or access social media accounts.
As people are not aware enough of all these issues, we decided to create a short review of what content is in danger, how to protect yourself from cell phone number abusers, and show ‘what can you do with someone’s phone number?’
Your Name and Address Might Become Public
You may say that sharing your name with someone is not a big deal, and you probably do that every day yourself. But you do it on your own will and with the people you want. You should understand that both are pieces of your private data and may be used to access some business details and potentially hack your banking and insurance information. When you call an insurance company, they ask for your full name and address to confirm you are the right person, for instance. Thus, it is better to keep such details safe.
After you give out your number to a stranger, this is what may happen:
they may lookup your social networks and get your name, address, friend list, or even workplace;
they may use a tracker to know where you are now;
get personal information of your relatives and friends.
However, these are not all the potential dangers.
Your Social Media Accounts Are Not Safe
Social media accounts and email boxes are often linked with phone numbers for security reasons. Scammers can simply contact your mobile services provider and redirect all your calls and messages to their device using the information they acquired in the previous section (plus DOB, which can also easily be found on the Internet).
After this, it is much easier for the plotters to hack your social media accounts.
They start entering your social network and request a password change.
They receive an SMS with the security code on their device.
They create a new password and can now sign into your account anytime.
Your Location Might Be Easily Tracked
It is not a big deal to check a person’s location if you know their phone number. You might ask, why should it matter if someone tracks you in real time? We will provide you with several possible scenarios, but first, ask yourself, what are you afraid of in your everyday life?
Now, after you have a list in your head, let’s return to our question, and you tick every item that is the same.
You can be in danger, especially if you are a lonely female; one can track you on your way home through a park and… We hope there is no need to continue this thought.
Criminals can wait until you go, for example, to the grocery store and rob your house.
Keep in mind that you can become a victim of a stalker.
Your Criminal Records Might Become Public
What information can you get from a phone number concerning your legal status? Well, your phone is most probably mentioned in all your legal records, whether it is a parking fine or something more serious. You may say it is easy to retrieve such information online, but in reverse, why don’t you share it with every stranger in the street? “Hello, My name is John Doe. I have three fines for parking, and in 2020, I was sentenced for not paying taxes”. A great way to introduce yourself, isn’t it?
There is a variety of ways criminal records can be used against you. The most obvious one is blackmailing. Scammers might request a certain sum of money not to reveal some interesting facts from your biography to, say, your employer or new wife.
Scammers May Get to Know Your Past Addresses
The most harmless thing scammers can learn is your past addresses. Of course, you do not want random people to know any details about you, but the places where you used to live are the least desired info. We may not even come up with a way to use such information anywhere, only if you have the name of a city/street where you used to live as an answer to a secret question for password recovery.
Phone Number May Reveal Your Property Details
Phone number is mentioned in all the property registers, so one can easily check the white papers to determine what real estate is in your ownership. By finding such information, criminals can get an idea of your financial opportunities and rob you or start blackmailing. For many swindlers, the latter is the easiest way to raise some easy money.
Your Tax Information Is in Danger
Many people do not know what information one has access to if they can access the tax office database:
social security number;
date of birth;
what property you have.
Based on all this data, anyone can conclude what they can get from you.
Details on Your Trips May Be Revealed
Countries you visit and hotels where you stay demonstrate your welfare and the level of service you can afford. It is not rocket science to get such information as your phone number may be stored in many hotel databases if you travel a lot. And it means swindlers can try to wring some cash from you.
Recommendations on Protecting Your Phone Number
As you see, your phone number can be used in multiple ways, most of which are about money. Luckily, there are free ways to keep your phone number and the information it hides private.
Share Your Number Only with the People You Know and Trust
The best recommendation is often the most obvious one. The easiest way to protect your data is not to share it with the first person you meet. You won’t regret it if you do not give your phone number to your new colleagues you’ve never met before or a neighbor who just settled into the flat above you. Take some time to understand what type of person your new friend is, google their name, check their Facebook page, and share your number if you are 100% sure they would keep it safe.
Have Another Number for Public Usage
Get another phone number for all public activities you have:
different types of registrations;
filling out application forms;
The main point is that you do not associate it with your banking and taxation details; you are all good. Turn the phone with this number off when you do not need it. In such a way, you will also be completely safe from location tracking.
Consider Buying a New Number
If you understand that the old one has been compromised – consider buying a new number. But if you do so – make sure you wouldn’t compromise it as well; otherwise, you will get tired from changing numbers all the time.
As you see, your phone number is your identity premium database, and it is better to keep it safe from scammers and swindlers. Can someone find your address from your phone number? Yes, and not only the address. You may never know how it can be used against you but believe us, there are hundreds of ways neither you nor we can imagine. Follow the basic rules of so-called “phone hygiene”, and you should be fine.