5 tips to protect your phone number and accounts

5 tips to protect your phone number and accounts

Published: Aug 25, 2021

With phone number leaks and SIM hacks making headlines recently, here are some concrete steps you can take to protect your phone number and become savvier about who you share it with.

Review and remove

Review your existing accounts to remove your phone number if it is inessential to the service. For example, on Facebook, you can find and edit your number under Settings > Your Facebook Information > Access Your Information (click on “View”) > Profile Information > Your Contact Information.

Avoid registering for accounts with a phone number

Avoid using your phone number to register for accounts online, say, shopping websites or one-off web services. Given the option, sign up with a username or email address.

Use a hardware token for 2FA

Opt for a hardware token (a small physical device used to generate security codes for user authentication during a sign-in process) instead of SMS for two-factor authentication (2FA), especially when signing in to accounts that contain sensitive personal data, like SingPass or bank accounts.

Add your number to the Do Not Call list

List your number on the Do Not Call (DNC) Register to reduce unsolicited telemarketing calls. While this registry does not stop nefarious scam calls, it gives you more control over how your number is being collected, used, and disclosed.

Don’t give out your number unnecessarily

Protect your phone number in real life. When filling in street surveys (or online ones, for the matter), leave out your phone number and other identifying details like your home address. When discarding mail and parcels, make sure you tear off or cross out the labels with your personal details.

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