A new strategy on how to protect and prevent sim card theft and hijacking.
Protecting your personal information from SIM hacking tricks is getting tougher. Hackers are getting more clever by the day and stealing names, date of birth, social security numbers, and phone numbers. Hackers are doing this by targeting your cell phone. It’s gotten so bad that T-Mobile called a few hundred customers that they were targeted by hackers from SIM card theft.
What is SIM card theft?
Your SIM card stores your phone number and identifies your phone to your carrier. Your phone carrier will give you a new SIM card if your phone is lost or stolen. Criminal hackers have figured out how to use the cellphone carriers system against you.
The criminals will target you will emails that look legitimate but are actually spam links. In addition to phishing emails, they also comb through all your social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and work profiles to understand your background.
While pretending to be you, the SIM hacker tricks your phone carrier by asking for a new SIM card. Once they receive your new SIM card, your phone is deactivated. The SIM hacker can then receive your phone calls and texts.
Once you get off of Wi-Fi, you will notice your phone is no longer receiving calls and texts. The SIM card hacker knows they are working with limited time.
They will immediately hack into your bank account using two-factor authorization. They will install your bank app which will require them to text you a password to authenticate the app. Once they receive the code and correctly input it in the app, they have access to your bank account. Usually, the SIM card theft results in the hacker transferring your funds to a new account.
How to Prevent Phone from Hacking
SIM card theft is, unfortunately becoming more popular. According to the FTC, there are almost 3,000 incidents per year.
There are three ways on how to prevent phone from hacking.
Change 2-Step Verification to Google Voice
The first way to prevent your phone from hacking is to set your 2-step authentication to a Google voice account.
Typically, everyone sets their financial account verifications codes to be sent to their cell phone number. It makes sense. I’ve done it too. But, if you have a SIM card theft and the 2-step verification goes to your Google voice account instead of your cell phone number, you will have thwarted the hijack.
You simply need to get a local phone number free Google voice account. It only takes a few minutes and watch this video.
How do I set up a Google phone number
Once your free Google voicemail is set up, then you need to update your 2-step verification contact numbers. Here’s a list of websites who use two-factor authentication.
According to Lifewire, the 10 most popular accounts that should have 2-factor authentication include:
In addition to your social media accounts, you definitely need to have two-factor authentication enabled for all financial accounts from banks, brokerage accounts, and insurance.
If you switch two-factor authentication to your Google Voice account, the new SIM card and new number with Google will prevent your accounts from getting hacked.
Add a PIN to your Phone Carrier Account
You need to add a PIN to your customer phone carrier account for verification. The extra layer of security will likely stop a hacker from fooling the customer service agent into sending a new SIM card.
You can either go to VZW.com to set up a PIN, go to your local Verizon store, or call Verizon customer service at 800-922-0204.
Go to ATT.com/my/ to set up your PIN.
You need to call T-Mobile customer service at 800-937-8997 to set up your PIN.
Sprint customers are required to have a PIN when you activate your account.
How to Use my Public WiFi to Avoid Hacking
Using public Wi-Fi has serious risks but the majority of people do it anyways. Three-quarters of technology users admit to checking personal email while on public Wi-Fi.
Here are ways to prevent hackers from stealing your personal information:
- Do not use or look at anything personal while on public Wi-Fi
- Buy an unlimited data plan – spend additional money on unlimited monthly data
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) while connected – allows you to securely connect
- Only connect to SSL connections – enable “Always Use HTTPS” option on your browser settings
Hackers and scammers are getting smarter all the time. You need to keep your software up to date. Be familiar with the latest security tricks to protect yourself from SIM hacking.