In a world where the Internet is becoming an integral part of our lives, recognizing the risks associated with disclosing a personal phone number is becoming a key aspect of digital literacy. A multitude of online services and platforms provide the ability to register and authenticate through a phone number, making it an important tool for any user. However, it is important to remember that the more information we share about ourselves online, the more puzzle pieces are available to potential attackers.
It is crucial to realize that even on apparently trustworthy and reputable web resources, data leaks are not impossible. Examples of major incidents, such as leaked databases of social networks or online services, show that no resource is immune to hacker attacks and hacks. In this context, the disclosure of a personal phone number can be a doorway for attackers to our private information. This issue becomes especially relevant when the phone number is used to confirm access to personal accounts, email or other online services, access to which can provide an attacker with the opportunity to obtain your personal data or access your finances.
In our article, we will discuss the consequences of using a private phone number and share ways to get a virtual phone number to receive SMS, and keep your personal phone number private during online registrations.
Why using a Private Phone Number on the Internet is not Recommended?
Using a personal phone number to register on various web resources can be a risky move because of several key reasons:
- Security and privacy.Your phone number can become valuable information to malicious hackers. If your data is leaked or your account is hacked on any platform, attackers will have access to your number, which can lead to spam calls, phishing attacks, and other types of fraud.
- Selling data.Some companies may use your phone number for advertising purposes or even sell it to third parties. This can lead to unwanted advertising, spam calls and messages.
- Leaking data.Even large and trusted platforms don’t always provide complete data security. With many web resources requiring a phone number for identity verification or authentication, leaking this information in the aftermath of a hack can have serious consequences.
How to Protect Yourself on the Internet — Alternatives to Using a Personal Phone Number
Alternatives to using a personal phone number in the registration process, can be:
- Temporary phone numbers.Today, there are various web platforms that provide temporary phone numbers that you can use to complete your registration. These numbers are valid for a limited time and avoid disclosure of your personal number. For example, the SMS-man platform offers phone numbers from 180 different countries/regions that can be used to register on over a thousand different online services.
- Email Authorization.If you have the option to choose during registration, you can use your email address for registration instead of your phone number. This allows you to keep your number private, but you are revealing your email account.
- Using a second SIM card.You can consider buying an additional SIM card, but this is expensive and can be time-consuming. This method will be useful if you are registering for financial and other important services.
For security and privacy reasons, it is advisable to be careful and deliberate when deciding where and how you disclose your personal phone number online. It is important to always assess the risks and benefits when registering with new platforms. If using a personal phone number seems necessary, it’s worth making sure the platform is trustworthy and implementing additional security measures such as two-factor authentication.