Here is a closer look at the serious threat of SIM Swaps and tips for protecting yourself.
Protecting your security and identity online is critical today and for the future. Fraudsters have been using sneaky tactics to steal data from vulnerable and unsuspecting victims at more rapid rates than ever before. At Legal Shred, we keep tabs on all the latest scams and alerts to ensure our customers are always in the know.
With mobile devices being used more than ever today and as new trends in security breaches emerge, we wanted to take the time to focus specifically on one of the most dangerous threats out there today: Sim Swapping Scams.
Here is a closer look at this threat and tips for protecting yourself.
What is a SIM Swap?
A SIM swap scam is a type of fraud where a thief takes over your account. They do so by virtually reverse engineering your account and convincing your service provider to switch your service over to a sim card that they fully control. By default, that means they also receive and manage all of your phone calls, SMS, and other transactions and message types coming to the account.
Taking it a step further, they can then use the device to access a host of other private data and information. As more and more services are linked to our mobile devices and using multi-factor authentication to prove it’s you – this can have substantial negative implications when it does occur.
How To Protect Yourself from SIM Swapping Scams
The only way to combat a severe risk such as SIM Swapping, you must protect your data at all times. Be sure to follow these steps to tighten up your security now.
- Set Up a Pin for your Mobile Device Accounts
You must have a safeguard against a mass takeover of your mobile device. By setting up a 6-8 digit security pin with your mobile provider that must be used to make any changes to your account, you can stop fraudsters in their tracks as long as they can’t guess that pin code. You may also request a SIM lock and ask your provider only to allow SIM swapping at a physical store location to prevent this from happening to you.
- Turn Off All SMS 2-Factor Authentication
Find any accounts you have for online services, stores, and others that have set-up an SMS 2-factor authentication for you and switch it over to a different verification method such as a physical key or non-SIM connected device.
- Keep Your Phone Number Private
Since phone numbers are being targeted as a source for an attack today, it’s vital to keep yours private as much as possible. While you might need to use contact information in online forms or on your website, there are alternative options today. Opt instead of a free vanity number to still receive the communications without giving out your digits.
- Be Smart Online
As with any advice to protect your identity and keep hackers away, be sure you’re smart with what you share online. It’s never a good idea to post on social media about your large bank account balances or any other information that could lead fraudsters to want to target you for an attack.
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