Friendly reminder: You do not need to share your cell phone number with everyone.
This sounds like a simple statement, but with the abundance of accounts and reliance on technology for pure convenience, most people freely give away their personal numbers without considering the consequences.
An extension of yourself
As the dependency on smartphones has increased, privacy standards have decreased.
Using a phone number to unlock an account or shop online is so common that many people don’t think twice before typing it in.
Even if this nonchalant attitude has never led to anything detrimental, there is always the possibility of your account being hacked. Having your phone number attached to this account will only make everything worse. For example, if a hacker finds their way into a Macy’s database, they can use the phone numbers tied to member accounts to access other information.
By simply knowing your cell phone number, all the accounts associated with it are jeopardized.
Think of how many times you have been asked for your cell phone number. Of course, disregard the interested strangers, family, and friends and you’ll find that this sharing still occurs multiple times throughout the week. Email and social media pages may ask for it to verify your account. Retailers may ask for it for marketing purposes.
Bank accounts, rewards programs, and even ordering a pizza requires you to share your number.
Keep it secret, keep it safe
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent hackers from stealing your information.
The first thing is simple, don’t share your phone number with everyone. Just because a customer service representative or online form asks for your number does not mean that it is required. You can deny their request if it is not mandatory. Second, don’t open links sent via text from numbers you do not recognize. Sending these links is a common way hackers use phone numbers to access other information.
You can also have a separate phone number for personal use to limit contact from spammers and unknown callers.
Never be afraid to ask questions when it comes to your privacy. Though freely sharing personal information is the norm these days, it does not mean that you have to participate.