You’ve probably noticed that you are required to give your cell phone number when signing up for a new account on popular websites such as Facebook, Gmail, and plenty more. Intended to be an additional safety feature for your account, hackers are now using this added precaution to their advantage.
Hackers have developed “social engineering” tactics in order to gain access to your account. With just your phone number and your email, full name, or the last 4 digits of your social security number, scammers can convince customer service representatives to reset passwords, disclose personal information, and more over the phone. It is easier than ever to impersonate someone’s identity over the phone and cyber criminals are taking full advantage of this.
To protect yourself from an identity breach (as described above) it is most important that you remain aware of this threat. Stay on the lookout for suspicious activity on any of your accounts online and make sure to never disclose your phone number online or to anyone you don’t know. Anyone can use this information to breach your online accounts and steal you identity. Listed below are a few of the most popular companies that require your phone number when making an account. These are some of the most popular sites that criminals attempt to breach through the “phone number method”.
Companies are working on new ways to combat these issues but the system is not perfect. Hackers always seem to be one step ahead of everyone else, so it is impossible to rule out the possibility of one of these attacks. With more than 70% of cyber risk coming from human error, you can mitigate your cyber risk with cyber awareness training and employee education.