Additional security to prevent easily porting number or migrating number to new SIM?

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  • Updated 8 months ago
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  • (Edited)
Recently I've become aware that our cellphone is often the linchpin in securing our online accounts and identities. Many services allow "I forgot my password" access by verifying via text messages.

Is there any way to further lock down my cell phone number / SIM with Koodo so that it can't be easily imported to another phone under the pretence that my phone was lost?

Here is an article describing the cascade that can occur once a person migrates your phone number to a SIM that they control.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/12/21/hackers-are-hijacking-phone-numbers-and-breaking-i...

I'm really interested to hear whether Koodo is doing anything to address this vector of attack.
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Crypto XRT

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Posted 8 months ago

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David, Mobile Master

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One thing Koodo has recently changed is you can no longer change SIM through self-serve, but must do so through a CSR by calling them.
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Goran, Mobile Master

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I'm not sure of further encryption methods but that can only be done via calling in at the moment to confirm your identity for a a swap. You also cannot so easily port since you need government photo ID. There's really only souxh you can protect if the person can answer everything if your info is compromised elsewhere.
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Dinh, Mobile Master

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I believe you need ids and credit check to open your account postpaid.

For porting, you need the account number with the phone, your name, or your PIN. You don't need to go to the store. That is why, people need to set the PIN for the account with different numbers from the phone no, or from 1234...
(Edited)
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titaniumtux

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@Crypto XRT sadly, number porting in Canada is like the Wild Wild West. Anyone who has your phone number's account info can port over your number.

On the flip side, why fear for your number? The only reason you'd be a target for phone number hijacking are the following:

  • A really easy number in an original area code linked to a big city. If you have a six or seven digit repeating 416, 514 or 604 number, then maybe. Otherwise, there's not much resale value to your phone number. Even a four digit repeating number will likely never exceed $1,000 on the resale market, hardly worth the effort of hijacking numbers
  • Identity theft / competitor hijacking. Do you have a vanity number on billboards? If so, maybe a competitor would want to steal your number to freeride billboard advertizing.

If you have a very valuable number, you may want to port it to a VOIP provider (especially a small one). Takes longer for a port-out to complete, allowing the carrier to contact you to validate whether the port-out is legitimate.

If your phone number doesn't have black market value, I wouldn't worry about it too much.