Guest Post: Why You Should Be Afraid of Sim Swapping and How to Avoid It

By Hank Schless, Senior Manager of Security Solutions at Lookout

Imagine your phone isn’t working. It’s odd, but this should be an easy fix. You contact your phone carrier and you’re told that you requested a new sim card. But you never requested a sim card or called before today. If this happened to you, then you could be the latest victim of a very popular, effective and nightmarish scam. 

Sim swapping is an attack where scammers fake your identity with a mobile carrier to gain access to your phone. From there, they use “Forgot Password” for critical online accounts – think banking, investments and social media – to intercept two-factor authentication text messages. In 2021, this scam resulted in losses over $68 million

Lookout, the leader in delivering integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions, has gathered the top ways you can protect yourself from sim swapping: 

  • Diversify Your Multi-Factor Authentication
    Think beyond SMS messages. Use strong multi-factor authentication methods such as biometrics, physical security tokens, or standalone authentication applications to access online accounts.
  • Don’t Overshare Online
    Avoid sharing your phone number, address or birth date in online spaces. This private information can be shared with a phone carrier to fake your identity and gain access to your sim card. 
  • Use a Variety of Passwords 
    Use strong and unique passwords for each important online account and change them often.
  • Don’t Share Login Details On The Phone 
    If you receive a call from your phone carrier requesting private account details, hang up and call the customer service line directly. 
  • Install Security Software On Your Devices
    Security protection, like Lookout, will automatically monitor and identify scam URLs in email, text messages, and on the web and block you from threats that can do harm.

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