When you let your old one down Phone number With a new customer, the old one is often reassigned to another customer, which can be referred to as number recycling. Researcher at the Princeton University believe the phone Number recycling can be dangerous and poses security and privacy risks. Kevin Lee and Arvind Narayanan, researchers at the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, conducted a study in which they scanned 259 phone numbers available to new subscribers in the United States. Here’s what you have to say about it:
“We examined 259 phone numbers available to new subscribers at two major carriers and found that 171 of them were linked to existing accounts on popular websites that could potentially be hijacked. In addition, much of the numbers available resulted in hits from people search services, which provide personally identifiable information about previous owners. In addition, a significant portion (100 out of 259) of the numbers have been linked to leaked credentials on the web, which could allow account hijackings that prevent SMS-based multi-factor authentication. ”
If your old phone number falls into the wrong hands, it could provide that person with your information, which could then be misused. The study also found that the new owners of an old number continued to receive personalized updates for the previous owner, with details like “blood test results,” “reservations for spa appointments,” etc.
The researchers add that when customers switch to a new phone number, they usually forget to update all of their online accounts immediately. Since the old numbers were tied to two-factor authentication, it opens a window where someone can log into your social media accounts, access your email, and control other personal online accounts. The researchers said your personal information could easily be collected from online people search websites like BeenVerified or Intelius and used to expand account takeovers. It is therefore recommended that you update or close all your online accounts that are tied to the phone number you wish to change for a new one.