Your phone number has become a part of your digital identity these days. Phone number is attached with almost all of your social media accounts including your email and your bank account. Due to the complete reliance on phone numbers for identification, hackers have been attempting to hijack SIM cards and even clone them. One-time password (OTP) is being used extensively and still considered as the most secure way of authentication in Nepal. So, if a hacker gets access to your SIM card, he/she can access everything from social media accounts and even your bank account. In this article, we’ll learn what is SIM cloning and how you can ensure your SIM protection.
What is SIM cloning ?
A Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card contains its unique serial number (ICCID) and International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number. It also contains a secure authentication and other key information which enables it to send and receive calls and text. SIM cloning is the process to duplicate a SIM card. In this process, a legitimate SIM card’s identifying information is transferred into a separate, secondary SIM card and the duplicate SIM (cloned one ) can call, receive text and perform function simultaneously.
How to ensure protection from SIM cloning?
The access of an outsider to your SIM card can be extremely dangerous. Hackers can access every social media accounts, bank accounts and even bypass multi-factor authentication. This will create a bizarre situation but you can protect yourself from being the victim of SIM cloning following these safety measures –
1. Protect your information online
The more you upload and post updates online, the more you’re risking your digital Identity. You can set your Facebook profile to friends-only and also limit the public information you share on other sites. Deleting your old accounts is also a good idea to prevent social engineering. Hackers collect information and build our digital profiles online with which they carry out social engineering.
2. Use multi-factor authentication
Using two-factor authentication is always a great idea but hackers have become smarter over the years. If they get your SIM card, 2-factor authentication can be easily bypassed. You should enable multi-factor authentication in sensitive accounts to counter against SIM cloning. You can take the help of various authentication apps to secure your data. Authentication apps use your phone as a medium of authentication instead of using a SIM card which provides greater security against SIM cloning.
3. Lock your sim card
Locking your SIM is the best way to protect yourself from SIM cloning. You might not know this but you can actually lock your sim card with a PIN. If hackers somehow access your SIM card they cannot penetrate with your SIM card as the information is securely protected via PIN. Before protecting your SIM card with a PIN number, you must know your original PIN number. In order to get the PIN number, you must contact your mobile operator and confirm your details. The representative will provide your original PIN number after which you lock your sim card. In android device go to Settings then to Lock screen and security and click on Other security settings from there you. can Set up SIM card lock.
You should never expose your answers to password recovery questions and mustn’t use the same passwords on multiple accounts. Besides this, you should never reuse old passwords and use strong passwords everywhere. By practicing these safety measures you can be safe from sim cloning, secure your digital Identity and ensure your SIM protection.