The security and safety of your mobile phone and confidential data are paramount. Today we rely on our smartphone to connect to our bank and manage our money, to authenticate to critical online services, to manage our social media and so much more.
All it takes is a scammer to collect details from your phone, and they can take over not just your device but also your life.
However, Telecom providers like Verizon have found a solution to these risks and to thwart security issues such as sim swapping attacks or unauthorized port out of your number to a different mobile provider.
What Is Verizon Number Lock?
Verizon Number Lock is a security feature that can be enabled on your phone that blocks access to the back end of your account so that your mobile number will not be allowed to be transferred to another provider without your permission.
Cybercriminals use hacking techniques, such as social engineering, to exploit your device and steal your phone number.
To achieve this, a sophisticated criminal must first steal minimal personal details, including your name, address, and phone number, to fool your service provider.
Then, they can create a new account with a different operator and by providing your personal details and phone number they can transfer your number to their own phone SIM card.
However, if you have Verizon Number Lock, your phone is locked, and only you can unlock or access the phone, data, and account.
Once it is locked, all customer service representatives know that the caller is not you and won’t reassign your phone number to a new sim card.
To set up Verizon Number Lock, open your account menu on your phone. Click “Account Setting” and then click “Number Lock.” Whenever you want to turn off the Number Lock, click or tap the number.
What Are the Advantages of Verizon Number Lock?
The most significant advantage of Verizon Number Lock is the peace of mind you get from knowing your phone and number are safe from cybercriminals and scammers. In addition, the service is free and has no hidden fees that appear on your bill later.
If multiple lines are connected to your account, Verizon Number Lock applies to each line and protects each number against scams.
The primary account owner can set up the number lock feature on each phone and prevent teens from shutting the feature off.
The feature is easy to use and doesn’t require you to follow complex instructions or even sign into your account. Instead, you click on the switch, have complete protection against new attacks, and won’t lose your number to scammers.
Disadvantages of Verizon Number Lock
The only disadvantage has to do with a lost number lock code. When you set up Verizon Number Lock with your carrier, you receive a number lock code for accessing your Verizon account. If you lose the number, you cannot access your account, and Verizon won’t provide you with the number code for security reasons.
You can transfer your number and the Number Lock feature to a new Verizon phone. However, if you transfer to a new carrier, obviously, you cannot use any Verizon features.
Therefore, before you transfer to another carrier, review their security features and ensure you have options to protect your phone number and confidential information.
Some Verizon customers complain about the feature, saying it is inconvenient and increases their time when contacting customer service. However, problematic or not, it is the best way to protect their phone number and prevent losses.
What Are SIM Swapping Attacks?
A sim swapping attack starts with a scammer getting your personal details. Next, they call Verizon to steal your phone number and reassign the number to a new sim card.
Customer service representatives ask for specific information from customers, such as their full name, address, account number, and answers to security questions.
All it takes is for the scammer to get these details, and they can steal your phone number and use it however they want. Once lost, you cannot get it back.
Unfortunately, some customer service representatives work with scammers to get a kickback and don’t care about your security or safety. It is all about the fast payday.
The representatives access the back-end dashboard for your account through their information system. Once they have access, they can make any account changes they want, including transferring your number to a new sim card and changing personal details on your account.
If you get Verizon Number Lock, unethical representatives will not be able to easily transfer your number, and the Verizon system sends an alert that your account is locked.
The only way to unlock an account is for the customer representative to call you. When they call you, they’ll ask if you called to transfer the number to a new sim card, thus stopping the criminals from stealing your number and all information connected to it.
How to Turn the Verizon Number Lock Feature On and Off?
Turning Verizon Number Lock on and off is easy. First, you’ll go into your “My Verizon app” settings on your device. Then, there is a switch out to the side of the Verizon Number Lock feature. Afterward, you flip the switch on or off according to your preferences.
You can also access number lock via your account through Verizon’s website. It’s easy to turn the feature on and off on all devices listed on your account if you have multiple lines.
You can set up Verizon Number Lock on your family’s phones to protect them, their information, and their phone number.
Is Verizon Number Lock Free?
Luckily, Verizon Number Lock is a standard feature available to all Verizon customers for free. So there aren’t any hidden fees or service costs outside of paying for your phone service.
In addition, Verizon Number Lock is available for customers with a contract through Verizon and those using Verizon prepaid phones and services.
All Verizon customers have access to the Verizon Number Lock feature, which improves the security and safety of their information and phone number.
With emerging risks, it’s paramount for all mobile phone users to protect their phone numbers from scammers. Today, there are sim swapping attacks involving transferring phone numbers to a new sim card.
The customers lose all access to their phone number and other online accounts which require two-factor-authentication using your phone (with SMS for example).
Verizon Number Lock is a great way to protect phone numbers and confidential information. Try this feature today and get the peace of mind you need.