Protecting Your Number: Cell numbers are the new social security - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Protecting Your Number: Cell numbers are the new social security numbers

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – With new technology comes new threats to users’ safety and security – take for example cellphones.

Cellphones are the keepers of private information. They are always on the owner and the ten digit number is an entry point into his or her life.

Many easily turn over their cellphone number to social media, retail and other companies without thinking twice.

Scary?

Yes it is – a person’s cellphone number is the new social security, according to Thomas G. Martin, President of Martin Investigative Services and former agent with the Federal Department of Justice.

Just like social security numbers, Martin said cell numbers are unique personal identifiers and in today’s world with changing technology, the bad guys would rather steal cellphone numbers rather than social security numbers.

“We can take that number and get all the info we can get with a social, but now we can get stuff like finances, credit card, medical records when you talk to your doctor to set up appointments,” he said.

Not only is identity theft a concern, so is blackmail.

According to Martin, one way to protect yourself is to get a second phone. “For an extra $30 you get a second cell to keep sensitive data.”

Martin also warned the public to be careful who they give their cellphone number to.

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