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Old 12-08-2020, 08:44 AM   #21
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Interesting and scary thread. As for carrier password, I've had same carrier for about 20 years, auto pay account, and have no idea what that password might be!
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:09 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by tenant13 View Post
One way of protecting yourself from porting is to set additional PIN number/security question on the carrier website. With some carriers you can request for the porting to be executed at the physical store - where you have to show the ID before it happens.
+1.
My VoIP provider also has a feature to port-lock a phone number, which basically disallows any porting requests until you unlock that feature yourself.



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Lastly, consider getting Google Voice number (free) and using that for 2FA wherever true 2FA is not available - ironically: big banks and financial institutions. GV may not always work since it's not a true mobile number - and banks don't like it - but because it's attached to your gmail it requires L/P and gmail can be secured with a true 2FA. One additional benefit of GV (besides it being free) is that it works everywhere in the world - convenient for expats. I'm using it with Chase, Schwab, Amex, PayPal and and a bunch of other services without issues.
Indeed, it's too bad that GV numbers are not "recognized" by all financial institutions and they insist in their stupidity of accepting only "cell numbers" from "mainstream" cell providers.
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Old 12-14-2020, 05:59 AM   #23
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This thread prompted me to go to Verizon to port lock our phones only to discover that I already did.
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:32 AM   #24
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The best defense against someone porting your number is to get Google Fi. If you use Googe Fi as your phone service and you set up two step verification on your Google account, then no one, including you, can port or make changes to your phone number without having your Google password and your two step verification (e.g. a physical security key or security code).

https://support.google.com/fi/answer/9834243?hl=en
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:34 AM   #25
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Right, many carriers already require a PIN in addition to regular account access in order to port your number, but T-Mobile does not, which is why I added a port PIN years ago: https://www.thebalanceeveryday.com/p...ported-4160360
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:10 AM   #26
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Right, many carriers already require a PIN in addition to regular account access in order to port your number, but T-Mobile does not
In fairness, T-Mobile makes it easy to do. I set up an 8-digit PIN years ago, and they always ask me for it whenever I call them for any reason.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:13 AM   #27
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In fairness, T-Mobile makes it easy to do. I set up an 8-digit PIN years ago, and they always ask me for it whenever I call them for any reason.
There should be two PINs - a general account PIN for customer service over the phone, and a PIN specifically for authorizing porting.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:46 AM   #28
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I "solved" the SMS redirect problem by never giving out my cell phone number. Usually that means I get a voice call on my "land line" (Ooma) where a robot reads the code. Works fine when I'm home, but the chances of needing to complete the loop increases when away (different IP, maybe an IP from abroad). I always pick up the phone when they call with the code, but I now wonder if their robot is coded to not leave a message or if it would leave the code on a voice message, which I can quickly access. Hmmm.

As to the various "authenticators", they are good, but it's a patchwork of many possible apps, and all but one requires payment (by the institution, not the user), and requires a third party, and that third party has to keep a secret (so is a juicy target). There is one app that doesn't need a third party, and nobody except the user has a secret to keep (called SQRL). It's free (as in open) and free (as in beer), but since there's no money to be made, hasn't got much traction. Disclosure: I was a committer on the Android client, and I'm a "believer", but don't have a whole lot of hope that "the big boys" will adopt the system because it doesn't fit their standard model. That's the broken model, by the way, that gives the user a process to get in when the user messes up (what the bad guys exploit). SQRL puts it all on the user... there's nobody to call. But the process of generating your SQRL identity (done once per lifetime) makes you prove you've done it right, and generates a sheet of paper, so you should be able to bail yourself out. Now all we need is for businesses to see the light. You'd think that "no secrets to keep", and both kinds of "free" would be enough, but apparently that's not the way the world works.
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