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How to keep hackers out of your phone

An easy way to stop "SIM hijacking"
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Posted at 6:00 AM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 09:23:41-05

So let's say your phone stops working.

Is it a dead battery?

Or are you a victim of something called SIM hijacking?

Yes, Data Doctor Ken Colburn says it's a real thing.

It happens when thieves are able to find your personal information.

That information is sold online and comes from various breaches where you may have been a victim and not even know it.

They then use that information to try and convince cell phone providers they are you.

And they want all of the information from your phone's SIM card.

That's the small chip in your phone that identifies you.

"If they can convince your carrier that you got a new phone and ask them to change the code, it basically allows them to place that chip in, and they take away your entire life," said Colburn.

He says thieves get that information transferred to a different SIM card, put it in a phone they have, and can get access to your information.

And it seems to be happening more frequently.

We found the number of people reporting it to the government doubled over three years.

But there is a simple way to prevent it.

Call your carrier and create a special PIN for your account.

That way whenever someone calls to make a change, they will have to say the PIN.

You can do that easily by dialing 6-1-1 on your phone and asking for it.

Click here for more on SIM hijacking.