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Phone Numbers- a personal matter

Safe guard your phone numbers when travelling

With phone address book, WhatsApp call and Facebook Messenger, we have lesser chance to key in our mobile number directly. The 8 or more digits that uniquely identify you. However, these digits has special and personal relationship with us. I remember the current mobile number I am using was from 1997 when I and my wife were still dating.

Very likely, most people has a long relationship with their mobile number. It may represent some events, starting a new job maybe or some people, register a number for your mom but under your name. Sometimes it has an intriguing personality that reveal ourselves in a subtle and meaningful way.

Recently at a Wireless Broadband Alliance event in Singapore, I had an interesting discussion with GSMA Head of Technology about mobile number. The country code plus personal number is the only coding system in the world that can identify each and every user in cities. And the mobile penetration rate is growing, especially in developing countries. Many business and transactions are performed using mobile number as an authentication mechanism. In India, payment and money transfer are done via mobile numbers only. Bank account is not as widely adopted as mobile phone. With our daily life highly weaving with mobile phones, the relationship with our personal number will likely deeper. Below are a few tips for careful minded to safeguard it:

1. Don't write the mobile number in public forum, social media comments. They are stored and displayed permanently. Trust me, trying to delete an already displayed text from the Internet will cost you more than getting a temporary mobile number!

2. When travelling abroad, be careful with your personal number. If you are required to give your passport copy and your personal mobile number, ask for their reasons. If it is only for emergency contact, you can consider writing your partners phone number.

If you find this article interesting, you may consider helping others to enjoy their mobile phone better. As Singapore will official ends all 2G network in April 2017, Transient Workers Count Too - TWC2 is helping migrant workers to replace their 2G phone with 3G ones. You can visit their Facebook Page to make your donations.

P.S. New York Times reported that hacker are targeting mobile wallets of cryptocurrency and were successfully transfer ownership of mobile phone numbers.

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