Porting a phone number

Hey everyone,

I have a question about porting phone numbers? What would be better for privacy and security?

Option A: porting my number to a prepaid mint mobile SIM with anonymous information

Option B: starting over with a new number from mint mobile

Let me know your thoughts!

Managing numbers is always a hassle, and it really REALLY comes down to personal preference, so it’d help to have more info.

What’s your current number situation? Do your old contacts need to still have access to the new/old number? If option A - what are you hoping to achieve by doing this? The account itself won’t be directly tied to you, but every service and all your contacts (and whoever they share their contacts with, including to services like Facebook will still have your number tied to your name) If option B, would you be completely eliminating your old number and starting fresh? How are you hoping to keep this number private going forward?

Just to summarize some of the core privacy concerns around phone numbers:

  1. The cell company itself collecting your direct PII. (Prevented by you moving to something that doesn’t require real PII to register)
  2. The cell company itself collecting data about your habits (Really unpreventable aside from using a VPN/Tor, using E2EE messengers, and utilizing E2EE phone calls. The rest is mostly out of your control)
  3. People who have your phone number. If all your contacts know who you are and your number they can knowingly or unknowingly expose it to other people. Unless you have multiple numbers, moving to a new number alone won’t solve this problem.
  4. Companies who collect/require a phone number for you to register & use their service. So you end up having to share your number with services you use. If it’s the same number that you give to your contacts, then your contacts now know what phone number you use to register for accounts, which I personally consider a security concern.
  5. People who share their contact list with companies like Facebook, which means even though you did nothing wrong, a single one of your friends can have your phone number and name end up in the wrong hands.

So regardless of which choice you make here, A or B - there are many other things to think about. Personally, while I value signing up privately through a service like Mint, I find the other concerns much larger for my self, which is why I use different phone numbers for different uses, so that I can not care if my contacts are uploading my contacts to Facebook, as I have a number where that’s acceptable.

I know this message is a lot but hopefully it sends the message home that we need more info here to help you better :stuck_out_tongue: So if you could expand on what you’re exactly hoping to accomplish and what you use your numbers for and your general goal that would help a lot.

Last thing I’ll say is maybe I am overcomplicating this question a bit. At the end of the day, moving your number from a cell plan with your SSN/First & Last Name/DOB/etc. to something like Mint that requires none of this information is already IMO a step forward for privacy. It shouldn’t sacrifice anything else privacy-wise, and you are technically making an improvement. Although again, I think it’s overall limited in what it accomplishes.

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Hey Henry!

Thank you for the in depth answer. Currently my personal is number is a number I use for everything. I have a MySudo number that I give to my employees But that is about it. I was thinking of getting a new number with mint and never giving it out to anyone and compartmentalize with A new MySudo account.
I also wanted to follow your go incognito way of purchasing a private phone.

My current number is hooked up to my real name and real billing address. That why I thought it might not be bad to start over in a new private way.

Let me know what you think!

Great topic, my contract number through Verizon has been my primary number for 9 years. Verizon has one of the best coverages in my area of operation. I want to change this number do to PII but i don’t want to loose access either.
My contacts and employer have been given a Mint number which is on the $180 a year plan. All data is on Verizon, voice and text is on T-Mobile via Mint.
Of course I use MySudo, IronVest (Blur- Abine- DeleteMe).
Hanging on to this old Verizon number until all related account information (PII) is edited, this is a concern. Say some PII pops up related to that number and now I don’t have access to it.
Well I am doing two things, converting everyone to using the Mint number. Pretending as my old number (Verizon) is “no good”. Slowly editing all accounts related to that Verizon number to new numbers.
After I am 100% sure there is no way that Verizon number is useful, then I plan to port it to something like Tossable Digits. To monitor JIC something pops up. Getting a new Verizon number which I will share only with the inner circle.