Should you use the app for your pre-paid sim?

I am, slowly, trying to shift all of my services over to privacy respecting ones.

One thing I am looking into is a pre-paid sim. In my country one of the major providers offers a pre-paid sim that you can pick up in store.

I was wondering if using the sim’s web portal and/or mobile app would defeat the purpose of trying to get a sim more privately. As far as I know all you need to use it is; a phone number (the one that is attached to the pre-paid sim), and a password.

It would be useful to see when I need to top-up, how much credit I have got left, etc…

If you pick up the SIM in a store, you could pay cash and move on with your day. If you do it online, you’d have to make sure you’re locking down that session for increased anonymity, as in using a VPN, using a browser that minimizes fingerprinting, and… actually I’m not sure what else. I guess if you don’t have to give any extra personal information online as you would in person then I think you might be fine going either way.

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Personally, I’d avoid the apps. If they’re anything like my providers (8 trackers, tons of permission requirements), they’re a bad idea. Only install, what you need. The providers app is a nice to have, not a need.

Now, the app is a firm, no, for me. So that leaves the web portal. To be honest, I don’t see the problem with this. So long as you use an aliasing service (Anonaddy, SimpleLogin), a unique password, and a privacy-oriented browser, I think you’d be fine. The account won’t be directly attached to your phone, and aliased. Now, I’d only use the web portal for looking at these details, and not interacting with it. The moment you give more info, like payment details, you loose that anonymity. You’re still private, but they have the ability to know who you are.

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I was planning to use the web portal over the app because, as you have said, there are many trackers and my provider collects a lot of data through the app.

I will also be using a VPN with the web portal.

One of the up-sides to my provider is you do not even need an email address, all you need is the number of the sim you bought from them.

I will only be using the web portal to view how much credit I have got left. With my provider you can buy a voucher in store and then text the top-up number with the voucher code which will top the account up. This means there is no payment details at all.