How does my phone number keep the platform secure?

I would like to understand what my phone number has to do with keeping the platform secure? This makes no sense.

Sending a text is insecure in the first place. Additionally, people have VOIP numbers for a reason. e.g. when I travel I don’t use my SIM card. Then I can’t login to systems that require me to verify a text sent to a SIM card that I don’t even have with me.
How safe and secure is that? Please use ChatGPT which can probably explain why text messages are insecure. Keywords: SIM swap, SS7

If you really wanted to have a secure 2FA, something like TOTP would certainly be a more secure and professional solution.

Furthermore why do you need to verify accounts at all? If people pay for the service, they will have to use a credit credit card anyway.

So please explain to me how my phone number is keeping the platform secure.

Do you have a specific issue with providing a phone number?

Yes, I do. I explained it in the second paragraph.

A mobile number is a better unique identifier than a credit card number. If someone gets banned from the service banning their mobile number is more effective than banning a card number.

See, this is what I do not understand. A user name is already a primary key, which makes it a unique identifier. I also don’t know why someone would be banned in the first place, but that’s another story. I haven’t read up on what the reasons for banning are and I don’t want to use this topic for that. I can find that out myself.

However the FAQ did not explain how my phone number keeps the platform secure.

If I only have to receive one single text message ever, I can provide my SIM card phone number as well. But if that phone number is used for 2FA or for random challenges, then providing a SIM card phone number would lock me out, whenever I travel outside of North America or don’t have my cell phone with me. Which btw happens quite often, because I am one of these people who use their phone for only one reason: making a phone call.

Thank you for your replies.

So I will only receive one text message during signup, correct?

Then all is good and I can provide the phone number connected to my SIM. That is all I needed to know. Maybe this could be added to the FAQ: Your phone number is only required for one single text message during signup and will not be used for 2FA.

You explained issue you have with respect to using a mobile phone as a device for multi-factor authentication.

Ha, well, this is because many services ask you for a phone number and then use it to send 2FA challenges without an option to opt out or switch to another 2FA method. I have learned my lessons the hard way. It’s not the first time I was locked out because of such idiocracy.

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Yeah, it doesn’t frequently use 2FA. It may use it in the future, but I’ve never had to verify my number more than once.

There’s privacy cards too. There are services where you can roll out a card and block it. Most people tend to have multiple cards but only one phone number.

Not sure how other countries do it, but there’s some KYC needed to get a phone number here, because it tends to be used for spam and linked to crimes and such. I don’t think they can trace the owner of a phone or credit card number, only block these numbers.

Presumably most of the abusers do it for money, so money isn’t always a barrier. They can block both the card number and the phone number, and that means an abuser has to KYC both of these again.

Why does ChatGPT need anyone’s information at all?

EDIT: Apparently it’s a legal requirement

Exporting weapons-grade technology that can answer physics problems like “how do I improve the bearings on my uranium centrifuge”…“How do I turn this iPhone into a drone’s detonator”?

There are US regulations that require establishing that trade is not being done with individuals or nation-states under a prohibition or sanctions.

Plus, banned = banned, and no getting free credits over and over.

Did not know that… Thank you :smile:

Do you have a specific issue with providing a phone number?

What does that have to do with anything? That’s a completely different topic wholly unrelated to the question asked.

Does 5 + 5 = 12 because someone wants to count how many evil deeds they’ve done? Or does it equal 10 regardless of the reason?

The question was: How does my phone number keep the platform secure?

The answer is the reason that you most likely answered a question with a question … it doesn’t. Look, I get it, it sounds better to question the OPs motives.

That said, “Security” it’s a nonsensical explanation that the 95% will accept without further thought, while the remaining 5% are people most companies will willingly cede, as customers who think too much are usually more trouble than they are worth. The phone number requirement helps weed out people like the OP, while giving the company access to a lucrative trove of data should they ever need the extra cash.

Remember, their privacy policy can change at any time, so all they need to do to sell your phone number is flip a couple of words in the TOS, and boom you’re on a thousand marketing lists, and they’ll all claim that you “opted-in” whether you did so or not.

That your phone number will be used in a way that is contrary to your interests is a guarantee. You likely won’t realize why it happened, though.

A phone number makes a platform no more secure than any other data. After all, the phone could be owned by anyone, could be a burner, you could use a friend or relatives phones, there is no way of knowing who someone is because of a phone number. Serial killers have phone numbers. As do hackers. And psychopaths. They don’t tell you how it makes the platform more secure, because there is no way to explain it. It’s illogical and makes no sense. It does nothing of the sort.

A phone number is, however, one of the most valuable pieces of personal data a company can collect. They are worth significantly more than email addresses and even postal addresses.

This is why they require a phone number. That and to filter out people who do a little too much thinky-thinky.

“Security” is the bit they throw out to placate the masses.