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How to Hide Your Caller ID? [2021 Guide]

how to hide your caller id 2021 guide
efani logo 1

Caller ID or Caller identification is a phone service which transmits a caller’s number to the called party’s telephone equipment while the call is being set up. 

It is available in analogue and digital telephone systems, including the ( VoIP ). In a service known as the Calling Name Presentation (CNAM), the ID service may involve the transmission of a name.

Despite its explanation, ID display is one of the prime issues for many users. Let’s look into how to block your caller ID on different mediums.

VoIP

iOSAndroidDesktop Devices
1. Launch the “Voice” app.
2. Tap Menu and then Settings in the top left corner.
3. Turn Anonymous Caller ID “On” in the Calls section.
Switch Anonymous Caller ID Off if you want people to see your phone number when you call them.
When you conceal your caller ID on one device, it is also hidden on all other devices connected to your Voice account.
1. Go to the Voice app on your device.
2. Tap on Menu (you can find it at the top left corner)
3. Subsequently click on Settings.
4. Search the subheading under settings as calls, you will see an option of Anonymous Caller ID. Toggle it on
In another scenario, if you’re willing to display your digits so people can see it, you need to simply toggle off the Anonymous Caller ID.
1. Go to the voice.google.com on your desktop.
2. Tap “Settings” in the upper right corner.
3. Tap Calls on the left.
4. Turn on Anonymous Caller ID
Switch the Anonymous Caller ID Off if you want people to see your phone number when you call them.

The Golden Prefix

How can you hide your caller identification on a single device while this click blocks your caller Identification on integrated devices with your Voice account?

You can also hide your caller identification for specific individuals. You can also block your Caller Identification if you do not wish it to be displayed in front of particular individuals (temporarily).

  • Go to Voice Application
  • Tap on the Calls tab.
  • Enter the prefix for blocking your caller ID before calling the phone number.

This prefix is determined by the region or country from which your Voice number originates. If your Voice number is from the United States, for example, your code is *67 (before entering the number).

Reminder: Regardless of the number you’re calling, you always use the same prefix.

After inserting the prefix, dial the phone number.
Your phone number will not be visible to the person you are calling.

Google Voice

Google Voice allows you to create a new phone number and use it to make free voice calls, emails, and audio messages. To get started, all you’ll need is a Google account.

Unlike the other choices, Google Voice does not require a monthly fee. It makes use of your current phone minutes/data plans, but the number displayed is your Google Voice number.

TrueCaller

TrueCaller is the most popular caller identification and spam filtering app trusted by the audience worldwide. You’re tired of people calling you to sell you different schemes and offers? You can block them with the TrueCaller. When you receive a call from a number that has been blocked by too many users, TrueCaller will display a red contact card to alert you about fraudsters.

SURPRISE: Take command of your landline as well.

Disable Caller Identification Block (*67) by dialling *82.

Disable Anonymous Call Rejection (*77) by dialling *87.

(I heard you say awesome, so TIA)

BONUS??

I can sense your true excitement, a bonus followed by surprise? Well, Efani blocks all swaps by default. Furthermore, did you know that efani comes with a 100% money-back guarantee for 60-days.

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Comprehending Phone (Caller ID) Spoofing – A 2021 Guide

comprehending phone caller id spoofing a 2021 guide
pexels pixabay 60504

Over the past year, three out of four Americans claimed they had been targeted by phone scammers (caller ID spoofing). When a caller sends false information to change the caller ID, this is known as call spoofing or spamming.

A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service or an IP phone that uses VoIP to relay calls over the internet is used for the majority of spoofing. When setting up a VoIP account, users normally have the option of having their preferred number or name displayed on the caller ID.

What is spamming?

Spam encompasses but not limited to unsolicited messages and/or calls, robo calls, Caller ID spoofing, or any form of unwanted communication(s). Spam is intended to reach a large audience (i.e. targeted users) for phishing purposes or other purposes like spreading infectious malware, advertising etc.

Neighbor spoofing is a spoofing form where robo callers feature a number that looks similar to yours on your caller ID in order to get you to pick up the phone. This multiplies the chances of entertaining the spammer.

What is Caller ID Spoofing?

You may have an idea what spamming actually is, however, when it comes to caller ID spoofing, it is the practice to cause the network to indicate that the call has originated from another station than its original station.

This is accompanied by a caller ID that is shown on your screen, displaying a regular phone number but the motivation is deemed to be malicious or corrupt. Incessant ringing is one of the patterns that makes you question if I can trust caller ID?

A brief summary

  • When a caller intentionally falsified information transmitted to hide the number they’re calling from, this is known as caller ID spoofing.
  • In an effort to trick you into answering the call, the number displayed on your Caller ID might appear to be from a government entity, a company, or even someone on your contacts list.

The instances when Caller ID Spoofing is legal or illegal:

  • Spoofing is illegal if the caller’s intent is to defraud, damage, or trick you into providing information you wouldn’t otherwise provide over the phone.
  • Spoofing is not illegal if no harm is intended or caused. Some individuals, such as law enforcement officers or doctors’ offices, may have valid reasons to keep their information hidden.

Did you notice the term: neighbor spoofing?

I hear you! You must be wondering what neighbor spoofing is? Think deeply. The crux is that bad actors want your attention. They want to target you, they want you to answer their call. Will you entertain their motives?

Once you receive a call from an anonymous telephone that bears a striking resemblance to the numbers where you reside, this is known as neighbour spoofing. The caller ID would have the same area code as your phone number, and also the same prefix (the three numbers after the area code). The evil ones do it in the hopes that you’ll mistake it for a “neighbor.” You see, a trick? This is such a malicious one, beware!!

P.S This is what this blog is about, to educate our readers to take their privacy seriously.

Did you know?

Robocalls have evolved from a minor annoyance to an unavoidable plague. Though some of these calls are legal – for example, a candidate campaigning for office, a charity asking for a donation, or a school notifying parents and students about campus closures – many are not, and some are outright ponzi schemes.

Unnecessary robocalls are the most common source of customer complaints to the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Enough with the terms, what is their motive?

Notice the pattern. The caller ID appears to be coming out of your own numbers, which is known as reflection spoofing. Once again, it’s a crook attempting to get you to pick up the call.

People are more likely to answer a call if they know the incoming number (via similar number, area code), so these tricks work. Even if you don’t recognize the figure, if it looks familiar, you’ll be less suspicious.

If you respond, the bad person will use a compelling argument to threaten you or manipulate you into sharing your sensitive passwords, credit card numbers, or other personal data. Trust me, even experts in the field fall for these scams, so there are certain tips to apply when you’re or have been a victim of incessant calling.

What are the consequences of answering these scammers?

These dangers are self-evident. The motives are to trick people so they could possess your personal information or even money-related information, or even both. The motives vary person-to-person. The bad guy could impersonate a banker, an authentic individual from a charity organization, or authorized individuals distributing phony prizes.

Senior citizens or older people fall for it as the common aspect of vishing (voice phishing) or smishing (SMS attacks) / phishing (email) attacks trigger them to entertain such calls because of lack of awareness of the surmounting spoofing/caller ID threat.

An illustration of spoofing

A common scam would entail a call from the IRS. The caller attempts to intimidate the recipient into believing that they owe money in back taxes or that they must immediately hand over confidential financial details.

Another popular scam is phony technical support, in which a caller claims to be from a well-known company, such as Microsoft, and claims that there is an issue with your device that requires remote access to resolve.

Getting calls from a colleague’s or partner’s mobile number when they are present but not calling you. Instead of the calling party’s phone number, Caller ID shows ‘911 Emergency.’

There’s more to come..

There are indeed “SMiShing” attacks, or phishing by text message or emails, subsequently, in which you may receive a message that appears to come from a trustworthy individual or reputed organization that encourages you to click on a provided link.

However, if you do, it can install a malware on your laptop, mobile device, sign you up for a premium service, or even steal your online account credentials. Horrible, isn’t it? It could also lead to a convenient sim swap (face-palm).

What makes Spoofing so popular?

The ease with which digital phone signals can be sent over the network has resulted in an increase in spam and robo calls in recent years. Since robo calls use a computerized auto dialer to send pre-recorded messages, advertisers and scam artists may position many more calls than a real person might, and they frequently use deception techniques including making the call appear to come from a trusted source.

What should you do if you get spam calls?

This is the summary of the pre-provided information.

  • Don’t divulge any private information. To obtain account numbers, SSNs, mother’s maiden names, passwords, and other identifying information, identity thieves often pose as representatives of banks, credit card companies, creditors, or government agencies.
  • Terminate the call immediately and dial the phone number specified on the account statement / business or government website (if the request is reasonable).
  • You can report unwanted calls here.
  • Most carriers offer Do Not Call Registry, it could be costly but it brings you peace when the risk of spoofing is reduced to an acceptable level. Be vigilant when someone asks you for your private number as this could lead to sim swap or open an unwarranted portal of hacks. If you are asked to fill an online form requiring a number, leave it blank on purpose. Do NOT list your number on any social media profile.
  • In case you receive a call from an unauthorized number, make sure to leave it unattended.
  • Make a habit of reading privacy policy on any service you sign up for. This will ensure if your contact information is not sold. One of the USPs of efani is that it never sells your information to third parties.
  • While entering for online competitions and sweepstakes you should be mindful to avoid provision of any sensitive information to other businesses. You could open up a risk of hacks as these companies sell your information to other companies. Be wary of it!
  • Keep up with the latest schemes so you recognize what to avoid, and set up mobile protection on your devices to protect yourself from malware and relatable threats.

The belligerent hacker

Scammers that use robocalling technology can be diligent, looking for new ways to get their calls through ever-evolving blocking solutions.

Often callers attempt to hide their identity while using a mobile number that they are not approved to use, like that of the number of such a government agency or a legitimate company with which you might have a business relationship, or a phone number that you are not familiar with.

As stated above, the number will resemble (because it will contain your area code creating an impression as if it is from your neighbor or your friend). In this way, they hope to get you to pick up the phone while avoiding technology that might otherwise block the caller’s actual mobile number.

NOTE: Do not even try to outwit the bad person by deliberately providing false details. Simply hang up. Do not contact the company back, or any other number they send you, or any numbers (or ties in texts) you are sent.

FYI or ICYMI: In the telecommunication sector, caller ID spoofing is popular. This issue affects landline, wireless, and IP-based telephone service providers alike. This isn’t a problem exclusive to one carrier.

The learning outcomes from this article

Is it okay to pick up the phone, nowadays? The quick answer is no. It’s most likely a robocaller.

They also say they’re calling from the Social Security Administration or the IRS. (They aren’t; either service that will ever harass you or claim compensation right away over the call.)

They can even call to inform you that your car’s warranty is about to expire and that your credit card interest rate may be reduced. Please be sure that you should NOT answer such calls.

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eSim: The dark secrets of virtual SIM [2021 version]

esim the dark secrets of virtual sim 2021 version
can we hack esim

Your eSim is your security risk?

Happy Humpday, fellows! Did you miss us last Friyay? If you do – or – didn’t, in either case, we missed y’all. 

Anyways, let’s check your learning from series 01 article. Did we mention, ESIM is not easy to hack or is it easy? 

Time’s up! We mentioned that ESIM is not easy to hack yet do you still think hackers will let you live in peace? Unfortunately, no. However, if you have already secured yourself, let’s gear your security level further, if you have an eSim. 

How can eSim be hacked?

Hint – If anyone wants to alter the user profile, embedded SIMs can be configured to request verification from an operator. This application could only come from the user, but a hacker with a lost phone could be able to modify the profile successfully.  

So, a lost phone could lead to an easy switch? This is arguable, as some individuals would consider that eSim cannot be cropped out, so inserting a new sim is impossible, thus hackers cannot obtain operator’s verification for new profile requests.

The argument is legit and it is deemed that eSim offers higher security when compared to a physical sim card solution. Ever hack offers a supporting actor that perpetuates the wrongdoing conducted by the wrongdoer or bad actor. 

Artsy hackers will still continue to transfer the numbers to new devices by giving IMEI, yet, convincing lazy or unmotivated representatives to follow the dictated rules. These reps are looking for customer satisfaction, but due to little to no probing or qualification, they end up pleasing criminals. 

Physical SIM cards, or embedded, these are only one route for criminals to gain access to mobile phones. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone was reportedly hacked by a video sent to him through WhatsApp, making him one of the most high-profile victims of data theft. The video contained malware that infiltrated Bezos’ iPhone, according to UN investigators.

Bonus – Connecting Cellular Data on your Windows through eSim

A computer with Windows 10, 1703 version or later installed. 

  • Select the Start button, then Settings > System > About, in order to see which version of Windows 10 your computer is running. 
  • A computer with a built-in eSIM. Here’s how to see if your computer has an embedded SIM: 
  • After pressing the Start button, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Cellular. 
  • Look for a connection near the bottom of the Cellular screen that says or asks for eSim profiles management. If there is a link, this means your PC has an embedded SIM.

Once you’ve worked on your eSim profile, you’ll need to:

  • Click on the Settings > Network & Internet > Cellular > Manage eSIM profiles from the Start menu. 
  • Select the desired eSIM profile under eSIM profiles and afterwards select Use. 
  • Select ‘Yes’ for the option that asks to continue the function. This will use your data plan’s cellular data and may result in charges. 
  • You’ll be good to go after connecting to a cellular data network.

The End. Thank YOU!

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Series 03 eSIM: How to install it?

series 03 esim how to install it
efani logo 1

Readers, how are you? Have you been enjoying the previous two eSim related series?

The enchanted additional word “e” caused many confusion and most of the individuals considered it as “electronic”. No, for the VSOP soldered smaller chip to the board, it is contextualized as embedded. Enough with this catchphrase, let’s set up the device for an eSim.

Excited?

If it’s a yes then let’s move forward on installation of eSim. This blog will look into:

  1. Installation process in iOS
  2. Installation process in Android
  3. Connect Windows 10 PC with your eSim, to get cellular data [SPOILER FOR BONUS ON FRIDAY!!!]

Prerequisites:

There are some prerequisites (irrespective you install eSim on iOS or Android), so the necessary notes entails:

  1. For smooth eSim installation, make sure you have an unlocked compatible device.
  2. You need a stable internet connection for successful eSim connection.
  3. The use and validity of your data will not be compromised by installing your eSIM before you fly (see list at the end). When you arrive at your destination, your eSIM will only be enabled and validity starts once you are linked to the local operator. (Activating eSIMs at installation time: Asia, Africa, Vietnam, Japan, China, Caribbean Islands, Hong Kong, Macau, Maldives, Republic of the Republic of China, Republic of the Congo, Thailand, Ukraine).

1. How to install eSim on iOs?

  • Go to Settings 
  • Tap Mobile Data > Add Data Plan
  • Now you can install eSim via manual installation or QR Code 
  • Simply go to eSim details on your carrier.com > My eSims > Select eSim > Choose the method of installation 
  • Label your eSIM
  • Set a Primary Line or Default Lime for calling purposes 
  • You have to select a primary plan when adding eSim to iMessage, Apple ID and FaceTime. Click Continue afterwards.
  • Set eSim data plan as default. NOTE: Please Turn off Allow Data Switching to avoid high roaming bills on default data plan.
  • Edit your eSim’s APN settings (in order to access data). Go for (you carrier).com > my eSims > choose eSim that’s been installed. 
  • Update APN settings, if required by going to settings > Mobile Data > choose eSim plan > Mobile Data Network

[Fast-Forward] How to turn on eSim and enable data roaming upon arrival

  • Turn your eSim on by tapping on settings > mobile data > followed by eSim > and turning the eSim on
  • Please use your eSim as primary line when travelling, click on settings > mobile data > primary > Choose active eSIM

Quick Question: How to check if you’ve an active eSim?

  1. Just like traditional sim, the signal bar strength at the top of the screen will show if the eSim is active
  2. You can go to settings > mobile data > data plans > on/off to check the status of your dual sims.

2. How to install eSim on Android?

For Android, there are two ways to add an eSim. However, the steps may vary per device.

Way 1 – Scan the QR Code for eSim

  • Go to eSims to find your QR Code 
  • Tap settings > Network & Internet > tap the icon parallel to Mobile Networks
  • Click next when it says “Don’t have a sim card?” > scan QR Code. NOTE: Go to Network & Internet and tap on mobile network to set right network preferences listed on additional information, if needed. 
  • Under the Mobile Network you can see eSim which you have to turn on and enable the data plan. 
  • Enable Data Roaming while turning off primary line data to avoid roaming charges

Way 2 – Installing eSim manually

  • Tap My eSims to find manual installation details via the website or app
  • Tap Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Network (icon parallel to it). 
  • Tap when they ask “Don’t have a SIM Card”. 
  • You’ll be asked to enter the code manually: SM-DP+Address. Once done, activate code and confirm. Turn on your eSim under Mobile Network > enable Mobile Data > Data Roaming

Though most of us considered it to be the final part, and it is the finale, we’ve a bonus for “people who are working on their online privacy”. Sorry for sharing the spoiler above but are you interested?

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Series 02 – An Extended Version of Embedded SIM [eSims]

series 02 an extended version of embedded sim esims
where is my esim

TGIF my readers and welcome back! I assume that our previous blog helped you understand what eSIMs are and its characteristics.

So what is within this blog then? You may find that soon, hold on. This time I didn’t purchase anything new, though. 

P.S my apple watch is doing wonders, guess what? I crossed 7,018 steps using the accelerometer synced with my health app. Is it an achievement?

NOTE: Your eSIMs can be installed only once. After successful installation, do NOT DELETE/REMOVE your eSIM from your smartphone.

So, are you travelling?

In principle, eSIM should mean that you can go to another country and simply add to your phone a roaming eSIM while retaining access to your primary “local” number. This is deemed to be one of the drawbacks at the moment, since, for example, if you change SIMs abroad, you can’t retrieve your own number. 

On the brighter side, it eliminates potential roaming chances abroad. This allows individuals to shift towards better operators in an area where signals could be an issue. This way an individual can quickly free up space to extend the battery life of the device or to add new features. This way they could reduce identity theft risks as well.

Wide adoption of eSIMs would be inevitable when customers and operators begin to see the advantages.

eSim – the sacred lost love of your device? 

One of the benefits that phone manufacturers provide is that we can get smaller devices so there is no need to fit a SIM card or the tray that carries it. Networks also do not need to generate or sell loads of SIM cards.

For other computers, such as laptops and tablets, eSIMs will also be outstanding, where flawless connectivity will become the standard. 

It is said that eSIMs would allow more smart devices simply because eSIMs do not need too much space within a system, enabling fitness trackers to perceive a stand-alone 4G or 5G connectivity in a way they were only unable to do before.

Practical elaborated eSim illustrative response: how will it actually work?

As good the question is, imagine you are provisioned with an eSim and physical (traditional) sim. You’re then asked to integrate both to two different network operators. Now your device, for instance, an iPhone will simultaneously display both networks on the device. Imagine you have added two physical sim cards resting conveniently in your slot, but in reality there is an embedded sim with a conventional one.

Customers would be able to answer calls and texts on both numbers if the handset is in standby and both the SIM and eSIM are supplied. You can then select a “default” line, to make calls, use along with iMessage (plus) FaceTime. The other line is for both SMS and voice only.

Tip: In the third series we will share hassle-free step-by-step installation methods. 

Conversely, you can only choose Use Secondary for cellular data – useful if you are overseas and use eSIM for local data. 

More than one eSIM can be installed on your iPhone, but you can only use one at a point. 

By tapping Settings > Cellular > Cellular Plans and tapping the plan you want to use, you can turn to eSIMs. It’s Mobile Data if you’re in the UK. Tap Turn ON, then on this line.

NOTE: We will cover installation in detail in series 03, this Wednesday. Keep an eye!

P.S There’d be a BONUS!

To be continued, folks. We’re reaching the final part soon.

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Series 01 – E-sim: An introductory 2021 guide

series 01 e sim an introductory 2021 guide
Apple Watch

Last week I bought a terrific smartwatch i.e., an Apple Watch  Series 3 GPS + Cellular. The experience was astounding but I conquered this dilemma of eSim technology?

Within the latest Apple Watch, resides an odd hidden twist: a built-in SIM card that isn’t a SIM card. It’s an eSIM, or embedded subscriber identity module.

It took me an hour to get through this ‘thoroughly’ as it was my first experience. Based on it, I thought of writing an insightful eSim three-part blog. Fret not, it’s easy to configure it.

So without further ado, let’s get into this!

What is an eSim?

The buzzword “eSIM” merely means a SIM card that is integrated or embedded.  No physical SIM cards are involved and there is no physical swapping over is needed by you. The network or carrier must support eSIM and enable it, and eSIM is not yet supported by all networks. 

Basically, an eSIM is a small chip within your phone and appears to work in a way similar to the NFC chip being used in payment techniques such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. 

ESIM is supported by GSMA, the Mobile Networks Association, and the eSIM standard has been defined worldwide by that organization.

The information on an eSIM is rewritable, meaning that with a simple phone call you can decide to change your operator. They’re very simple to extend to a data plan. It can be done in minutes to connect devices with eSIMs to a mobile account.

What devices does eSIM support?

The most notable ones are:

  • iPad Pro
  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 4 and 5 
  • iPhone XS, XS Max, 11 and 12 series
  • Google’s Pixel 2 (originally used for Google Fi in the US)
  • Google Pixel 3, 3 XL, 4, 4XL, 4a
  • Moto Razr flip phone
  • Windows 10
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered PCs

FYI: Every year, more eSIM capable devices are produced, and not all are mobile phones. We have been used to connecting other devices such as laptops or tablets to Wi-Fi, but with the increasing adoption of eSIM technology, it is only a matter of time before they can all connect independently to the internet.

eSim vs. SIM

When they are traveling, many travelers fail to locate a reliable mobile network, and even if they find one, they do not need the service for more than a month. 

The similarity between the two [eSim & conventional sim]

There is a SIM vs. eSIM stigma because they are entirely different systems, and they can not be fairly compared.

Most individuals, however, would be shocked to understand that they have quite a few similarities, such as: 

They both connect your phone to the network of your mobile provider. 

  • Both of these can be found in several different devices (not just phones)   
  • Both remember your phone and the plan used.

Here are the eSIM positive aspects: 

  • ESIM can not be physically harmed or lost: because it’s installed inside phones, at the least suitable moments, you run far less harmful cards and weaken your signal quality. 
  • The eSIM can be used with a SIM: phones with dual-SIM technology can switch between a SIM data line and an eSIM to get the best possible signal worldwide.
  • ESIM is tiny: because an eSIM is small, it can fit into modern wearable technologies, such as watches or other devices, which over time can become smaller. 
  • Multiple cellular profiles can be stored by eSIM: There is no limit to storing single cell phone plan information; it can therefore be used anywhere around the globe.
  • ESIM is not easy to hack: when in a roaming situation, hackers must pivot through a billing-process protection feature and the cloud to intrude into your phone data. 
  • It’s easy to track eSIM: Network operators can monitor eSIM over the air, making it easier to pinpoint your location in case your phone got lost or stolen.

The negative aspects of eSIM are here: 

While eSIM can seem flawless at a glance, the use of eSIM still has a few drawbacks. 

  • For older phones, eSIM is not available: eSIM is not compatible with older phone models because it’s relatively new, and you will have to pay for an expensive new phone. 
  • They can both be used on a dual-SIM phone simultaneously. 
  • Technically, they are both SIM cards.
  • Yes, that’s correct, they’re both SIMs. However, with the carrier plan, a SIM card is a chip that is physically inserted or removed within your handset. An eSIM (embedded sim) is installed into your phone and indirectly downloads the schedule of your carrier.
  • ESIM is more difficult to transfer data: you have to retrieve your data from the cloud to get your addresses, texts, and other media back instead of popping the card out of a broken phone. 
  • ESIM can’t be used on different phones: because it’s embedded, there’s no way you can take the card out and use it on an unlocked phone.

P.S it doesn’t end here. To be continued… 

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CAUTION [2021]: Keep Your Digital Image (Social Media) Secure With These Tips

caution 2021 keep your digital image social media secure with these tips
Hack

Happy Humpday, my fellow readers!

Last night while replying to one of Twitter feeds, I found a series of peculiar patterns. This is where I connected dots. The hackers community were “conventionally” not only targeting influencers but anonymous (normal) individuals accounts as well.

I wondered why? Yet, it reminded me of the time when I had a suspicion activity ongoing with my online accounts, other than social media. The trauma and indication of losing any account is relatable. 

Have you ever been a victim of any hack, especially social media?

Well, I have suffered from this eerie nausea. This is why I am intending to write compelling practices that are easy to deploy and mitigate the risk of this unfortunate occurrence(s).

This is how I thought to amalgamate the common techniques that victims discovered and learned from their past experience(s). The structure of this article would be based on:

1. What actually happened?

2. How do you figure out it happened?

3. What was wrong with my preoccupied strategy?

4. What have I learned? 

Before I start ….

NOTE: We do not incorporate any screenshots found during the Twitter search! We respect privacy and refrain from exploiting this exercise. 

What actually happened?

There’s nothing too worse when you work hard to get that following and locked from your account, just because it got hacked! During lockdown social media distracted us – well, yet keep distracting – with funny videos, but it could also expose us to potential spammers, scammers and hackers. 

So what are the common loopholes:

  • The passwords used are based on personal information. such as date of birth, phone numbers, etc.
  • They use the frequently used word as their password, such as “imissyou”, etc.
  • The sequence is so predictable, such as “qwerty” or “abcdef2341”.
  • The passwords are reused, such as passwords on Gmail and social platforms are the same.
  • SMS-based/ text message 2FA used.

Pro Tip: Don’t PANIC yourself, drink water.  It is just a matter of common sense when it comes to branches of social media – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

How do you figure out it happened?

A classic example would be to consider the famous hack of Mr. Dorsey’s that was due to sim swapping. I won’t go into details here but in a little recap would do wonders. Sim swapping technique (a.k.a the identity theft) technique where victim’s current carrier number is possessed by the hacker by transferring to a new SIM Card. They ideally imitate you or bribe the customer support staff. 

This way they blasted the tweets via SMS option. Excitingly, this is NOT the only way they hack you! Let’s check more other options they could get into your account. Here is a handful information:

1. Social Engineering

2. Misconceptions of Social Media

3. How do they do it?

4. Hacking Tactic (this is for education so YOU can prevent them) 

Let’s begin with the initial fancy word – SOCIAL ENGINEERING

Social engineers recognize the fact that individuals are knowledgeable of but are reckless to protect such valuable information. Social engineering is a tool used by hackers who draw victims to disclose sensitive details. 

That enables hackers to: 

Malware infecting devices 

Access sites that are compromised 

System used by some different means, such as Botnets

Quick Question: Why do you think Mr. Dorsey’s account was hacked?

  1. Steal bucks
  2.  Cyber-espionage
  3. Fun or Fame
  4. Spread out political agendas

It could be any reason and unfortunately, we can fall in this radar so easily. 

So it doesn’t matter who you are, hackers are always after you. The plausible reasons would be: 

  1. Hackers are on the hunt, looking closely on our flaws within PC, devices, or networks.
  2. They have a sophisticated understanding of program languages. 
  3. When it comes to hacking, it takes patience and loads of technical knowledge. 
  4. People use common passwords and share all of them online. 
  5. Hacker-accessible tools make it easy to crack these passwords. 
  6. Your online footprint offers quick access for hackers.

Misconceptions of Social Media:

  1. Postings on social media may be absolutely removed. 
  2. Using social media when accessing public Wi-Fi are deemed as secured networks. 
  3. Profile data makes it easier to communicate with others and therefore, it should be finished in full. 
  4. Nobody has access to sensitive or normal data until you permit it.
  5. Negative statements about employees or employers, the government can not be accessed by someone without approval from you.
  6. Profile data for hackers provides a goldmine of information, the kind of information that lets them personalize phishing attacks. 

The plausible threats arising from social media include:

  1. Phishing Attacks
  2. Spoofing
  3. Fake/infected Sites
  4. Fake Profile and Social Engineering
  5. Information/ Data Leakage 

Post-HACK actions:

  1. Hijack passwords and usernames
  2. Ruining credit score 
  3. Request new cards and make random purchases
  4. Obtain cash or abuse your SSN
  5. Sell your information on dark web

How do they do it?

1. They login your account using your number or email

2. They register the most common password, such as: 

    [Common passwords of 2k18] – 123456, football, !@#$%^&*, qwerty, admin    etc.

3. The stalking/ spying process

Hacking Tactic (this is for education so YOU can prevent them) 

The spying process involves: 

1. Passive and Active Reconnaissance – this information gathering encompasses public records, scanning daily routines in order to create errors. 

2. Enumeration and Scanning such as ports, host, and network, software fingerprinting.

3. The point (1) and (2) provides collective information available on network, operating devices, system admin, etc. 

4. With the access they attack networks by session hijack, spoofing, sniffing, man in the middle attacks, and DDOD. Furthermore, they attack hosts by malware, SQL injection, adware and buffer overflow. This way they retrieve passwords.

5. Here they maintain access by hiding files (rootkits, steganography), executing trojans and spyware, thus creating backdoors. They hide evidence by disabling auditing, manipulating or deleting logs altogether. 

What was wrong with my preoccupied strategy?

This could be your possible homework, to self-audit after the lessons above and devise a plan. These preventative measures could then be matched with our next content to learn more or to share more. 

The hints would be:

  • Easy passwords
  • SMS-based 2FA
  • Not reading guidelines and security measures of each social media account 
  • Ideally sharing predictive acts such as locations, events, best friends, employment status, etc.

What have I learned? 

Firstly, we have to see what guidelines each of the platforms has for us and how do they propose to secure our account. 

If you have gone through the guidelines you may have witnessed that they have very less to offer. The typical controls are SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] encryption, manual comments/posts review and basic 2FA methods. These default security systems have very less to offer. 

For instance, 2FA is not available universally. It does not operate on a basis of per user, thus making it vulnerable to multiple administrators. Similarly, SSL doesn’t reduce hacking probes. SSL is designed to encrypt communication rather than preventing an unwanted “bad” actor to loop in the account. The manual filtering of content is a cumbersome task i.e. open to human error and highly resource intensive.

As mentioned before, poor management password is the biggest concern for social media managers. Potentially, this exposes more attraction when user accounts and simple passwords are stored in an online unsecure source, and shared with colleagues overall. 

Bottom line: the lack of protection on social media can all be understood by us. Before someone loses the password list (due to their negligence) or gets infected with malware that steals the saved passwords, it is only a matter of time.

To avert a phishing attack, follow these steps: 

1. Limit the number of administrators and applications that have your social media accounts approved for access. This helps minimize the scope of your attack. Using a password protection program to ensure that the root credentials for your social media accounts and apps are not accessible to your employees and partners.

2. Ensure that the administrators use good passwords and that their corporate or personal passwords are often unique passwords and usernames. Consider using a secure password vault if there are too many passwords to remember, such as LastPass, OneLogin, etc.

3. Educate the account managers about phishing attacks that ask for their account details. Never click on links, emails or messages.

Cookie Attack: To hold a browser window open offers the ideal way for hackers to bypass your social media. Accounts for the media. When you join Wi-Fi networks that are available, these cookies are easily intercepted. If an attacker encrypts a cookie by one of the social networking sites, the same credentials of the logged-in administrator can be used to post or make changes.

In order to prevent it, apply these steps:

1. Ensure HTTPS connections are used when logging in

2. Ensure authorized sources for your social media accounts, e.g. a clean computer

3. The devices used for the process should run an updated anti-malware software

4. Ensure login and logout sessions and these should be only accessed from trusted machines

Third Parties App

Applications from third parties also go hand-in-hand with the use of social media. Social networking apps connect through the authorization of an access token to your accounts. 

Such tokens also provide access to comments and posts to read and write, access that is irreversible unless revoked. If the access token database of an application is unencrypted, hacked or stolen, an attacker may transfer the token on to the API of the platform.

Reduce the number of apps installed on your account and the number of users with access to mitigate this risk.

If it happens – take swift action

You can regain control by the following:

1. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hacked

2. Twitter: https://help.twitter.com/forms/signin

3. Instagram: https://help.instagram.com/

4. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/

5. Google+: https://accounts.google.com/signin/v2/recoveryidentifier

6. YouTube: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/

Although there may be no such thing as an impenetrable social media account, the steps above will reinforce your digital fortress, eliminate vulnerabilities, and help you reply to an attack effectively.

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How to install a SIM Card?

how to install a sim card
Efani SIM Card

I purchased a phone recently. Not only I loved it but guess what? I couldn’t set up a sim card installation myself. 

I consumed 20 minutes figuring out what to do. 

BOOM! It was easy – and – it took me hardly 12 minutes to completely install it.

Yes, I counted the time. This inspired me to write a post and show you exactly how you can install and the SIM card, in less than 12 minutes, as a DIY. No strings attached, let’s get into it.   

From switching to a different carrier to fitting a SIM to a new phone could be complex, at times. Phones are complex, albeit. However, this guide will ease your SIM installation tantrums, issues – or – whatsoever.

So, the installation of a sim is dependent upon the type of phone you have, the model type, the manufacturer, the location, the SIM size.

For instance, other than iPhones and Galaxy S8, most other phones have their SIM card located behind their battery or next to it. The backpack could be removed using your finger-nail or anything that doesn’t harm your phone.

What about S8 or iPhones and other latest devices? Let’s unlock this little mystery. You have to peep into a small hole that has the small access tray. It is released by pushing in a tool like a paper clip or a similar SIM-eject tool.

It’s easy. Let’s move onto the kind of SIM card you need. SIM cards are allocated to different devices and therefore, it comes in various sizes.

What are different SIM sizes?

Since sizes vary, each size offers the same technical capacity or functionality. The best sizes offer:

  • Nano
  • Micro SIM
  • Standard SIM

Most phones are GSM compatible. The SIM card is 12.3×8.8×0.67mm, i.e. quite micro or smaller size. However, Efani Sim kit comes in all the aforementioned sizes and is designed to fit any 4G or 5G (unlocked) devices. You only need to change the cards only when you are switching carriers or upgrading your devices. However, at which point getting a setup through EFANI would be a viable solution.

As a second option, you can resize your own SIM card – this is not highly recommendable, however. Irrespective of a Nano SIM size, you may risk your SIM card or damage it by cutting the micro sim down to a Nano/GSM Sim.

A short note on phones that are locked

Some phones are locked and operate only with certain service providers, so you can put your SIM card in, start your phone, and notice it’s not working. Contact your existing carrier if that happens. They’re going to help steer you towards a solution. EFANI could offer a trade-in solution for such devices in exceptional cases.

How to replace a SIM Card?

So far, you’ve learned a lot at this stage. Kudos to our readers! The process is homogenous for every SIM card/size you have.

The only prerequisite would be to switch your device off whenever you’re installing a SIM card and turn the phone on once the installation has been completed.

For Phones other than Galaxy S8 and iPhone you will need to:

Release the phone’s back cover and take the battery off your device
You can see the card behind the batter, prompt the slide using your fingernail or similar tool
Replace the SIM in your slot and place the battery and cover back on your device

For iPhones and Galaxy S8:

There is a small hole on your phone’s side. That’s the size of a paper clip at the end.
In the hole that releases the SIM tray, insert the given tool or a paper clip.
Take the old SIM card out and put the new one in the same manner.
Move the tray cautiously back in.

Special notes (re iPhones):

For an iPhone 12 (and above), such as iPhone 12 mini; iPhone 12 Pro; and iPhone 12 Pro Max, you can find the SIM tray on the left side of these smartphones.

However, for models that are before iPhone 12, such as 11 Pro; iPhone 11 Pro Max; iPhone 11
iPhone XS; iPhone XS Max; iPhone XR and iPhone X you can find the SIM tray on the right side.

For other models, such as iPhone 3GS; iPhone 3G; and the original iPhone you can locate the SIM tray on the top of the device.

Abstracted from: Apple support

You’ve got it there. We have assisted you to install your new SIM card. Please remember to turn the phone back on.

What are the procedures for an iPad?

Open the SIM tray, insert a paperclip into the hole next to the tray, or a SIM-eject tool. Press in, just don’t stress it on the iPad. If you have trouble ejecting the SIM tray.

Take-Home Message

Value your privacy, with the rise in identity thefts, manipulators are taking advantage of your unsecured digital space. From crypto wallets to financial information, crafty hackers are doing their best to steal the hard-earned cash and unfortunately, every third American is a falling victim.

From equipment number to phone number, all of the associated information is at risk, thus making us all vulnerable to a sim swap. Your identity is your primary asset, it is wise to take preventative action as soon as you upgrade your device or replace your sim.

If you have been affected by Ledger Breach, feel free to watch these videos or share your emotional stress with us at 855 553-3264, 24/7. We respect your confidentiality and are always a call away!

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Quick 2021 Guide: Everything you need to know about IMEI

quick 2021 guide everything you need to know about imei
efani logo 1

Happy Friyay, readers! Today’s guide is a comprehensive version of the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number covering everything that our audience needs to know.

This unique pair of numbers is used for what principle and what are the secondary uses of it?

Interesting, isn’t it? So without further ado, let’s get started. 

What is an IMEI number?

An IMEI (as mentioned before) stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. A serial (unique set of) numbers is dedicated to an equipment (inevitably to cellular devices). The number is assigned by manufacturer to the cellular device, just like every other equipment, for instant cars. 

The phone device consisting of a SIM card is recognized by a dedicated IMEI number. IMEI consists of 15-digit numbers that are guaranteed unique and accepted globally. For your information, the device with two sim card slots will have two globally unique (15-digits) IMEI numbers.  

The Division of IMEI Number

As mentioned before, the IMEI numbers consist of 15 unique numbers with an arranged sequence as WW-XXXXXX-YYYYYY-Z. 

The typical IMEI arranged sequence could be explained as follow:

1. WW -sets the reporting body identifier showing the GSMA approved TAC (Typical Allocation Code) 

2. XXXXXX – the actual Typical Allocation Code (TAC) numbers are represented by this sequence.

3. YYYYYY – identifies specific cellular device

4. Z – acts as digit checker, typically it is 0 for GSM devices 

How does the network use the IMEI?

The TAC (i.e. the  Typical Allocation Code) is commonly linked with the cellular module or modem (in cellular IoT). The IMEI not only identifies the device type but also confirms the model, release year, make or other specifications of the cellular device. 

The allocation of a TC by a reportng body is an approved sign that the device, module, or modem has been agreed and equally passed by the relevant regulatory inspection. With this scrutiny and regulatory approval by the TAC, the network can further approve the device (and signal) connection permission. 

Can you manipulate an IMEI number?

It is possible to bluff an IMEI number with basic programming knowledge, even when the manufacturer is not intending to do so. Thieves subterfuge this option on numerous occasions by utilizing corresponding programs available on Google and Apple app stores. They take interest in changing the IMEI of a stolen smartphone (for instance) that can no longer be identified with the manipulation. 

When do you need an IMEI number?

Firstly, you should write down the device’s IMEI number and store it in a safe place (ideally, write it down on a piece of paper). Not everyone can remember the 15-digit IMEI (sequence of) number. If your device is lost or stolen, in order to report it successfully to the police, you will need to share the IMEI number. The devices will be completely blocked by the carrier based on this IMEI number. This is why you should never pass the IMEI number to third parties. 

What is an IMEI number used for?

Consider it as your device’s fingerprint. The phone carrier, police, or the authorized manufacturer can use these unique 15-digit numbers to track the devices in an unfortunate case – such as lost or stolen cases. An IMEI is dedicated to a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) operating phone. It could also be used on occasions like deactivating the device or checking the status of the smartphone that you have just purchased. 

How can I find my phone’s IMEI?

The IMEI number is not only used when the device is stolen but also in the event when the error or complaint has to be analyzed by the device manufacturer or carrier provider. You can determine the IMEI number of your device either by:

1. An IMEI universally accepted code – dial the *#06# virtually on any phone. You will not be required to send or press the call button – the IMEI code(s) will appear on its own.

2. For an iPhone or cellular iPad device, you have to go to the settings app on your home screen. Go on general and tap about on the device where you will find a handful of information about your iPad or iPhone.

Similarly scroll down to ascertain the IMEI number. Simply write it down in a safer space. If you are unable to use your iPhone or on it, you can use your sim card tray to find the IMEI number.

It is available on iPhone models starting from 6s. However, the IMEI will be available on the bottom back of the phone for iPad (consisting of the iPhone SE/older iPhone or an iPod Touch). 

3. For Android you have to open settings in your app drawer. If your Android device has a battery that is removable, you can check the IMEI beneath the battery.

You will need to power off your Android device when you are removing the battery. You can also look for your Sim Tray that will have the 15-digit IMEI number imprinted on it.

You can also check via your Android About section in your settings option and see the 15-digit IMEI within it. Make sure you have your digit written somewhere for future use. 

4. As a forth resort, you can also locate your original phone packaging. Once located, you have to look for the barcode label on your box. You may be able to clearly label the barcode and the serial number next to the IMEI. 

Is it OK to share my IMEI number?

The IMEI number should not be shared publicly because this is deemed as private information. From a seller’s point of view, the safest bet would be to share the IMEI only when the buyer has paid the upfront cost of the smartphone. 

The rationale behind this is because sharing the IMEI number freely could result as a great risk. You can lose it to a potential hacker who is masquerading as a bidder. Many buyers will show hesitation towards this policy but a user-to-user market like Swappa (and many others) have a smooth policy to secure the interest of buyers as well. Again – own your privacy – never compromise on it! 

Is my IMEI linked to SIM or phone?

Ideally, from this point you can easily tell that IMEI is not related to a sim card but is tied to the device (as it identifier). This should not be mixed with the UICC (universal integrated circuit card) number or the sim card. The IMEI is used by authoritative parties, such as the device manufacturer, phone carrier, or police to track or locate a specific smartphone regardless of its card.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ’s]

What are the alternative terms of IMEI?

IMEI is also known as ESN (Electronic Serial Number) or MEID (Mobile Equipment Identifier). These are uniquely generated numbers tied to our smartphone. It is impossible that two devices may have the same IMEIs. ESN can be provided in different formats – it could be 14-digit MEID for older devices or 15-digit IMEI. 

How does an IMEI number enable police to find the culprit who stole the device?

IMEI allows device tracking. This tracking letter is shared with the network provider. The handset will be blocked and the device will be useless (even if SIM has been changed) unless it is unlocked.

How can I locate my IMEI if my phone is lost? 

You can get the MEID/IMEI number by logging into your provider’s online account. You can also look for the box (if it is around). The IMEI will be placed on the box back.

What are the quick steps for iPhone or Android?

If you are running on the current iOS version, you have to tap on settings.

1. Select General.

2. Opt for About section available at the top of the expanded menu

3. Scroll down or select the Primary Settings to see your IMEI 15-digit number

Android – 

You can dial *#06# to find IMEI OR perform the next steps regardless of your device

1. You can go to settings and tap general 

2. Tap About device/phone

3. Select Status to look for your IMEI number that is mentioned with your mobile number

For an older iOS or Android, you can locate it under the battery (on the back of your device) or inside the SIM tray. 

What is an IMEISV number?

It is the International Mobile Equipment Identity – Software Version. It is 16-digit long code and differs from the IMEI. The last two numbers are the SV or firmware/software version identifier. It is used to send the previous version of software to the device from the manufacturer as soon as the new software rolls out.

The 16-digit is divided into the following sections:

1. Six-digit TAC Code

2. The FAC (Final Assembly Code) as the name suggests will identify the last production stage location comprising of 2 digits

3. SNR or the Sequence Number is an individual SNR that is used to uniquely identify devices, incorporating the same FAC and TAC. It includes 6 digits

4. SVN is a software version number identifying the software version number consisting two digits 

IMEISV consists of decimal numbers only. It could be written as the following equation: 

TAC (6-digits) + FAC (2-digits) + SNR (6-digits) + SVN (2-digits) = 16-digits IMEISV.

The manufacturer marks the device(s) by protecting the FAC, SNR, and TAC from compromised or unauthorized changes. The TAC is by the GSMA and the manufacturer shares the FAC device final location. You can find IMEISV on the cellular device menu, model, module or on original packaging.

Conclusion

These digits, particularly with regard to security, are an essential part of any cell phone. These unique numbers are required for complaint purposes and not just for theft and tracking. It is highly advised not to share your IMEI number publicly or randomly.

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Why you should blur your house on Google Street View? [A 2021 how-to guide]

why you should blur your house on google street view a 2021 how to guide

Launched in 2007, Google Street View is certainly a handy feature but this feature also eerily shows accurate images of your beautiful house. This offered window allows you to peak into your home, reveal what lucrative assets you have purchased – perhaps for your bedroom or it could be a potential bird feeder for stalkers.

Fortunately, we have something that can maintain your privacy. This controversial service, just like Google asks you to upload images per street, you can also ask Google to permanently blur your house from the map. This leaves a blur image of your house or building in its place after blurring it. The process is pretty easy. 

Minnesota suburban North Oaks case and other breaches

Due to unnecessary imagery and trespassing citations, Northern Oak City Council asked Google to take down the images. Google obliged to the letter received from the council. The 4,500+ resident town gained fair traction after this incident.  

A formal privacy complaint was filed to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) in 2009, where Google failed to identify the captured people and faced serious repercussions due to this violation or failure.

Google Street: The needed privacy

Google has never been an advocate for privacy. In 2010, Street View vehicles secretly collated information from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. Just like you value your privacy we do too. Irrespective of these breaches and facts, Google blur requests is one of the best and easiest aspects where you can specifically request Google to blur your bedroom [pun-intended], apartment, and house.

What to do?

The stalker or maybe this thought may have given you an adrenaline rush. We have to set boundaries by respecting and valuing our own privacy [as it is a fundamental right]. Google will have a more beautiful view of your home if you don’t blur it out. 

How to blur the images on Google Street View?

Here are the instructions:

–    Open the Google Maps on your device

pexels ingo joseph 35969
Google Maps interface

–    Add your business or home address. For instance, we added a random consultant business image based in NY, USA.

1
An exemplary building

–    Get into the street view mode. You will see a humanoid icon on the bottom right screen corner. Drag this human-shaped icon in front of your home

–    Click on “report a problem” while you see your home in view. This is available at the bottom right screen corner

WhatsApp Image 2021 01 13 at 3.43.55 AM2
Report a problem section on Google Maps

–    You have to move the red box to the place/home image you want to blur. This can be done by selectin “my home” in the “request blurring” field

WhatsApp Image 2021 01 13 at 3.43.55 AM3
Focus on the area to be blurred

–    You have to fill the required fields on the reasons of blurring your image (for instance, safety and privacy concerns)

WhatsApp Image 2021 01 13 at 3.43.55 AM4
Rationale for your action

–    You have to enter your email address and prompt the “submit” button.

WhatsApp Image 2021 01 13 at 3.43.55 AM5 1
Submit!

Google warns you upon a blurring request as it is permanent. Be sure about your actions, readers! Once you hit submit after captcha, you will receive an email from Google. The email will contain the information that they are reviewing your reported image and will email once the request is processed successfully.

Google will contact again and ask the receiver to be more precise or specific about the place/ focused area to be blurred. This would mean that you have to redo the process, therefore, detailing specific picture areas that are requested to be blurred.

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