Have you ever wondered why some websites or apps ask you for your phone number when you sign up or log in? What do they do with your number and how do they protect it from hackers or spammers? In this blog post, we will explain the reasons and benefits of using your phone number for verification and some tips and best practices to keep your number safe and secure.
What is phone number verification?
Phone number verification is a process that confirms that a user owns a specific phone number. It is usually done by sending a one-time code or a link to the user’s phone via SMS or voice call and asking the user to enter the code or click the link to verify their identity. Phone number verification is also known as two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA), because it adds an extra layer of security to the user’s account, besides their username and password. SMS-man is a service that enables any Internet user to get a phone number for verification needs.
Why Do You Need Phone Number Verification?
Phone number verification can help you:
- Reduce Fraud and Spam: One of the main advantages of phone number verification is that it can reduce fraud and spam. By verifying the phone numbers of your users or customers, you can prevent fake accounts, identity theft, phishing, and other malicious activities.
- Maximize revenue opportunities: By verifying phone numbers, you can ensure that you are reaching out to real and interested customers, not bots or spammers. This can improve your conversion rates, customer retention, and loyalty.
- Improve customer experience: By verifying phone numbers, you can provide a smooth and secure user experience, without requiring complex passwords or additional information. This can reduce friction, increase trust, and enhance satisfaction.
- Increase business performance: By verifying phone numbers, you can reduce operational costs and risks associated with invalid or fraudulent phone numbers. This can save you time, money, and resources, and improve your reputation and compliance.
How Does Phone Number Verification Work?
Phone number verification typically works by sending a one-time passcode (OTP) to the user’s phone number via SMS, voice call, or messaging app. The user then enters the OTP into the application or website to confirm their identity and complete the verification process.
Some phone number verification solutions also offer a deep phone check feature, which scans multiple data points of the phone number and calculates a risk score associated with it. This can help you identify the number type (mobile or landline), carrier, location, and other relevant information.
Why do websites and apps use phone number verification?
There are many reasons why websites and apps use phone number verification, such as:
- To prevent fraud and identity theft. By verifying that a user owns a phone number, websites and apps can reduce the risk of someone else creating an account with a stolen or fake identity, or accessing an existing account without permission.
- To improve user experience and engagement. By verifying that a user has a valid phone number, websites and apps can provide more personalised and relevant services, such as sending notifications, reminders, updates, offers, coupons, etc. to the user’s phone. This can increase user satisfaction and loyalty, as well as encourage repeat visits and purchases.
- To comply with regulations and standards. Some websites and apps are required by law or industry standards to use phone number verification, especially if they deal with sensitive or personal information, such as banking, health care, education, etc. Phone number verification can help them meet the legal and ethical obligations to protect their users’ privacy and data.
How to use phone number verification safely and securely?
While phone number verification can provide many benefits for both users and websites/apps, it also comes with some risks and challenges. Here are some tips and best practices to use phone number verification safely and securely:
- Use a burner phone number. If you are concerned about giving your real phone number to a website or app that you don’t trust or use frequently, you can use a burner phone number instead. A burner phone number is a temporary or disposable phone number that you can get from various online services or apps. You can use it for phone number verification and then discard it after you are done. This way, you can protect your real phone number from unwanted calls, texts, spam, etc.
- Don’t share your verification code or link with anyone. When you receive a verification code or link from a website or app, don’t share it with anyone else, even if they claim to be from the same website or app. The verification code or link is meant for your eyes only and should not be forwarded, copied, posted, etc. If someone else gets access to your verification code or link, they may be able to hijack your account or steal your identity.
- Change your verification settings regularly. Most websites and apps allow you to change your verification settings according to your preferences and needs. For example, you can choose how often you want to receive verification codes or links, what methods you want to use (SMS, voice call, email, etc.), what devices you want to use (phone, tablet, computer, etc.), etc. You can also opt out of verification if you don’t want to use it anymore. Changing your verification settings regularly can help you stay in control of your account security and privacy.
Phone number verification is a powerful tool that can help you achieve various goals such as reducing fraud and spam, improving customer experience and loyalty, and increasing conversion and retention rates. Phone number verification is easy to implement and cost-effective to use. You can integrate phone number verification into your website or app using various methods such as SMS OTP (one-time password), voice OTP (one-time password), missed call verification (MCV), or flash call verification (FCV).