Can Your Phone Be Hacked By Your IMEI Number?
Mobile phone is a basic necessity today and it is important that we know every aspect of the device that we totally rely upon. From taking calls and receiving messages, banking, ordering food, hiring taxis and much more are all easily manageable on mobiles. There is no limit to what tasks we can perform on these handheld devices, but have you ever wondered about its maintenance? Every machine, from computers to cars and from our refrigerators to heating units, including ourselves need cleaning and optimization. So, does our phone, and one of the best ways to clean it is by using Systweak Android Cleaner which not only optimises our device but also frees space by highlighting files which are unnecessary and can be deleted.
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Purchasing the best devices suited to our needs is truly a challenge but there is another aspect which is equally important. And that aspect is security. Many of us may self-discover all the features of WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media apps, but when it comes to security features of our devices, we stand clueless. One such feature of our cellular devices is the IMEI number.
What is IMEI Number?
IMEI number is the “International Mobile Station Equipment Identity”. In simplest of terms it is a unique identification number assigned to all mobile devices irrespective of their brand and model. No two cellular devices in the world would have a similar IMEI, something like our fingerprints, vehicle chassis number etc. It consists of random 15 numerical digits.
How can I see my IMEI Number?
First the IMEI number is printed on a sticker pasted on the box of the device. It resembles a barcode with numbers. Mobile devices with two sim card capacity would have two IMEI numbers.
|Note: It is recommended not to discard this sticker and paste it on your warranty bill.|
Second way would be to type *#06# on your call app and a box would pop out displaying the required information.
Why is IMEI useful?
- A unique identification number helps identify a device and makes it different from all other mobiles across the globe,
- It is primarily used by the mobile carriers to identify and record the handset in their database.
- As the IMEI is related to a device and not the sim or account, it can be used to track stolen phones.
- It can also be used to track phones that are reported lost or damaged to claim insurance.
Why should you never share your IMEI number?
An IMEI number can be used to block or blacklist your device. If an imposter calls the telecom provider with a report of stolen phone then after providing the necessary details for verification and the IMEI number, the mobile device can be blocked resulting it to be unusable.
|Note: It is not recommended to share your mobile device’s IMEI number with any one and take it to an authorised centre for repairs.|
Common misconceptions about IMEI
- Using IMEI, a hacker cannot connect to your phone or have even the slightest bit of access to it.
- Using IMEI, no one can get your calls or SMS on another device.
- Using IMEI, a person cannot control your phone, or any apps installed.
Though the above stated points fall under misconceptions but there are other ways hackers can use to hack your mobile device. The most commonly used method is through malware. A malware or malicious software can be disguised as a useful software and easily installed by you on your mobile phone. It may then send your personal data (Name, Credit Card info, Passwords) to the hacker without giving you a hint. It is always recommended to install an anti-malware and run a scan once a week to check for malware. One of the best anti-malware software I have used is the Systweak Anti-Malware, which as a matter of fact is free to use.
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Technically speaking, an IMEI number is hardcoded into the device make it impossible to overwrite it. But there are some tools, but which claim to flash the IMEI number and change it. As these tools are illegal and expensive, they are not available for a quick and easy download and this makes it difficult to determine the truth behind IMEI hacking.
There is another piece of news doing the rounds on the internet about IMEI cloning. It so happens that there are certain devices which do not have IMEI number and are of course illegal to use. Hackers might obtain any IMEI number and imprint it on these devices. The mobile carriers would not be able to differentiate between an original or fake IMEI, unless the same IMEI exits in their database which would lead to blocking of both these devices.
However, till these myths is totally demystified, there is always room for doubt. To help understand more about IMEI and its possibility in hacking phones, kindly share your thoughts and comments below. Remember, knowledge turns out to be useful only when it is shared and open for feedback.