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29 May 2019  (534 Views) 
Movement for change

Why the mobile phone number need not be secret
I consider my mobile no to be a public information. I share it quite openly.
I know that it can be abused, but it does not deter me.

In the old days, our name, address and telephone number were published in a telephone directory.

It could invite thieves, robbers and crooks to access the information to commit crimes. Still, we were able to manage in the old days.

The nature of the risk changes in the online world. We face a different kind of risks, but they can be managed.

Here are a few things that happened after I shared my mobile phone. (Anyway, it was published in my Facebook profile for a long time.)

A malicious actor used my mobile phone to submit requests to many online services, such as applying for a loan, asking to sell a life insurance policy, making an enquiry, etc.

I received SMS and WhatsApp messages from these services asking for more details.

I just replied - it is a fake request. Please ignore it.

I must have received a few telephone calls from other services. I reject calls from unknown numbers.

It is a nuisance, but nothing much to bother about. I can handle them.

One kind person sent me a personal message. His mobile number was used in a sex website, as a pretty young girl. He received 100 calls from potential numbers. He had to change his number.

He advised me to remove my mobile no from my profile. I replied to him that I can manage the nuisance.

One day, a malicious actor will be caught and sent to jail for offenses under the "Misuse of Computer" law. They may be punished in the same manner as housebreakers and robbers. They will then realize the seriousness of their crimes.

I will continue to share my mobile no in my Facebook profile and to use it when I want people to contact me, including strangers.

If any malicious actor misuse my NRIC, email address or mobile number and I obtain his identity and proof, I will submit a police report to get that person prosecuted under the law.

Many people do not share my view. They do not need to tell me. I respect their decision. There is probably more than 1 million.

Tan Kin Lian

Vote - do you understand my perspective, even if you wish to keep your mobile no private.

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