Activation codes sent to mobiles

mattura

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I've been registered on a social networking site for a couple of years now, and recently they've brought in a compulsory activation by mobile phone number (as in you type in your number, they send a text message with a code, and you type in the code). While this is I'm sure very well meaning in the fight against fake accounts and spammers, I can't help feeling that my privacy would be jeopardised to an unreasonable level if I were to give out my mobile number to websites.

I used to feel this way about my email address, but you can change emails very easily these days and there are even temporary inboxes, created just for the purpose of registering on these types of sites (mailinator, maileater etc).

As far as I know, there is no temporary phone number site or forwarding service (for uk numbers).

Would you be comfortable giving your mobile number out during account activations?

Does anyone out there *not* have a mobile phone?
 

Sharky

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I have one and hardly use it. As it is, I might cancel my £10/month 300min/300sms plan!
Contact them and say you don't have a mobile telephone. By actually contacting them, you'll have done more than most fake accounts and spammers.
 

roadierich

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I've got 3 Mobile broadband, my package offers 60-odd text messages a month, and therefore includes a phone number that can send and receive text messages, but not calls. At least, I've not tried calling it... I wouldn't have a problem giving websites that number, because as it runs on (in my case) Mac OSX, it will be immune to viruses targeted at say the Nokia OS, or other mobile OS's. That's my main concern - other than marketing calls, of course, which I'm already immune to.
 

xav0989

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I don't own a mobile, and I cope with it quite well. Basically, what it means is that whenever there is mandatory mobile registration, I simply leave that website. I didn't loose out to much on life, and facebook hasn't asked for mandatory mobile confirmation yet! :biggrin:
 

adamparkzer

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I've had a cell phone for a long time. There are some people that say "oh, I only make calls" because they have no clue how to work their phone. I'm one of those people, except it's not because I don't know how to use my phone, it's because I don't like texting on my phone. I don't even like making calls on my phone either.

I basically use my phone for when I need to contact someone really soon. Otherwise, I'd prefer for people to contact me through email or instant messaging, as if I'm available to talk to someone on the phone, I would probably be in a state where I would reply to both email and IMs promptly.

As for the verification systems, I disabled texting on my cell phone so I don't get charged for a feature I don't use. So I guess they'll have to find a way to verify me using a different method.
 

mattura

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Hmm, thanks for your thoughts, people. I'm probably going to go down the same route I did for my email a while back - have one sim card for my personal use, and another for spam/verifications/giving out on forms etc. I'll periodically check the spam one for messages but have my normal card in my phone most of the time.
Sim cards are cheap or free these days and you don't have to be in contracts or even put any money on to receive text messages and calls.
 

fractalfeline

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I have a cell phone, but I kinda let its minutes and whatnot expire. One of those pay as you go things. 60 minutes for 90 days, and I still can't even use that many minutes. I had bought it for emergencies but I don't use it much anymore. I'm gonna have to upgrade in about a year but for now, bah.

I never use my phone number for verification. It's a privacy issue thing. I don't want sales calls on my phone and I don't want my number sold to every telemarketer out there. Whatever it is that I'm signing up for, I sit and say "Is it worth the annoyance?" and it usually isn't.
 

boris333

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I've got 3 Mobile broadband, my package offers 60-odd text messages a month, and therefore includes a phone number that can send and receive text messages, but not calls. At least, I've not tried calling it... I wouldn't have a problem giving websites that number, because as it runs on (in my case) Mac OSX, it will be immune to viruses targeted at say the Nokia OS, or other mobile OS's. That's my main concern - other than marketing calls, of course, which I'm already immune to.

Mac OSX users aren't immune to viruses. They're just more naive about them.


But back on topic, I believe said sites are making a mistake by requiring texting for their users to be able to validate their humanity, as they do exclude a lot of people in the process.
 

dharshan

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whats the big deal giving out ur number if the site is a recognized one. they are obliged to keep it safe under the data protection act which is passed in 1984 and updated in 1998.

read it here
click
 

ah-blabla

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It's out of principle - but not only... They are obliged to kep your number safe - but how safe do you think their site will be? Many sites store your passwords unhashed, so how do you expect them to be able to keep a phone number safe if they have no clue about security? And you can't expect everyone to have a mobile phone... *Most* people do, but many don't.

Also, many site try to give away your details legally by having a certain checkbox on their registation form activated by default, usually stating that you consent to having your information shared for marketing purposes... So much for DPA if people have "consented" (i.e. usually overseen).
 
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mattura

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What ah-blabla said is true, and also, the Data Protection Act is a UK law, meaning that companies based elsewhere do not have to comply with it (the social networking site I mentioned has servers based in Russia - I have no idea what kind of privacy/data laws they have, and even if they do, I wouldn't be convinced that they would comply with them...corruption is still a big problem over there)
 

Derek

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I have one but I don't have SMS messaging. It does get in the way but I find a way to get through it. I see even google doing this where you have to veirfy your phone and they associate your # with it.
 
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