Several Q&As here highlight the danger of phone hacking. For example, this.
In a nutshell, the solution is to NOT give your phone number, except to your bank or government.
Unfortunately, that is a very impractical solution for a simple reason: phones have been created first to communicate with people. 2FA came as a second thought. In other words, I need to give a phone number to many different companies that will absolutely make sure NOT to follow best security practices (my plumber, the school for my kids, etc.)
So I was wondering, what are the solutions to keep the convenience of being able to communicate with many different people, but stay safe?
I have thought about the following solutions:
1) Get a burner phone, with a different phone number. Give that new phone number to my bank and government services. My "real phone" is considered unsafe.
- Pros: seems safe
- Cons: Impractical. The sim on the burner phone will deactivate after 3 months without usage. Do not want to carry 2 phone numbers, therefore will miss potentially important calls.
To solve the cons, I looked into solutions to transfer calls/SMS from one safe phone number to my main (unsafe) phone number:
2) Get an app like Viber (Google voice is not an option outside of the US) that gives you a different ("alias") phone number, and redirects it to my main phone number. Use the alias as my safe phone number (for banking).
- Pros: convenient, only 1 phone, do not miss call/messages
- Cons: seems unsafe, as if a hacker hacks my real (unsafe) phone number, he can still receive the SMS sent to the alias, and therefore gain access to my bank. Also, I need to trust the provider. In many cases, they seem to be smallish companies, so hard for me to trust.
3) Same setup, but my safe number is my real phone number. The alias is the unsafe one.
- Pros: seems to be the safest (but please let me know if I miss something)
- Cons: I need to change my phone number, so that's highly inconvenient (I've obviously already shared it with many people)
So my questions are the following:
- Are there flaws in my reasoning above?
- Are there other (ideally better) solutions that I am missing?