Before you switch phone numbers, make sure you update all your accounts (both offline and online) so they’re no longer associated with your old number. Otherwise, you’re risking getting hacked and your information stolen by criminals.

A research study from Princeton University discovered that a disturbingly high percentage of old phone numbers are still tied to their former owners’ accounts across websites all over the Internet. If hackers manage to recycle these numbers, they can use them to access these accounts.

The study further enumerated that as many as eight forms of attacks, such as reverse lookup, spam, denial of service, and phishing, can be exacted upon victims. Victims can be deprived of their privacy and financial resources.

Making matters worse, the study also observed that in the sample phone numbers it examined, 4 out of 10 were already linked to accounts whose credentials have already been exposed from major data breaches.

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