A rather disturbing incident involving a stolen phone and credit cards and the ability of a fraudster/thief being able to reset a user’s password/pass-number for a high-street bank occurred in September involving a journalist called Charlotte Morgan. She described what happened to her (and it transpired others) when her phone and credit cards were stolen from a locker in her local gym.
Charlotte chose to broadcast her experiences on twitter and got a range of helpful and supportive pieces of advice.
So we start with the first piece of advice – keep your phone and your credit cards separate. Don’t store/keep them in the same place. Maybe, if you follow the advice that follows later you should just keep the credit card details only on your phone and dispense with using plastic. For Apple that involves storing the card information in your Wallet.
And this is the security loophole that the thief was exploiting. The default setting when you get your new phone, and insert the SIM is to leave the SIM unlocked. This means that the SIM can be taken out of the phone with your network details (and more), and inserted into another phone. Not really what you want, is it? So, lock the SIM to your phone, and by doing that, if the SIM is taken out – it is of no use in another phone. You will need to remember the new PIN you create which you will have to supply when you power-up your phone, or when you change it for a new/replacement. This is obviously an important piece of information to remember!!! There is no way of recovering the SIM PIN if you forget it!!!
So what actually happened. This thread explains it well …
So what do you do? On an iPhone or Android …..
But what are the default SIM PINs that network operators use?
This link will be useful as it lists the default SIM PINs for the major network operators. These are the ones you need to change to your own personally chosen PIN.
It really is quite important. Change your SIM PIN and keep your credit cards separate from your phone.
This article will record the progress of the planned switch-off of the analogue PSTN (public switched telephone network) by 2025, and its implications to all of our generation, as Openreach moves to implement a fully digital service. The issue was brought to the attention of the Cardiff u3a Computer Group by Jenny Sims, a group member, who has a number of roles including being Chair of the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) Digital Working party and an NPC Executive Member.
It’s an article that will change over the next few months and years, so please look back for updates and further information as we become aware of issues, problems and hopefully solutions.
What implications might this have for older people?
Digital services are not universally good across rural areas
There will need to be a solution to the issue of digital services requiring power – what happens if there’s a break in power supply, this has been highlighted recently after the storms brought down power lines in Scotland and NE England
Cell telephony doesn’t provide a 100% coverage as a backup to digital services
What implications might this have for people with certain disabilities?
It’s been reported to us that certain people with visual problems have been experiencing difficulties in the Salisbury pilot area with the withdrawal of the 1471 service, with call-back not working, and with needing to install a new phone number
A video showing the opportunities and issues for Telecare
Here’s a link to the Progress Openreach has reported by January 2022. Much of this is very technical, so some of the following information might be more readable.
Jenny has also written the article below, which will hopefully appear in the latest Cardiff u3a magazine …
Ring, ring: Ready for the big ‘phone switchover?
Only three years until 2025 when all telephone providers will do the big “switchover” moving landline customers from the country’s traditional telephone network to digital technologies and analogue services are finally shut down.
Though BT published a timescale back in 2019, many older people’s organisations have expressed concern that the public have not been given enough information about the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) moving to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), what it really means and how it could adversely affect older and vulnerable people.
Among them is the National Pensioners Convention (NPC), which represents 1.5 million members in Wales, England and Northern Ireland.
Among the big questions is what happens if there’s a break in power supplies and people need to access emergency services – because the new system will run off broadband – and handsets will have to be plugged into an electricity socket.
Providers say solutions will be found – which will include the provision of emergency battery-powered backups for phones and routers.
This scenario became a reality last November when Storm Arwen hit the UK, causing widespread power outages and left 9,000 homes without power for more than a week.
Jan Shortt, NPC General Secretary did interviews with Talk Radio and other stations, and heard from affected listeners.
She said: “They raised the issue of not being able to charge mobile phones and other devices and therefore not able to summon help. It is clear that the majority of the population had not heard of the digital switch.”
In January Ofcom held an online public meeting to give an update on the “switchover” rollout throughout the UK and provide an opportunity to ask questions.
Jeff Richards, an NPC Wales executive member and a retired Swansea BT engineer, attended. He said: “Unfortunately they did not answer any questions that I raised regarding vulnerable customers nor anything on power supply. I felt that my questions were merely swatted away.”
BT have agreed to meet the NPC to address their concerns – which include, who will pay for the battery packs (some around £160) – the customer or provider?
Virgin Media has already promised that vulnerable customers with “accessibility needs or don’t have a mobile phone” will be given an emergency backup line at no extra cost.
Unsurprisingly, customers in various areas have reported teething problems as the system is being rolled out. For example, people in the Salisbury pilot area with visual problems have experienced difficulties with the withdrawal of the 1471 service and the need to get new phone numbers.
Hopefully, in the three years left of the rollout, teething problems will have been sorted. But be prepared: only an estimated 1.5million out of 29million landlines have so far been converted – and one day those old phones will stop ringing!