Browse Definitions:
Definition

burner phone

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A burner is an inexpensive mobile phone that is designed for temporary use, after which it may be discarded. Burners are purchased with prepaid minutes and without a contract.

In actuality, although prepaid phones are often called burners, it's more likely that the handsets will be kept and the minutes topped up when they run out. Only people with extreme needs for privacy are likely to use actual burners. Many people became familiar with the concept of burner phones from watching The Wire, a popular television series in which drug dealers used burners to communicate and then got rid of them to prevent tracking by the police. Paying for the phones with cash rather than a credit card and having no contract with a service provider meant that there was no record connecting the user to the phone number to begin with. If the user suspected that the number was compromised they could just dump the phone and purchase a new one, which would have a new number.

These days, most relatively law-abiding people have smartphones, and cellphone numbers are increasingly being used as unique identifiers, connecting user data across multiple databases. Moreover, phone numbers aren't subject to privacy requirements in the same way that social security numbers and credit card numbers are, so they tend to be shared fairly readily. As a result, mobile number privacy is a growing security issue.

One simple method of increasing mobile security is the use of a burner phone app or service (rather than an actual device), which provides a temporary phone number that can be provided instead of the user's actual cell number.

This was last updated in December 2016 ???publishDate.suggestedBy???

Continue Reading About burner phone

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchCloudProvider

  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.

SearchSecurity

  • cyberextortion

    Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money or some other response in ...

  • Cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

  • National Security Agency (NSA)

    The National Security Agency is the official U.S. cryptologic organization of the United States Intelligence Community under the ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that developed a free electronic health record (EHR) system available to ...

  • RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator)

    An RHIA, or registered health information administrator, is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of patient...

  • 21st Century Cures Act

    The 21st Century Cures Act is a wide-ranging healthcare bill that funds medical research and development, medical device ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • floating gate transistor (FGT)

    A floating gate transistor (FGT) is a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology capable of holding an electrical ...

  • bad block

    A bad block is an area of storage media that is no longer reliable for storing and retrieving data because it has been physically...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close