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

Continue Reading About burner phone

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Where is the best place to get a burner phone? Can the phone number be kept private?  A relative of mine needs this for safety for herself and her family. I have never been faced with an issue like this, but now it is close and personal and I want to help to protect her from a dangerous X.  Any information is appreciated.  Thank you.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • spyware

    Spyware is a type of malicious software -- or malware -- that is installed on a computing device without the end user's knowledge.

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of specifying an index of approved software applications or executable files that are ...

  • botnet

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

  • DRAM (dynamic random access memory)

    Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a type of semiconductor memory that is typically used for the data or program code needed ...

  • RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

Close