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Harold Dye

 

From:
Cullman, Alabama, USA
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2021 6:54 am    
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I am giving thought to dropping my land line. How safe is a cell phone to pay bills by phone or check a bank account. I have been told a land line is safer but I don't know. I don't do any online banking and I am somewhat concerned about using a credit card to purchase online. I spoke with a credit card co. and was told in case of a hack I would only be charged about $30. If a cell phone is safe I might drop the land line.
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Bill McCloskey

 

From:
Nyack
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2021 7:15 am    
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I only keep my landline because the verizon bundle is more expensive if you drop the landline. We literally never use it. We don't even have a phone plugged into it and it hasn't been used in 15 years. I pay everything and do everything online, whether it is my computer, my iphone, or my tablet.
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Mike Auman


From:
North Texas, USA
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2021 7:43 am    
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Harold, it sounds like you're asking about the security of a voice call on a cell phone. I worked for a phone company for many years. Today, a cell phone is digitally encoded and is just as hard to "tap" as a land line, so there's no greater chance of someone intercepting your voice call on a cell phone than on a land line.

The security of using data via cell phones, tablets, pads or computers for online banking and credit card purchases is a different question, but I don't think that's what you're asking.
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Jack Stoner


From:
New Port Richey Florida
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2021 8:38 am    
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We moved back in February and dropped the wire (landline) telephone service and only have cell phone and PC internet.
My daughter and sister-in-law both only have cell phones, for many years, and do everything with their phones.
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Jim Fogle


From:
North Carolina, Winston-Salem, USA
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2021 10:05 am    
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Landlines use to have one huge advantage over cell phone service, service connection reliability but that advantage has eroded over time.

Landlines use to have the capability to work for days after a power loss at your home. Landlines used dc current to operate and telephone exchanges had battery banks in local telephone exchanges to provide back up power to the telephone system and to the telephone in your home.

Now many telephone systems use a system called voice over internet protocol or VOIP for short. Your home telephone line connects to a "box" located somewhere in your home. The "box" usually provides your internet service connection and may provide your television service connection in addition to your landline connection. When your home looses power so does the "box" so even if the exchange continues to work the landline, internet and television services inside your home will not.

Sometimes the "box" has a battery backup. The battery backup allows the box to operate for about 15 minutes and then the box automatically shuts down.

I keep my landline only because I've had the telephone number for a really long time. Although federal law says it is legal to move a telephone number between service providers, my landline carrier does not make the process easy or intuitive.
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Harold Dye

 

From:
Cullman, Alabama, USA
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2021 11:17 am    
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Mike I am concerned about safety. I have been told that when talking on a cell phone that is out there for anyone to intercept. When I call to check my bank account or to pay a bill I use the landline. I don't do anything like that on the cell phone or computer. I know others who do but I am concerned about the safety of both voice and keying in data.
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Bill McCloskey

 

From:
Nyack
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2021 12:01 pm    
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Harold, if it is any comfort to you, I have paid all my bills, done all my banking, made most of my purchases outside of food shopping online for over 20 years. never had a single problem. Nor in all that time have I ever know anyone to have a problem. But do what makes you feel comfortable.
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Jack Stoner


From:
New Port Richey Florida
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2021 12:59 pm    
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A cell phone with all the built in security features (including encryption) is as safe and maybe more than the old wired telephone line.
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Mike Auman


From:
North Texas, USA
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2021 1:56 pm    
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Harold Dye wrote:
Mike I am concerned about safety. I have been told that when talking on a cell phone that is out there for anyone to intercept. When I call to check my bank account or to pay a bill I use the landline. I don't do anything like that on the cell phone or computer. I know others who do but I am concerned about the safety of both voice and keying in data.

Harold, I agree with Jack. When cell phones were first introduced, they were analog radio and could be intercepted if you were clever enough. Now they're digital and encrypted, and quite difficult to intercept. You may also be thinking about early cordless phones (not cell phones, but the land lines with a base station and a battery-powered wireless handset that worked as far as the yard, maybe.) Again, the early ones of those could be intercepted, but the ones today are also digital and encrypted and difficult to tap.
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Jim Cooley


From:
The 'Ville, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 7 Sep 2021 10:37 am    
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This might or might not be a consideration. Almost every area has (enhanced) E9-1-1- service for hard line phones. If you have an emergency and can do nothing but dial 9-1-1 your address is immediately displayed in the 9-1-1 call center e.g., police department, sheriff's office, etc. even if are not able to give your location. That capability might or might not exist with your cellular service and the 9-1-1 call center in your area. The location displayed might be the cell tower that is transmitting your signal. The call center operator might be able to "ping" your cell phone and determine your location if it is not displayed on the call center's equipment. The location identifier might be accurate, but might not. The technology has come a long way. It would be a good idea to contact your local 9-1-1 call center and ask. Just don't call 9-1-1 to ask the question. The call center has a non-emergency number.
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Jim Fogle


From:
North Carolina, Winston-Salem, USA
Post  Posted 9 Sep 2021 9:39 am    
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Jim Cooley,

I had not considered 9-1-1 at all. I'm glad you brought it into the discussion. Thanks.
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Tom Keller

 

From:
Greeneville, TN, USA
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2021 3:37 pm    
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In my area the dial up phone will still work for 911 even if no longer in current use or so I was told.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2021 6:04 pm    
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Like others, I have used my cell phone for banking and shopping for many years with no problems. I ditched my land line maybe 15 years ago. I do have a Magic Jack line that I use as a secondary phone, kind of like a land line. Since my computer stays on 24/7, it's an acceptable alternative to a land line to me. I still use my cell as my primary phone. It's only real drawback is the computer has to be on. So in a power failure when internet is down, it doesn't work, although I can switch it to my laptop and use the WIFI Hotspot on my phone if need be. I may be wrong, but even with a land line, if you use the wireless home phones that many use, the landline wouldn't work as the receiver/base station would have no power. Not 100% positive on that though. A cell phone is your best friend, well short of a backup generator, in a power failure. But, only if the battery doesn't die. I used to have extra batteries and charger for a phone I had. But nowadays, batteries aren't removable on many phones. I do have one of those units that you charge and can be used to charge your phone or run a USB device, such as I sometimes do with my handheld Tascam recorder.

As far as 911, both my cell phone AND Magic Jack send location information to the 911 dispatch.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2021 6:13 pm    
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On the subject of landlines working in a power outage, I copied the following from the How Stuff Works website. It also verifies the info I mentioned about cordless phones NOT working in a power failure.

Quote:
Why Does the Phone Still Work When the Electricity Goes Out?
Updated: Apr 15, 2021

One of the relative miracles of modern times is the reliability of the phone system. The power goes out fairly often for most people. Sometimes it is only out for a second, but other times it can be out for minutes, hours or even days. Your telephone, on the other hand, is always working (as long as you pay the bill). Why is that?

The article How Telephones Work talks about the simplicity of phones and the telephone network. The article shows you how, with just a 9-volt battery and a resistor, you can create your own intercom system using two normal telephones. A phone will work as long as it is getting between 6 and 12 volts at about 30 milliamps. In other words, it takes very little power to operate a telephone.

Between your house and the phone company's office there is a dedicated pair of copper wires for your phone. Those wires are almost always buried, so ice storms and hurricanes will not cut them. The phone company supplies the power that your phone needs using your dedicated copper pair.

So even if the power goes out in your house, the phone still gets the power it needs through the phone line. And at the phone company office there is an extensive battery system, as well as a backup generator, to supply power during a power failure. If the power goes out, the batteries and generators keep the office fully pow­ered. Therefore, all of the phones connected to the office are fully powered as well.

Originally Published: Apr 1, 2000

Landline Phones During Power Cuts FAQ

Does a landline phone die when the power goes out?
All corded phones continue to work during power failures. Cordless phones don't.
Why do landline phones work during a power outage?
In order to work, phones require six to 12 volts at around 30 milliamps. Because they run on minimal power, the phone company has enough generators and batteries to make sure they continue to operate.
How do landlines get power?
Each landline has a pair of copper wires connected to it. These wires are underground, and so are protected from the elements. Phone companies supply power to these wires in order to keep your phone in working condition.
Do I still need a landline phone?
Because a landline phone continues to work during power failures, keeping one makes sense especially if you live in an area that's susceptible to storms and extreme weather conditions. That way, you will be able to stay connected with the outside world.
Do rotary phones work during power outages?
Rotary phones are corded phones, so they will continue to work during power outages.

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