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4 Ways eSIM is Safer than a Physical SIM Card


As smartphones become more and more common in countries like China, India, Japan, and the United States, smartphone makers like Google, Samsung, and Apple have begun integrating eSIM technology into their devices in collaboration with many network service providers.


As per the Grand View Research report, the market size of the eSIM will reach USD 15.464 billion by 2030 which was 9.07 billion in 2023. This prediction estimates 7.9% CAGR growth rate from 2023 to 2030.


This rapid growth rate is the rising adoption of IoT-connected devices in M2M applications and consumer electronics. Mobilise report, 2021 revealed that there were 1.2 billion eSIM-enabled devices globally, which is expected to reach 3.4 billion by 2025. 


This growth of eSIM adoptions is leading to the disappearance of physical SIM cards as smartphone manufacturers are availing eSIM-friendly products that provide more secure user experiences than physical SIM cards.


What is eSIM?

An eSIM or embedded SIM is an industry-standard digital SIM that allows users to activate a mobile plan from their network provider without installing a physical SIM card.

This digital version of the physical SIM card identities the devices virtually to provide network connections. It’s programmable remotely through software and is built into newer smartphones saving the cost of spending on the new SIM card in case of phone swapping or wireless carriers. eSIMs can be used in tablets, smartwatches, smartphones, drones and even cars. These virtual SIM cards are opening an entirely new world of flexible communication especially when it comes to managing your phones and services plans.


How eSIM is safer than a physical SIM card?

The increased popularity of the eSIMs is also raising security concerns between users and business owners about whether their personal and Internet of Things(IoT) devices are safer with the new technology. No doubt digital approaches can attract hackers to targets justifying the security concerns regarding remote and digital processes. But eSIMs are safer than SIM cards as they address end users’ physical SIM card security concerns.


4 Ways eSIM is Safer than a Physical SIM card


1.   No more SIM-swapping

The sim swapping generally involves a malicious actor buying a new SIM card and activating it under the targeted user’s cellular line to control sensitive data, like emails and bank details. Using a physical SIM card opens a loophole to achieve sensitive user information and then tricking telecom representatives over the phone. After the long process of convincing the mobile network operators to swap SIM cards, the targeted users’s SIM cards become inactive, leaving them with no signal and possible data exposure.

The FBI said that while there were just 320 SIM-swapping occurrences between 2018 and 2020, the number jumped by nearly 6X in 2022, according to Internet Crime Report 2022.

Whereas eSIMs are embedded into the phone, SIM swapping is much harder because of its multi-activation security layers. Carriers verified users with Personal Identifiable Information (PII) before switching lines from one device to another, adding more safety steps. In fact, many eSIM providers are adding more security to the eSIM profiles with biometric security such as fingerprints and faceIDs.


2.   Port-out scams

A "port-out scam" in the telecom industry involves a fraudster gaining unauthorized access to a victim's phone number by "porting out" or transferring the number to a different carrier or SIM card without the victim's consent. This can allow the scammer to take control of the victim's phone number and potentially gain access to sensitive information such as two-factor authentication codes or personal data. It's a serious issue that can result in financial loss and identity theft for the victim.

the physical nature of SIM cards and the reliance on identity verification processes make them more vulnerable to port-out scams than eSIMs, which offer stronger security features such as remote management and embedded encryption.

eSIMs can be managed remotely by the user’s mobile network operators so if any scammers try to attempt to port out attempt, the operators can intervene immediately and prevent the scam from being successful.

Additionally, the embedded technology of the eSIMs also avails an extra security layer of stronger authentication methods like two-factor authentication which requires an additional verification step before any changes, like port-out can be made to the eSIM profile.

It is advised to eSIM users to use strong passwords so that hackers cannot figure it out by typing random information or knowing basic facts about the affected users.


3.   SIM Cloning is impossible

Buying eSIM makes SIM cloning fraud tactic almost impossible as SIM cloning activity requires cybercriminals to obtain and replicate a physical SIM card, stealing the International Mobile Subscriber Identifier (IMSI) and the encryption key that carriers use to identify the cellular line. Still, as eSIM has no physical card to duplicate, SIM cloning is not possible which means hackers cannot overuse data from IoT devices. With eSIMs, only carriers can reprogram an eSIM from their end adding verification steps that can vary in complexity.


4.   Say bye-bye to roaming insecurities and charges

The easy option to switch carriers without waiting for a SIM card to arrive in the mail or visiting a store, eSIMs are saving users from paying high roaming charges.

National networks connect to international carriers who employ the Signalling System 7 (SS7) or Diameter protocols while roaming with a physical SIM card. Due to security flaws, SS7, which was last updated in 1993, is believed to expose users to call and SMS eavesdropping as well as location traffic. In contrast to SS7, Diameter is a more recent protocol that operates under the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard and makes use of Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), which encrypts all IP communication. While IPSec implementation is required, its use is optional, and not all networks impose it. Because of these security issues, roaming is a risky activity.

Additionally, buying a SIM card in foreign countries cannot be done without sharing personal information with the carriers who can mishandle or secure it superficially. This leaves users' personal information open for malicious acts to exploit sensitive data or potentially make international travel a miserable experience.


In such cases, buying travel eSIMs is a faster and less complicated choice. eSIMs are safer than physical SIM cards, as they lessen the probability of data theft and exposure to unsecured roaming networks.


Using eSIMs is safe for international trips, as it leaves security concerns on the carrier’s side making sure that they use multiple PII layers, biometrics, and strong passwords.


So buy Prune travel eSIMs on the Play Store for your next trip abroad. Prune eSIMs are available for 200+ countries with customizing data plans at affordable prices.