There’s been a lot of buzz around Nokia’s anticipated revival of the 3310. It’s a mobile phone that, as you may recall, was pretty much unbreakable, never ran out of juice and featured a cutting-edge mobile game known as Snake. How things have changed.

If you were lucky enough to own this workhorse back in the day, one thing may very well have remained the same despite years of upgrades: your phone number. Whether they’re written on a cocktail napkin or connected to an $800 device, I don’t see your digits fading into obsolescence any time soon.

Handsets change, but phone numbers stay the same

Maybe you moved up the tech ladder to a Blackberry, or you’ve been a hardcore iPhone user since 2007. Perhaps Android is the only way to go now. Whatever the system, your phone number has been an important part of the equation, one that most people haven’t wanted or needed to upgrade, ever.

SIMs have gotten smaller and screens have gotten a lot bigger, but your digits? Those are part of who you are. It’s also likely that yours is one of the only phone numbers you know by heart, as your phone does the remembering for you these days. Most importantly, however, it’s much harder for a hacker to steal your identity when you’ve got a phone number as an extra layer of protection between the online and offline world.

As I discussed in a recent ITProPortal article, traditional phone systems are very relevant today because they serve as a great way to identify you. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, for example, will send you an SMS with a confirmation code to ensure you’re who you say you are. Banks will do the same, delivering a PIN to your phone for you to confirm your identity.

So whether you have an advanced piece of equipment in your pocket, or a single-purpose, “low-tech” blast from the past, your phone number is still highly useful for establishing that you’re the right person trying to connect to the bank or any online service. In a world where we lead digital lives and are more connected than ever, your identity is still tied to those ever-lasting string of numbers, and it will continue to be for years to come.