Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 Tips for Keeping Your Phone Number Private

If you are one of those people who spend many hours of their workday on the telephone, the last thing you want to do when you’re at home, is to answer the phone. You want to have the phone available if you need to make a call, but you really don’t want very many other people to have the number. So how do you keep that phone number as private as possible? Here are some ideas.

Leave it off of your checks. If you write out checks and your phone number is listed on your check, then you are giving it out to every business you do business with. You’ll be giving it out to Suzie’s mom when you buy Girl Scout cookies from her and the neighbor boy when he mows the lawn. Next time you order your checks, delete the phone number. 

Don’t sign up for those give aways. This is one the biggest gimmicks for getting your phone number. Whether it is a box in the grocery store for a drawing on a trip to Hawaii, or it’s an online chance to win a new laptop, they’ll ask for your phone number. They need it to call and tell you that you won, right? If you want to keep your phone number private, you’ll need to forego your chances to win big. 

Don’t list it in your social network profiles. You want it kept private, and you list it in your facebook profile and your Linked profile? That’s kind of like shooting yourself in the foot, don’t you think?

Get an unlisted number. If you are serious about keeping your phone number to yourself, the first step is to get an unlisted number. Of course, they will charge you NOT to print your phone number in the phone book, and to NOT give it out from directory assistance. You understand, right? It’s like when the gangster asks businessmen to pay so they won’t be robbed, and call it ‘paying for protection.’ 

Request respect for your privacy. When you do choose to share your phone number with a person or a business, don’t assume that they will keep it to themselves. Ask them not to share it with others. Most people will respect your request, if you simply make it known. 

Don’t post it in facebook conversations. It’s just between you and Cindy right? Yeah, and all of Cindy’s friends, and all of your friends. And then if some of Cindy’s friends join the conversation, then it becomes visible to their friends, and then… You get the picture. 

Don’t call me, I’ll call you. When someone asks for your phone number, you don’t necessarily need to give it to them. A simple, “It’d be better if I called you,” will turn the situation around, and you can ask for their phone number instead. 

Don’t include it in emails. When you include your phone number in an email to someone, you never know who they might forward that email on to. Ask for their phone number and then call them to give them yours, instead. 

Sign up for the Do Not Call List. Not only will this help decrease the number of sales calls you get, but it will keep your number from being sold in database lists to other companies as well. 

Make others aware that your number is unlisted. When you do share your unlisted phone number with friends and family, let them know that it is an unlisted number. By simply making that statement, you have communicated to them that it is private information and not to be shared. Most people will respect that, and not give it out without asking your permission first.

It can be a difficult thing to do these days, but if you follow these tips, you should keep the access to your phone number limited, at the very least.

Thanks to Landline Phone Service for sharing these tips.

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