source: lifewire.com

How to Keep Your Identity Safe from Unwanted Calls

in Technology by

Are you constantly receiving calls from random 1-800 telemarketers? The fact is mobile spam calls have become a nuisance in recent decades, and as a matter of fact, it feels like there has been a surge of them in the last few months.

We have to deal with a new barrage of spam calls every single day.  Robocallers have evolved over the years and new trends have emerged. Today, telemarketers mask their robocalls with, genuine looking phone numbers. And it’s funny how sometimes their nonsense can be amusing-picture when you get a voicemail that is disguised as a threat to arrest you over owed back taxes. Well, this can be quite an unwelcome distraction and the Internet of things has made it very easy for scammers to fire off endless calls!

source: consumerreports.org

So if you are as sick and tired as I am, pulling your phone out of your pouch only to see some strange telemarketer’s number, let’s see some options for fighting back and restoring some sense of peace.

But first, how do telemarketers get your number anyway? Here are four facts that might surprise you.

1. You share your number way too much

source: dailyexcelsior.com

Whenever you fill out a form, whether online or offline, there’s a chance that all information you provide ends up with someone else. Remember when you fill out a form for that annual contest entry? Or sign up for an online service eying that discount or in-store credit?

Well, anytime you give out your phone number out there, you expose yourself to spamming risk.

2. You accept Terms of Use blindly

There’s a surge in the number of mobile apps in our stores and all they are interested in is harvesting as much personal data so they can sell it to willing buyers (and there are tons of them). So next time you think of downloading that fancy flashlight utility app you found on Play Store or App Store be sure to check what permissions the app is requesting to access before installing it.

3. Big data has killed privacy

source: idee.net

Just so you know, computers nowadays are so strong and fast that they can crawl every web page on the internet searching for data points. In a snap, computers can now collate nearly every piece of information available on the internet about anyone. Whether it is that Facebook post you liked a week ago or that tweet you sent earlier today. Nothing is hidden from these electronic brains. As a matter of fact, just search for yourself on Pipl.com and you will be amazed at the number of companies that claim to have your personal information out there.

4. Robots can make a zillion random calls in a blink

It’s not news that there are more automated calls today than there were a decade ago. It’s interesting how robots can process a zillion numbers to come up with random phone numbers which they use to make automated calls to unsuspecting receivers and I can bet my bottom dollar that you have fallen victim of automated calls at one point in your life.

Restore some sense of peace with an anonymous number

source: reedesignweb.com

While there are a couple of measures you can take to protect your personal data, the ultimate solution to stopping annoying robocalls is proposed by dealfuel.com and it is called the Hushed private phone line app. This app gives you access to anonymous phone numbers that you can use instead of your real phone number when filling out forms either online or offline. The good thing is that you will still be reachable to your near and dear ones through your existing phone number. The difference here though is that when someone tries to reach you through the anonymous number, you’ll answer via the Hushed number instead of your real phone number.

What this means is that you will keep your real identity secret and still receive calls from people that you’d like to hear from, like that warm Uber representative explaining that you won a free ride to your favourite destination.

With the Hushed app, you will enjoy every moment your phone rings even when an unknown international number pops up.

Proxy Phone Numbers and Services

source: talkroute.com

The most interesting thing about owning a proxy number is not only the anonymity it brings, but also the freedom it offers especially when surfing the internet. You can share your phone number with anyone whether online or offline without necessarily having to worry about the privacy concerns associated with sharing personal phone numbers. What’s more? You don’t have to purchase a second phone!

Here’s the thing, some proxy phone apps offer a second phone number (sometimes temporary). Others provide the option of adding several different phone numbers to manage several lines from one central app. Either way, most proxy phone apps are designed to allow for communication either through, talk, text or picture sharing just like a regular phone operates.

Proxy Phone numbers Allow You to Erase All Contacts any time

source: dailydot.com

Now this is where it gets even better. Picture this, you filled out an online form that required your phone number in order to submit. Luckily this time you provided the proxy number you obtained from Hushed.  Now you are receiving an avalanche of promotional text messages from telemarketers who are convinced that you are a fertile ground to harvest. Or countless phone calls from several sketchy callers.

Did you know that on top of ignoring their insistent calls and text messages, you can also keep them at bay for good by deleting the number they are calling you from?

This means that the Hushed private phone number app gives you an added layer of security that you need to stay in control of your communication. The anonymous number you get will mask you from scams and cover you from nauseating calls from telemarketers.



Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the foreignpolicyi.org started.