How many people and companies have your phone number if you had to guess? Maybe a hundred? Think again.
Want to be shocked? Your cellphone and landline number (if you still have one) are probably posted online where I found mine – at a people search site that doesn’t cost a dime. Tap or click here for 4 sites that let you search for phone numbers.
Your phone number can do a lot of damage in the wrong hands. It’s an easy way for someone to connect you to a leaked password or even intercept your two-factor authentication codes. Tap or click for a safer way to lock down your accounts.
No matter how long you’ve had your phone number, it’s never too late to start being more discreet with it. Here are a few ways to do just that:
A free, easy option from Google
Google Voice is a free service that gives you a phone number that you can use for just about anything. It works for both domestic and international phone calls and texts and voicemails.
I first set up a Google Voice number when I listed a house for rent online. When that number called, I knew what the call was concerning.
It’s easy to get your own number right on your phone. All you need is a Google account to get started.
• Open the app and sign in to your Google account.
• Review the terms of privacy and tap Accept or Continue to proceed.
• Tap Search to choose a phone number from the list. You can search by city or area code.
• Tap Select next to the phone number you want.
• Verify the number and enter a phone number to link to your Voice account.
• You’ll get a six-digit code to enter for the next step. Enter it and you’re done.
Now you can use your Google Voice number however you please.
You can also use Google Voice to keep your old phone number if you’re switching to a new one. This step is smart, given all the accounts and services tied to your number these days. Tap or click here for the steps to get that done.
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