Protect Your Privacy with 2nd Phone Number Apps
A phone number needs to be public to be useful. Phone numbers are also becoming a means of ID verification, which should be better kept private for safety reasons. Most online services require you to enter and verify your phone number to register a new account. Whenever you share your personal number with a stranger or a third-party app, you might be facing the risk of giving attackers a key to your personal data.
There are plenty of situations when you need to give your phone number to a stranger, including selling your stuff on platforms like Amazon or Craigslist, handling small business affairs, passing registration on Telegram, etc. This is when using a 2nd phone number makes sense.
Virtual phone numbers are also called “burner” numbers that you can give to anyone and keep your personal data private. Using a second phone number app is like having two SIM cards inside your phone. There are many free second line apps that let you make and receive unlimited calls and text messages. More importantly, a second phone number app can help you protect your privacy and avoid any kind of security breaches.
5 ways to use your second number for privacy
Every time you sign up for a new service or app, you are asked to enter your personal information, like email address, ZIP code, phone number, and more. The more often you share your personal information with third parties, the more likely your data will be put at risk. That’s exactly when using a second phone number can protect your privacy online.
Here are 5 cases when you’d better use second phone number apps to protect your personal information.
- You need a clear separation of business and personal communication
If you have a high volume of clients that come and go, then you don’t need unnecessary people to call your personal phone number on weekends or after work. Unless you want to carry two phones in your pocket, a second line app can help you keep your personal and business calls apart.
With a virtual phone number, you can decide when it’s appropriate to answer business calls and when this should be better handled by auto-reply messages or a work-specific voicemail greeting.
- Business promotion
When you launch a startup and look for more opportunities for your business, then you do not have to worry about which phone number you put on your business card, flyers, marketing email, etc.
When you get incoming calls to your second phone number, you know these are likely to be your prospective customers looking for more details about your business. So, you are likely to answer. When you are busy and unavailable, you can set up a work-specific voicemail greeting featuring your company name and your position.
- Online shopping
When you buy something online, you are asked to provide your phone number to confirm your purchase, give you frequent shopper discounts, notify you about new arrivals or special offers, etc. However, once you share your phone number, you put yourself at risk of making your personal information more vulnerable. Once you share your number, you never know if another person or company would keep it private or they would sell it to someone else.
If you want to protect yourself from unwanted calls, then you should better consider using a virtual phone number when you buy or sell something.
Such online selling websites as eBay and Craigslist suggest that a seller and a buyer need to coordinate in-person in their local community to exchange products. Coordination requires communication. Instead of giving your personal phone number to strangers, it’s safe to make and receive calls to a virtual line.
- Social media and online forms
Do not fall into the wrong hands when you provide your personal phone number during registration in social media. When you doubt the reliability of the network where you are going to register, then it’s better to protect yourself with a second phone number.
- Signing up for freebies
A virtual phone number can also come in handy to you when you sign up for free online services or want to download a free ebook, etc.
Things to consider when choosing 2nd phone number apps
Unlike such VoIP services as Skype and Facebook Messenger, 2nd phone number apps offer blocks of virtual phone numbers that they assign to their clients. In most cases, you are provided with a USA phone number, but some other free 2nd phone number apps offer numbers from other countries as well.
2nd phone number apps provide you with a phone number that you may share with your friends and colleagues to make and receive phone calls and SMS messages. The person who calls you may not even know that you are using a virtual phone number.
There are several considerations that you need to keep in mind while using a free app for a second phone number.
- To get a second number up and running, you need to use your data plan or connect your device to WiFi. Instant speedy Internet connection is important for uninterrupted use of the service. All calls are handled over the Internet.
- Choosing a virtual phone number for security, you do not need to worry about a costly phone bill. While just choosing a plan that meets your budget or coverage expectations, you can start making unlimited free calls to any US number or internationally.
- Most free virtual phone numbers will expire unless you use them actively. Also, most 2nd phone number apps offer paid subscriptions that let you keep your virtual phone number.
- All second line apps include additional features either for free or for an extra fee. This includes a voicemail service, call forwarding, international phone calls, etc.
- You should also mind that some burner phone numbers do not offer more than call-forwarding functionality. To make a call from a virtual phone number, you use a standard phone plan to call a “burner” server, which then forwards your call to the recipient. When someone calls you to a virtual phone number, you will receive a notification on your phone saying that you are receiving a call. Then, you can accept the call using your “burner" app.
Depending on the 2nd phone number app that you choose, you can get a different set of features. Check this out when you install an app on your phone or tablet.
2nd phone number apps
There is a wide choice of free second phone number apps available on the web. You may pick any solution that would add a virtual phone number to your mobile device. However, before you make the choice, there are several factors that you need to consider in order to evaluate your decision.
- First of all, choosing a phone number for security, you need to find out what kind of personal information they collect. Apps that work as call-forwarding services will ask you to enter your personal phone number. This means the service will be able to record your conversations on both ends.
Some of the most popular apps that give you a second number include:
- TextNow - Asks you to enter your email address. Offers free American or Canadian phone numbers to make and receive free unlimited calls and SMS messages. The app lets you make and receive free international calls.
- Phoner - Does not require your personal phone number. The app provides you with a second or multiple US, UK, Canada and international phone numbers for free calling and texting.
- TextPlus - Doesn’t require your personal data. The app offers a free US phone number only, providing for free texting and free inbound calls.
- Burner - Requires your personal phone number to create an account. It provides a US phone number only.
- Google Voice - Asks you to enter personal data to sign up. The app requires your personal phone number to create an account. It only offers phone numbers in the United States.
Using virtual line apps you can protect your privacy. Luckily, today you can choose from many 2nd phone number apps that provide you with real US phone numbers or numbers from other countries. Sharing a virtual phone number during online registration, shopping or when sharing it with new contacts you can protect your privacy and contribute to your overall data security. Using a virtual phone line is also a great way to keep your personal life separate from business affairs.
There are many cases when a second phone number can come in handy. When used with your current data plan, it lets you feel safe no matter what you do online. And what about you? How do you use your second phone number for security purposes?