Every day we put a lot of personal information on the Internet, but we don’t give it enough attention. Your name or occupation is unlikely to be important, but your personal phone number should not be publicly disclosed.
In this article, we’ll outline the main reasons why it’s best not to do this and provide you with alternative ways of getting your phone number for use on the web.
Is complete anonymity possible in 2023?
Experts say it is impossible to be completely anonymous on the net. Every personal computer can be recognized by its IP address. Therefore it is practically impossible to hide the owner, his browsing, and his actions. The process can be difficult, but it will not be possible without additional technical means. And this can only be done by professional programmers.
Despite the fact that full anonymous access to the Internet can not be set up by yourself, you can take steps to complicate the identification procedure. Such actions are similar to protection against thieves. It is practically impossible to protect oneself for sure, but anyone can put up an additional lock or install a modern alarm system.
Why be anonymous on the Internet
Online privacy is the most pressing issue for residents of all countries. Some states have banned access to social networks, messengers or apps. This has cut people off from communicating with family and friends in other regions, using useful online services where there are regional restrictions, etc. In order to stay in touch and take advantage of all the available functionality of modern applications, they are looking for ways to change their location, hide their personal details, and change their phone number.
Also, checking anonymity on the Internet allows one to bypass censorship. A person can freely express their opinion on forums, and social networks while remaining unidentified.
Why you shouldn’t put Your Phone Number on the Internet
One of the most serious dangers is the fact that you can become a target of internet scammers. Every day thousands of people are harmed by their activities, and the amount of money lost amounts to millions of dollars annually.
For example, scammers can use your phone number for the following activities:
- Telephone scams – calls are made under the guise of government services or banking organizations to obtain the necessary information or to provoke a certain action.
- Banking hacking – with so many online banking applications and services now using mobile phones to verify activity, even knowing your number helps cyber criminals.
- Hacking into personal accounts (social networks, messengers, emails and other applications) – typically, accessing your account will require verification by phone number, by receiving a confirmation code via text message. If criminals know your phone number, the chances of them being able to hack your account increases several times over.
- Spam SMS & Calls – Also, don’t forget that a phone number is a great way to get annoying advertisements and phone spam. This is the reason why you are more likely to receive unwanted text messages of an advertising nature.
Where are we most likely to Post our Phone Number?
At first glance it may seem that we do not leave our personal phone number anywhere, but malefactors somehow find it out. Practice shows that the most common reasons for such a “leak” are the following:
- When registering anywhere – users often leave their phone number when registering on social networks, messengers, apps or sites that require SMS verification to complete registration.
- Message boards or advertisements – When placing advertisements on Amazon, eBay and similar sites, we always enter your phone number.
- When participating in various marketplace promotions or signing up for a rewards card – as a rule, users are asked to provide their phone number when filling out an application for participation in order to receive bonuses and discounts.
- Website or app hacks – in rare cases, phone numbers are “leaked” after websites have been hacked.
To minimize the chance of a leaked phone number, you should create a virtual number for internet sites to receive SMS messages. It will cost you next to nothing, but it can potentially save you from serious problems or a major financial loss.
What is a Virtual Phone Number, and how do I get one?
A virtual phone number for SMS is a mobile or landline phone number, not linked to a specific SIM card or mobile device, and which is only available online. They are typically used for some type of SMS receiving. You do not need to queue in a mobile phone shop to get a physical SIM card, and you do not have to provide your personal details. All you need is an Internet connection and a couple of minutes to spare.
See step-by-step instructions on how to get a virtual phone number:
- First, we go to the sms service, where you need to register your profile. For registration, you only need to indicate your email and create a secure password.
- The next step is to refill your personal account. In order to deposit you have to go to the “Pay” section and bring the required sum in any convenient way (prices for virtual numbers are very low, at an average starting from tens of cents).
- On the main page, you must install filters. First, choose the country of the virtual number.
- After that, you have to select the service (around 1000 different services are available for activation). You can find the required service in the list or use a special search field.
- To get a virtual number, click on “Buy” next to the selected service.
I want to say in conclusion – today we must be extremely careful about what information we place on the Internet because the consequences can be very horrific and unpleasant. Take care of your safety online and in real life, then you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and nerves.