Online Dating? Don’t Make This Mistake
If you’re online dating, you’re probably already familiar with the Unofficial Communication Order that everyone seems to follow when they’re getting to know someone new … LEVEL 1: Connect with someone in an…
March 1, 2022
For years, I freely gave out my mobile number — both personally and professionally. I didn’t see the harm in it, and since I was mostly self-employed, it became second nature to rattle it off so I could be reached for interviews. I included it on my business cards, and when I posted selfies at conferences, I didn’t bother to blur it out. What was the point? My number was everywhere, anyway.
I didn’t know about temporary phone number apps like Hushed. But when I started working with the company, I realized that every time I put my real phone number out into the world, I was sharing an important piece of my identity — for basically no reason at all.
Then I started digging into the reasons why it can be dangerous to broadcast your real phone number, and I was … alarmed.
Your phone number can reveal critical private information:
In the wrong hands, your phone number can be used maliciously:
I started to get worried. I’d had no idea it was so important to protect my real phone number, and I’ve had my current mobile number for about 11 years, so I decided to search it to see what (if anything) came up.
I couldn’t believe it. It was stupid to ever share unblurred pictures of my business card (no matter how many I handed out, or left on tables at conferences). And while the majority of the traffic was coming from a post about a conference, the photo of my baby was appearing in the Google results because it was a “Related post” shared at the bottom. Sure, I can try to delete those posts and remove the content, but the internet never forgets, does it?
And that’s just what appeared when I Googled my phone number. I can’t even begin to imagine all the places I have voluntarily provided this number.
Countless platforms, accounts, and businesses (both online and in person) have access to my mobile number. In the run of a week, how many texts do I get to confirm appointments, provide a one-time log-in link, or ask for two-factor authentication? (Many, many.)
I’ve learned that your phone number is precious, and shouldn’t be given away to just anyone.
Now I’ve got my very own Hushed number that I can give that out to the people and places I’ll only interact with temporarily (I’m looking at you, Kijiji ad). If I get inundated with annoying calls — long after my items sell — and decide I don’t want it anymore, I can ditch it and get a brand-new Hushed number in seconds.
Best of all, Googling my Hushed number isn’t going to provide a single detail about me or my family.
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