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How A Second Phone Number Enhances Privacy

Very often, in small businesses and start-ups, employees use their personal phone numbers as business numbers too. This can lead to invasion of privacy and at times, a means to hack into your personal details. If you think a dedicated landline cramps your style and does not let you work from anywhere at any time, then it is best to get a virtual phone number. This can work as a second number on the same handset and keep your personal number intact, safeguarding your privacy. Let’s find out what virtual phone numbers are and how they work towards enhancing privacy.

What is a virtual phone number?

A virtual phone number is a means to communicate with people without being tied down to a landline or SIM card. The number works on a cloud platform using the VoIP phone system and hence, only needs a proper internet connection to make and receive calls. This number can be connected to any smart device, thereby giving you the leverage to be on the go while taking these calls. It is most beneficial for businesses who do not have the infrastructure for a proper office setup. Employees can link this number to their smart gadget and take and make calls easily from the comfort of their homes.

Workings of a virtual phone number

A virtual phone number is linked to your smart device via the internet. You can use this number to make and receive all your calls. You can also use this number for online shopping and more. When someone calls you on your virtual phone number, the cell phone will ring and you will know it is a virtual phone call. You can choose to take the call or even send it to the voicemail.

How does it protect privacy?

Privacy is of utmost concern when it comes to phone numbers as most of your private and personal information is linked to your phone number such as bank details, passwords and more. You would not want to compromise this due to the innumerable business or online survey calls you get. Thus, most people prefer to have a temporary or second number. They use this number to protect their identity and privacy. It limits the information someone has about you. 

1. Privacy features

A virtual phone number offers many services that help to protect your privacy and do away with unwanted calls. For instance, a virtual phone number provider like Vumber offers additional features with its virtual phone number like call blocking, caller ID, call recording, and more. This enables you to restrict the calls you do not want to answer. It also lets you give a busy signal to unwanted callers or an out-of-service message.

2. Mask your location

Since a virtual phone number does not need any personal details and is not linked to a SIM or landline, you do not have to give your location. The virtual phone number forwards the call through the internet, so if you choose the right provider, nobody will even know which place the call is forwarded to. This can save you from stalkers and other fraudsters.

3. Ease of changing numbers

The problem with regular phone numbers is the time taken to get a number. It is equally arduous to do away with the number for the sake of privacy. However, with a virtual phone number, you can change a number as many times as you want without any hassles. For instance, Vumber also allows you to change your virtual phone number at any time and as many times as you wish. You can add more numbers to the same account too. This is especially beneficial for businesses with different departments. You can use this number to make calls too, which means that your Vumber will show up on the receiver’s caller ID and not your phone number.

Where can you use a second number?

Every time you want to buy something online, you have to enter your mobile number and other personal information. The more often you share personal data with third-party vendors, the more susceptible you are to fraud and hacking. This is when a second number comes into play. It helps protect your privacy online. Here are some places where it is better to have a second number.

1. Distinction between business and personal space

If you have a business set up with a lot of calls from clients, you don’t want everyone to have your personal number and call you on weekends or while you are on holiday. Also, you don’t want to carry two phones with two numbers. Thus, it is best to have your second number as a virtual phone number that can get linked to your smartphone but will keep your personal and business calls apart.

You can decide if and when you want to answer business calls. You can also have customized work-specific voicemail greetings along with auto-reply messages.

2. Enhancing business

A virtual phone number adds a professional touch to your business and gives the feeling of a more structured setup even if you operate your company from home. Also, it works out well for business promotion where your number is flashed on flyers, marketing emails, and social media sites.

When you get a call on the second number, you know that it is from a prospective client looking to know more about your business. So, you are sure to answer the call and even if you can’t, you can leave a customized voicemail. Most service providers like Vumber offer additional features where you can track the caller with the caller ID feature.

3. Online retail therapy

All online retail providers need to have your phone number to deliver your goods to your doorstep. Many of them lure you into giving the phone number to avail discounts or to know about fresh arrivals. You should not give them your personal phone number as you are not sure of their intention. Companies often share phone numbers with others and you end up getting a lot of calls, typically from loan companies, insurance agents and the like. A virtual number cannot be traced, most often, as it is from the internet. Thus,  the chances of anybody tracing your number and getting personal information from it are minimal.

4. Social media accounts

Most social media accounts ask for personal information like email and phone number during the registration process. However, giving your personal number is putting yourself at risk as your number is out on the internet for hackers and others to misuse. Thus, making it necessary for you to have a virtual phone number.

5. Sign-up for freebies

If you sign up for a lot of free online services or want to download a free ebook, it is best to share a virtual phone number.

Factors to consider while choosing a virtual number service provider

Every virtual phone service provider will have its pricing system and a bundle of services. Though most of them offer similar services, some provide more phone numbers in foreign countries while others have additional features. You should look for a service provider depending on your requirements and budget. However, while looking through the privacy and data security lens, here are some factors you should consider.

1. Information asked

The first thing to look out for is what kind of information they are asking. It will help if you read their privacy policy. Most of them route your phone calls and SMS through their servers and have access to a lot of your communication data. Thus, it is essential to know what kind of data they are collecting, keeping and processing and how you can erase the data if needed.

2. Additional services

Every virtual phone number service provider offers some additional features along with the main one of making and receiving calls. You should go with one that is feature-heavy, especially if you are using the second number for your business. Look out for features like call forwarding, voicemail customization, caller ID, call analytics, and more. These help in boosting the business.

3. Pricing

Every service provider has different pricing policies depending on the requirement. Look out for those that offer a free trial period so that you can gauge its customer service, efficiency, and ease of use.

4. Customer support

Always lookout for good customer support service while choosing a service provider. This helps from the privacy point of view, especially when you feel your security is compromised.

Conclusion

Sharing your personal phone number can make you quite vulnerable, especially if you use it for business and social media accounts. To get the power back in your hands, you need to have a virtual phone number with a responsible data policy that can keep your personal phone number private and offer complete security. So if you have not applied for a virtual phone number yet, the time to do it is now.