You meet up with someone that you met online. Everything seems great. You hit it off for a while until you don’t. Now you feel obligated to give them your digits at the end of the night.
You’re tempted to give them a random number, but you’re afraid they’ll call you on your bluff. You could get around this with a temporary number.
Want to know how to get a temporary phone number? We’ve got all the answers right here. Keep reading to learn what your options are and find out why you should get a temp number in the first place.
What Is a Temporary Number?
A temporary number works as the name suggests. It’s a disposable number that you can burn or toss out whenever you’re done with it.
Most people use them to protect their privacy. You can give the fake number to people in situations where you don’t feel safe giving them your real one.
When to Get a Temporary Phone Number?
There are several reasons why you would want to get a temporary number. It boils down to keeping yourself safe. You wouldn’t want to give your actual phone number to someone that you’ve only chatted with online.
You’re Meeting up With a Person You Met on the Internet
We’ll go back to our example from above. You meet up with someone you haven’t seen face to face yet. The date goes pretty south and ends with you telling the person that you’re not interested.
Dating apps protect you by hiding your personal information. If you were talking to the person using your actual phone number, however, that’s a different story.
There’s the potential for the person to continue to harass you even after you turn them down. If you give them temporary digits and they start to bother you, you have the option to toss the number and move on with your life.
Buying and Selling Online
If you need to pay your bills and you have a few things that you can sell, you can use apps like Letgo. There are also online marketplaces.
The biggest problem with these selling platforms is that you have to meet the buyer in person. Most people take a friend with them to talk to the buyer.
That still doesn’t protect your privacy. If you give the buyer your actual phone number, they can continue to contact you after they take the item off your hands. That’s one of the benefits of a temporary phone number.
You want to put yourself out there and get into the dating game, but you don’t want anything serious. There’s nothing wrong with that.
The problem is, not everyone is understanding. The second you give someone your phone number, it sort of takes you out of control over the communication side of things.
You may decide you want to end the relationship, but if the other person is super serious about you, they’ll continue to harass you. Having a temporary phone number cuts out that problem. If you’re done with someone, it’s a simple matter of throwing the number in the garbage.
You’re a Freelancer
Having a temporary number isn’t only great for dating and selling things online. It’s also a good option for business. Particularly if you’re a freelancer.
You’re going to have a ton of one-off clients. You don’t want them cluttering up your phone’s address book. Having a temporary number will allow you to stay nice and organized.
Signing up for New Websites
Nobody likes robocalls. The problem is, nobody thinks about the reason why they get them. Consider how often you plug your number into a website or app to sign up for new goods and services.
Every time you use your number for something, it has the potential to end up in the hands of a telemarketer. The worst part is that you agree to it when you accept those terms and conditions that nobody ever reads.
That being said, you can still sign up for websites, but we recommend using a temporary number to do so. That way, telemarketers won’t be able to bother you.
How to Get a Temporary Phone Number?
Now that you know why you should have a temporary number, it’s time to learn how to go about it. There are several avenues that you can go down to conceal your identity.
Free Online SMS Service
When you sign up for a website, they’ll send you a code to plug in to confirm your identity. Online SMS services such as Tardigrada.io will give you a list of temporary numbers that you can use instead of your own.
There is a problem with going this route. Anyone that’s on the website can see your messages. That’s why you should only use them for code confirmations.
Don’t use the service for your personal text messages. You’ll end up airing all your dirty laundry that way.
Temporary Number Apps
Sometimes you need to do more than send a text message. You’ve got to make a phone call or two as well. If that’s the case, you can use a temporary phone number app.
You can get a number with any area code you want attached and toss it to the side when you’re done with it. If someone tries to contact you after you get rid of the number, they’ll get the standard out-of-service message.
Burner is one of the more popular apps. It’s not free, but you can sign up for the 7-day free trial.
As standard, once your trial is up, you can cancel the service. That makes the app a good temporary solution, which is honestly going to be par for the course for any app you use.
Hushed is another good one. It’s also got a paywall behind it, but you’ll find that the prices aren’t too unreasonable. Skype allows you to make calls and texts using a temporary number as long as you live in one of the 25 approved countries.
TextPlus is a free option in the Google Play Store and Apple Store if you only want to text. If you need to make a phone call, it will cost you a few cents a minute.
No matter what app you choose, always read the terms and conditions. They may allow you to make a certain number of calls and texts for free, and charge you if you go over.
If you don’t mind spending a little extra cash, you can head to a department store and purchase a prepaid cellphone. They’re also called burner phones.
They’re cheap models that run off the same towers as some of the top carriers, such as Verizon or AT&T. Inside the phone’s box, you’ll find instructions for activating your new device. The process is usually pretty simple.
You’ll have a temporary amount of text messages and calls you can make. When you need more, all you have to do is purchase a time card.
If there comes a time when you’re done with the phone or someone begins to harass you, you can ditch the device and buy a new one. They’re that inexpensive.
Buy a Temp SIM Card
If you don’t want to have to deal with buying burner phones on a normal basis, there are always temp SIM cards. Open your phone, take out the current SIM card, and put the temporary one in.
You’ll have to activate the card, but that’s a simple matter of sending a quick text to the number that’s associated with the card. You’ll be able to use the SIM for a certain amount of time before it runs out of minutes.
Talk Your Mobile Provider
Some people don’t like having the same phone number for a long period of time, and that’s okay. If someone begins to harass you or you get tired of robocalls, talk to your cellphone provider.
They’ll be able to give you a new number. When you’re done with that one, you can get rid of it by getting in touch with your provider again.
Get a Temporary Phone Number and Dodge a Potential Bullet
Are you trying to date casually? Do you not want your contacts crowded with the names of one-off clients? Do yourself a favor and learn how to get a temporary phone number.
By downloading an app or reaching out to a service, you’ll be able to protect your privacy and keep those annoying robo callers away. It may cost you a few dollars to get your burn number going, but it’s more than worth it.
For more tips that will help you stay anonymous online and off, visit the Tech News section of our blog.