Block Caller ID, Prevent Reverse Phone Lookup, and Keep Your Phone
by Bill Rounds
How to Vanish
by Bill Rounds: Keep
Your Assets Hidden in Plain Sight
A lot of people
want to keep
their personal information from being public information. That
can be a hard thing to do, especially when so much of your data
is flowing freely on the world wide web. Your phone number might
be stored in phone directories, pizza
delivery databases, and all kinds of other internet databases.
Do you want to block caller ID from revealing your name and address?
Do you want to prevent a reverse
phone lookup for your name and address? Following are some of
the best ways to protect
one of the most important pieces of personal information.
Phone Number Private: Unlisted Numbers
You can unlist
your phone number from many public databases. In many cases you
can request your phone service provider to unlist your phone number.
I have previously discussed some of the strategies to unlist
your phone number from a lot of other public databases, mostly
by contacting the database manager to stop publishing the information.
That won't prevent the number from showing up in other databases
or finding its way back into the ones where you have already deleted
your phone number.
Number and Other Call Forwarding
a perfect method, call forwarding can help you manage which phone
number is available to the public. There are lots of free and paid
services that will forward calls to any number you want. You can
give out one phone number as your public number, and keep another
number private. The public number that is call-forwarded
won't be linked directly to your location like a cell phone
might, and it allows you to change your private number as often
as you want. Plus, you might not need to block caller ID. If you
don't mind constant data mining, a Google phone number through
Google voice offers free call forwarding. If you prefer to be a
bit more private, FreedomVoice
is a good paid service.
ID or Use Spoofing
You can block
caller ID by dialing *67 (in the US) right before a call or getting
your phone service to permanently block caller ID. Spoofcard
is a great way to secretly block caller ID. They let you appear
to be calling from any number you choose. If you are only protecting
your identity during certain calls, either spoofing or blocking
caller ID might be good options.
You can always
register your phones with a business entity. That is not a fool
proof method, since only New
Mexico allows anonymous ownership of business entities, but
it puts one more layer of protection between your private information
and the public.
Prevent Reverse Phone Lookup
You can get
cell phones with cash, with no contract, and refill minutes
with cash whenever you want. This keeps that phone number unconnected
in any way with your name, until you use it, of course. To be extra
safe you can change pre-paid phones as often as you want. You can
even be extra sneaky and get 2 pre-paid cell phones, give one to
your friend, and only communicate with each other over those phones.
That way it will be very difficult to tell that you two are chatting
it up with each other.
There are lots
of reasons why you would want to keep your phone number private.
It isn't as easy as just having an unlisted number anymore.
There are lots of ways that phone numbers are made public. Techniques
like unlisting your phone number, using call forwarding, business
entities, spoofing and even pre-paid cell phones can protect your
privacy. The book How
To Vanish discusses all of these options in more detail
so you can choose the best ones for you.
with permission from How to
Rounds, J.D. is a California attorney. He holds a degree in Accounting
from the University of Utah and a law degree from California
Western School of Law. He practices civil litigation, domestic
and foreign business entity formation and transactions, criminal
defense and privacy law. He is a strong advocate of personal and
financial freedom and civil liberties.
© 2011 How
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