You may be surprised to learn how many people have access to your phone number. Businesses can share your number with a third party without your knowledge. Directory service companies can obtain your number from public records or buy it from marketing companies. The personal information published in online directories is available to anyone for a small fee. If someone has your phone number, he can use a reverse phone directory to obtain your name and address. Whether you have a traditional landline phone or a cell phone, guard your privacy by controlling access to your phone number.
Order an unpublished listing service from the carrier for your landline phone. Telephone companies usually offer two types of unpublished numbers. A non-published number is not listed in the phone book, nor is it available from Directory Assistance. A non-listed number is not in the phone book, but it is available from Directory Assistance. Carriers charge a small monthly fee for these services. Wireless carriers have different procedures for cell phones. They will not publish or disclose your cell phone number without your permission.
Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. You can register up to three landline and cell phone numbers per email address. It is illegal for most telemarketers to call registered numbers. The law allows political organizations, charities and businesses that have an established relationship with you to call you, even if your number is registered. If you ask a business to stop calling you, it must honor your request.
Register your phone number with your state's Do Not Call list, if available. Not all states offer this service. If you receive unsolicited calls, registering your number may provide an additional layer of protection under state law. Locate your state's Do Not Call information through the office of your state's Attorney General.
Direct businesses and charities to keep your phone number private. Do not disclose your phone number on contest entry forms, mailing lists, marketing surveys or warranty registration cards. When doing business online, uncheck any boxes that allow the company to share your information with third parties.
Remove your phone number from any online public profiles you have created. Locate Internet-based companies and services that publish your personal information, such as search engines and social networking sites. Follow the instructions to make your phone number private.
Remove your phone number from online databases. Visit the websites of reverse phone directories and phone lookup services. Locate the search box and type in your phone number. If your number is in the database, you can usually request to have it removed. Follow the instructions in the Help or FAQ section.
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