We frequently wonder how we would cope if we didn’t have access to a cell phone or an Internet connection. However, there are times when we wish we had never shared our sensitive information in the first place. Uncomfortable dates or shady salesmen are examples of such situations.
Real life is unpredictable, and there’s no way of knowing if we’ll run into the people we’re trying so hard to avoid. Simply refusing to give our phone number may result in a public dispute, which would only worsen the problem, but what is the solution?
Well, that is where we come to your help. Did you know there are ways to enable the private number feature on your smartphone? With this feature enabled, the receiver won’t know who is calling them.
By now, you might be wondering, how to use a private number?
Anyone with a smartphone can use a private number to maintain their anonymity. But not everyone is tech-savvy and would require some help to have this done. Today, we’re going to explain just how you can use a private number on your smartphone and we’ll also list out the advantages and drawbacks of using a private number in this day and age.
Read on to find out.
Recommended Read: How to Use Private Browsing on Firefox
How to Use a Private Number on your Smartphone
Prerequisites for using a Private Number
Let’s start with some prerequisites on how to enable Private Number Service:
- You should be able to block caller ID on your phone. This feature is available on the majority of phones.
- It should be possible with your current mobile provider. In general, mobile providers in Canada and the United States allow you to disable your caller ID, although some do not allow private numbers from India.
- For the activation of private numbers, mobile carriers may charge a service fee.
- Contact your cellular carrier’s customer service for further information and activation.
- Prepaid consumers are often denied access to this service, however, a few networks may enable it.
Use Caller ID Blocking Prefix to Hide your Number
Some countries utilize a separate caller ID blocking prefix, although the same prefix is utilized in most situations. Many countries allow you to input a code before dialing a phone number, which prevents your phone number from displaying on the recipient’s caller ID.
The code varies by country and service provider, and note that blocking is not feasible in all countries. The prefix in the US is *67#. Enter the prefix, then the number you want to call.
If you’re in US and want to contact xxx-xxx-xxxx, for example, you’d dial *67#xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Codes by Country:
- USA: *67 or #31# (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile)
- Canada = #31# (Rogers, Bell Canada, and Virgin)
- Albania, Australia, Denmark, Greece, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway: #31#
- Argentina, Iceland, Switzerland, South Africa: *31*
- Germany: *31# or #31#
- Hong Kong: 133
- Japan: 184
- UK and Ireland: 141
- New Zealand: 0197 (Telecom) or *67 (Vodafone)
- Australia: 1831 or #31#
- India: *31#
If your country isn’t listed below, you can use *67 or #31#.
How to Permanently Block your Caller ID
If you can’t find a way to block or hide your caller ID in your phone’s settings, you’ll have to contact your mobile carrier directly to do so.
Most carriers that don’t allow you to block your phone number through the device settings allow you to do so through their app. If this isn’t the case, you’ll need to contact your carrier and request that your phone number be blocked.
Blocking your number in this way, like the previous approach, hides your caller ID for every call you make. If you wish to override this and have your phone number shown for a specific call, start the number with *82.
How to Block Your Caller ID With AT&T or T-Mobile
You can typically block your caller ID using the settings on your cell phone with AT&T and T-Mobile. Return to the section above to see where you can find this option on your phone.
If you are unable to block your phone number through the device settings, you must contact AT&T or T-Mobile customer service. To do so, dial 611 from your smartphone.
Tell the customer support representative that you want your caller ID to be hidden. They should be able to access your account and make the necessary changes.
How to Block Your Caller ID With Verizon
Although you can’t disable your caller ID from the settings on your iPhone or Android, you can do so via the Verizon website or the My Verizon app.
To use the Verizon website, go to the Block page, login into your account, and then select Block Services from the drop-down menu. Tap the Add button if you’re using a smartphone. To block your number, go to the Additional Services area and turn on Caller ID.
To use the My Verizon app, go to the App Store or Google Play Store and download it for free, then sign in with your Verizon account. Select your smartphone from Devices, then click to Manage > Controls > Adjust Block Services. Turn on the Caller ID Blocking option.
How to Block Your Caller ID With Sprint
Sprint’s My Sprint account allows you to hide your caller ID.
To do so, log in to My Sprint and choose your smartphone from the list of available devices. Select Change my service, then go to the Setup your phone section and choose Block Caller ID.
If it doesn’t work, dial *2 on your Sprint phone to contact Sprint’s customer support department. If you can’t hide your caller ID using the website, they should be able to do it for you.
Hide your Number through your Device Settings
By adjusting the phone’s settings, you may block your caller ID information on many phones.
If your phone doesn’t have this choice, it’s because your carrier doesn’t allow it, and you’ll have to attempt one of the following options:
- Launch the Phone app and select the 3-dot Menu option.
- Go to Settings, then choose Calling Accounts.
- If you have a dual-sim phone, Select your Carrier name, choose GSM Call Settings and then select Additional Settings. If not then just select Additional Settings.
- Select Caller ID from the drop-down menu under Additional options. Select “Hide number” to hide your phone number.
- Go to Settings and select Phone.
- From the drop-down menu, choose Show My Caller ID.
- To show or hide your phone number, toggle the switch.
Use an External App to Block your Number
This is one of the simplest strategies to follow if you don’t mind installing a burner app to make calls for you. Here are some examples of applications that make calls using your internet data rather than your actual phone number:
These applications all have one thing in common: they provide you a new phone number to call, as long as you do it using the app rather than your phone’s built-in dial pad. This alters your phone number, making it “private.”
When you use this sort of app, people will see your phone number as whatever number the app has assigned to you.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using a Private Number
|Having a private phone number will protect you against fraudsters and spam when calling back a number you don’t recognize. You could, for example, miss a call from an unfamiliar number and want to be sure it wasn’t something essential. It may be a squandered chance! You may make these calls without danger if you have a private number.||Some people have Anonymous Call Rejection turned on, which means that your call will be rejected unless you call from an unblocked number.|
|If you utilize a long-term private number service, you’ll be protected from a lot of robocall lists that might have bothered you all day.||After you’ve set up a caller ID block on all outgoing calls, you’ll need to input the unblocking prefix before the phone number to make an unblocked call.|
|Prevents unscrupulous firms from selling your phone data to profit from your privacy violation.||If your phone is tied to a carrier, you may have to pay a charge to utilize Caller ID blocking.|
|If you opt to block your phone number online, you’ll be extra protected from hackers.|
|On the lighter side, feel free to make prank calls to your friends and family without them realizing it’s you!|
We have a phone number for a purpose, and that reason is to keep in touch with friends and family.
Although there are instances when you will be forced to provide your true identity, such as when paying taxes or responding to police inquiries, it is not needed when meeting new people or signing up for social media sites unless you wish it to be.
Many people will not have had any issues handing out their personal information, which is fantastic, but it’s not only about finding a solution once an event has occurred; it’s also about being proactive.
Daniel Moore is the Founder & Editor-in-chief of Private-Spy, an experienced hacker, lecturer and an all-round fun guy! A writer by day and reader by night, he holds a Master’s degree in Computer applications and believes that privacy is our god given right. Daniel has been known to have published in-depth guides and tutorials that have been used by millions of people across the world.