Everybody loves privacy and in some cases, it might come down to masking your phone number since it happens to be the first thing nowadays that can be used to identify an individual. Especially if you are reaching out to a stranger, it is quite desirable to hide or block your phone number.
Let’s say that you see an ad on craigslist and you reach out to the seller. In most of the cases, since the other party is unknown, you might want to hide your identity for a while before meeting them in person.
People also want to avoid telemarketers in most of the cases. However, when you call a business once, for any query, your number is saved and they continue calling you for promotions and other events. In order to avoid it, it is a good idea to mask your number before talking to a business representative.
Previously, it was not quite possible, but now the demand is high and there are several techniques that could be used to hide your phone number.
What Happens When You Hide Your Caller ID?
Your caller ID is basically the number that appears on a person’s phone when you call them. They will either see what they named you on their contacts list or they’ll see your phone number itself. So when you hide your caller ID, they won’t know what number you are calling from. Instead, the words Blocked, Private, or Unknown will show up on their screens, and not your number.
How To Hide or Block Your Number For A Specific Call?
Well, there are cases where you might not want to share your phone number with a specific person. Fortunately, a solution does exist.
- Open the dialing pad on your phone (the OS does not matter in this case)
- Just before typing the number, press *67 on your dialing pad
- Enter the complete phone number you wish to dial, including the country and area codes
- Initiate the call
Everything will work normally on both ends and the only distinction is that the recipient will see ‘Private’ or ‘Anonymous’ on the screen instead of your name or number. However, it should be noted that this method does not hide your identity while calling 900 or 800 numbers.
Please note that this method is exclusively for North America and if you are in another part of the World, just google the blocking code in your area and follow the steps mentioned above.
In some cases, people block incoming calls from private and anonymous numbers. In that event, your call won’t get through.
How to Block Your Number Permanently
While the above-mentioned method is quite straightforward and popular among many North Americans, it is not the ideal way to hide or block your number if you want to do it permanently. I mean just imagine you are trying to mask your ID, but forget entering the prefix?
Therefore, in such situations, burner phones offer the best option. No games, no shortcuts! Just dial a number, talk to the recipient and throw your phone away (don’t worry – burners are inexpensive). The other person can neither see your number nor track your call afterward.
How to Block Your Number On Android
Even though adding a 3-digit prefix (*67) is quite easy, some users seek an even friendly approach. Therefore, android devices now come with inbuilt functionality. All you need to do is simply:
- Hit the ‘Phone’ icon, which is usually at the bottom left of your screen
- Now, on the top right corner, click the button with 3 vertical dots just inside the search bar (or beside it)
- A drop-down menu will open and you need to click ‘Settings’
- Hit the ‘Calls’ options
- If your phone gives you a choice between ‘Calls’ and ‘Contacts’, just tap the ‘Calls’ option
- Access additional settings from the given menu
- Click ‘Caller ID’
- Some models might say ‘Show Caller ID’
- A popup will be displayed on the screen – click ‘Hide Number’
How to Block Your Number On iPhone
It’s as easy as masking a phone number on Android, but since the interface is different, we’ll give you a breakdown.
- Click the ‘Settings’ icon on your iPhone’s home screen
- You will be presented with a list view – scroll down and hit ‘Phone’
- Move to the ‘Calls’ section
- Hit ‘Show my Caller ID’
- If the button is white, leave it as it is.
- If the button is green, tap it once to turn off caller ID
- The recipients will be displayed with ‘No Caller ID’ instead of your phone number
Using An App To Block Your Number
Some people don’t prefer using burners, firstly it may raise suspicion, and secondly, they simply do not want to carry multiple phones. In such cases, an application can also be used.
For instance, Hushed allows you to create a secondary phone number for just about $2 and you can keep the number for as long as you want. This is quite a reliable option, particularly if you want to hide your original phone number for a long period. The best perk is that you do not have to carry another device.
What’s worth considering is that you do not have to worry about sending text messages as well. While most of the inbuilt features only hide your phone number while calling, this app can even mask your ID while texting someone.
Moreover, since this secondary number acts just like a regular one, the recipients will be able to call you back. But this call will never be connected to your original number, whatsoever.
Alternative: Using a Burner Phone App
You might already know what a burner phone does. It is basically a cheap disposable phone that people use to make untraceable calls. A burner phone app, however, gives you a second number that you can use to send and receive calls and messages without the risk of exposing your personal number.
Now we’ll guide you on how to hide your phone number using a burner phone app.
Are Burner Phone Apps Legal?
Yes. Despite the much-heated debate on its legalities, burner phone apps are perfectly legal. Even though actual burner phones are known to be used by criminals in movies, and even in real life, you must know that you are least likely to evade any criminal activity when using a burner phone app.
It’s not the same story because while you may think that your personal number won’t be traced, authorities will still see your messages or call history on your phone if they ever require you to hand it over as evidence. Nonetheless, if you only plan on using a burner phone app for privacy concerns, and not for criminal activity, then there’s nothing to worry about and you should definitely give it a try!
Why You Need to Use a Burner Phone App
The first reason why you should use a second phone number app like Burner is convenience. Keeping an actual burner phone might not be as burdensome for others since these are often smaller and more lightweight compared to phones today. It’s important to consider that it’s another separate phone, that you’ll have to take with you, and that you’ll need to charge separately.
Why carry around a second phone with you when you can simply use an app on your main phone that serves the same purpose? The simple solution to that is no other than a burner phone app.
Business or Professional Use
Earlier, we talked about the different methods you can use to manually hide your caller ID using your phone’s built-in settings or the dial pad. If you run a business, can you imagine the risks of revealing your number to strangers if you forget to change your phone settings on a busy day? Now, you don’t have to take that risk anymore because you can compartmentalize that part of your business by communicating on a burner phone app.
Say you are applying for a job online and you need to include a contact number on your resumé. Much preferably, you wouldn’t want to place your personal number especially if you’re uploading it on the job search website. Instead of leaving your phone number out in the open, you can simply use your burner phone number to your advantage.
Or maybe you run a small business where you communicate with multiple types of clients, and you want none of them to know your personal number. Here you can use a burner phone app because many of them allow you to own more than one phone number at a time, one that you can keep for as long as you want.
Starting to like someone? About to enter that let’s-exchange-numbers stage? If you are, or if you just want to take extra caution, having a burner phone app spares you the trouble of sharing your personal number. In the online dating world, this serves as a good layer of security, especially when you’re trading digits with someone whom you just met on the Internet. Whether you feel that the person is going to be a real catch or just a random find, there’s nothing wrong with thinking about your safety. Besides, online dating platforms can sometimes be such a sketchy place. So try sharing your burner number first!
Also read: Best Dating Apps to Find Your Perfect Date
Reasons to Hide Your Caller ID or Number When Making Calls
Perhaps for most, if not all of us, the reason why we want to hide our caller ID is we want to enjoy our safety and privacy. But here are specific reasons why it’s healthy to prevent others from knowing your number when making outgoing calls.
At some point in your life, you have probably received a phone call that advertised a product or service. In most cases, it can get really annoying especially if you have better things to do with your time. If you’ve experienced this before, it’s likely that someone saved your number on their database and added you to a call list. To avoid this, you can choose to hide your caller ID when calling a business or company phone number. This keeps them from recording your number and calling you repeatedly.
Whether it’s a stranger you traded numbers with in the past or someone who got ahold of your personal information–if you leave your number in the wrong hands, it can entail undesirable consequences. Your personal number is used as a means of recovery or sometimes serves as login information to some of your online accounts. That means hiding your caller ID can help prevent any future security breaches, among the accounts that you have linked to your mobile number.
If these features do not work on your phone (which is rare) or you simply do not like them, the last resort is to contact your network provider and tell them to offer you the service of hiding your phone number.
Please note that (depending upon the restrictions) this feature is not available in all countries and some network providers might even charge you a premium for this service.
Want to know how to spoof your phone number instead? Read our other guide here.