1. Ask Why: If a retailer, vendor or other associate asks for your phone number, ask why. Even if they promise it will not be used for marketing, don’t give it out to people you don’t know.
  1. Fake it until you make it: Use a virtual number – similar to a virtual credit card number, where you have what’s essentially a fake number as your public number. This will allow you to still receive calls but protect your real number. Here’s where you can get one from Google Voice. https://voice.google.com
  2. If you don’t think they’ll ever have a need to contact you, just keep a fake number in memory that you always hand out.

  1. 2FA two factor authentication: If you’ve ever used an ATM, you’ve used two factor authentication: to make a withdrawal you need both your debit card and a PIN number. That’s two-factor authentication, which amps up the level of security on your devices.
  1. Sign Up: Add yourself to the do not call lists (https://www.donotcall.gov/). Even though hackers ignore these lists, at least you will have some relief from those that do play nicely.
  1. The Price of Convenience: How much privacy are you willing to trade away for a little more convenience? That’s a personal choice. Choose which private data you are willing to share: When asked for your cell number, it’s worth asking if there is another method they can use instead of your cell phone number. Maybe you can provide an email address or mailing address instead.

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