There are many situations in life where you need someone to be able to contact you reliably, but do not want them to permanently have your phone number. Consider these situations: dating or selling goods online. Both of these circumstances are great examples of why a throw-away phone number might be a good idea.
However, it can often be difficult to obtain a reliable disposable phone number outside of the US. But things are changing with the use of smartphones. Hushed is an application that will allow you to set up a throw-away phone number and delete it whenever you like. You can also manage multiple disposable numbers at once using the Hushed app.
Why Use A Disposable Phone Number?
As well as the obvious safety reasons with giving a disposable phone number to people you are dating and online contacts for buying or selling goods, there are a number of other good reasons to use a disposable number. Namely, a disposable number can be used as a redirect, giving cheaper calls to the person calling.
If you are an expat or traveling around the world, you can easily set up a phone number for folks back home or for the locals you meet while traveling. When they call the number it will be a local call for them, but will be received by your phone. You could also use a number such as this to stay in contact with people who live in the same country, but far enough away to incur long-distance phone charges. Why not keep the costs down for everyone?
Disposable phone numbers may also be useful for children and teenagers as you can terminate the number if need be. Great for your peace of mind as a parent!
Using a disposable number via an application also opens up the possibility of using your Android tablet as a phone. This could be very useful for you or a family member – especially kids.
Get The Hushed App
The Hushed application for managing disposable numbers is available for free from the Google Play store (or the iOS App Store). However, it will cost you to obtain a number and to make calls using that number.
Hushed Phone Number Features
All Hushed numbers come with a voicemail box, so you can separate your voicemail from your regular calls. This is a fantastic tool if you have sold an item online, yet continue to get calls about it. Simply change your listing to say the item is sold and that you won’t be replying to messages any more. Then delete the number or just ignore the voicemail messages.
When you are finished with a phone number, you can delete it whenever you like. So, you can set up a number just for dating purposes and keep it working until the day you wish you’d never given out the number to a certain person. Then you can simply delete it and create a new phone number.
Hushed phone numbers work in 40 countries worldwide, so it’s very handy for traveling. This also opens up the possibility of disposable numbers to people in countries who may have previously found it difficult to obtain one.
Using Hushed Phone Numbers
To get a Hushed phone number, you need to pay a minimum of US $1.99 to set it up. You choose your number, a price and an expiry date, with a choice of 7, 30 or 90 days maximum. As mentioned previously, you can delete your number at any time you like in advance of your expiry date. You can also choose to automatically extend a number when it reaches its expiry date.
Hushed phone numbers can also be used to make outbound phone calls and to send/receive text messages. To facilitate this, Hushed works similarly to a prepaid phone card. You can add money to Hushed and keep track of your call costs as you make them. This keeps your costs as transparent as possible.
Alternatives to Hushed
Obviously, the best alternative to an application like Hushed is to use Google Voice (if you are in the US), a VoIP provider or any voice/video chat service such as Skype or Google Hangouts. If you are an iOS user, there is also a similar application called Burner. The chat services may not have quite the same level of anonymity, but you can block people and remove them from your friends list when you are finished requiring contact with the person. They also work extremely well for cutting your long-distance call costs.
What service do you use to create disposable phone numbers? Why?
Explore more about: Online Privacy.