Thursday, February 09, 2006

Netizens: Protect Your Privacy; Providing a Personal Phone Number Online Makes the Online Criminal’s Job Easy

For millions seeking their perfect partner on social networking Web sites or advertising through an online or print classified ad, the act of sharing your personal phone or cell number can mean trouble.

This seemingly harmless action can turn into a bonanza for crooks and a nightmare for the innocent, as new Web sites make it easy to reverse-search your home and cell phone numbers to locate your name and address. I encourage online daters and classified advertisers to post and share disposable phone numbers, like and, which can forward your calls to wherever you are.

Consumers of all ages should take extra measures to protect the privacy of their cell and home phone numbers. Predators can use a phone number to track someone down. Thieves can use it to locate additional information necessary to steal a person’s identity.

Use disposable phone numbers from companies like PrivateTel (, the leader in an emerging privacy-related personal telecommunications marketplace. A disposable phone number that forwards to your home or cell phone number makes your actual number untraceable. At and, disposable numbers can be obtained online in a few minutes, giving citizens a new tool in their personal privacy protection arsenal. These solutions are for everyone who wants to post a phone number at online social networking sites and for individuals or businesses that want to include phone number in an online or print classified ad.

The Social Security number is the key to the "Kingdom." This is why identity thieves love it so much. But it’s not the only number consumers should guard. Keeping your phone numbers private is the best protection against crime.

Crime, especially identity theft, is likely to explode when, for a fee, almost anyone can obtain your cell phone logs or sensitive financial information. Tools exist for people to protect themselves. Now is the time.


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