When meeting new people, using a virtual phone number with Call.com will protect you online and in person
It can be dangerous to meet new people, especially if you don’t know them well. You never really know what they’re going to be like; maybe they're totally normal, or maybe they're intending to cause you harm. So, it's important to have ways to protect yourself. That doesn't mean you have to take self defense classes or carry a weapon, though. In fact, one of the best ways to keep yourself safe while meeting new people is by giving them a virtual phone number instead of your primary one.
Getting a Virtual Phone Number
Getting a virtual phone number is easy with a service like Call.com. Simply download the app, create your account, and pay for the number. Once you've paid for your number, then you can start receiving incoming calls or texts on that number. You can do all kinds of useful things with it, from setting your availability to recording a custom voicemail message.
Your virtual phone number functions the same way that your primary phone number does. The difference comes when it’s time to give one of your numbers to a stranger.
Giving a Virtual number to strangers
Giving a virtual phone number to strangers is safer than giving them your real number, especially if you're meeting them for the first time. You answer calls and texts from your phone just like you do your primary number, so you can still communicate with them the same way. However, you now have complete control over how much information they can find out about you.
As opposed to your primary phone number, a virtual phone number won't be attached to your personal information via a social media profile or phone number database. So, it will completely neuter the amount of personal information that strangers can dig up about you - a slam dunk for safety. Setting a separate voicemail will add another layer between strangers and your personal information. With a custom voicemail, you can say (or avoid saying) whatever you want about yourself to whomever calls your virtual phone number. Limiting the amount of personal information strangers can learn about you on their own is a huge step to protecting yourself and your privacy.
The benefits of a phone number that is not tied to your personal information
When you're meeting someone for the first time, your number is a crucial piece of information. If your number is linked to your personal information via social media, like your name and where you work, then it can be used by others for nefarious purposes if they know how to find it . If you have a phone number linked to any social media accounts, then it can be used to find your name, your friends, where you live, and so much more. If those social media accounts are, themselves, linked to other accounts or platforms, then that's a gateway to even more identifying information about you. That information can all be found by anyone with your phone number and the drive to find it.
Using a number that is not linked to any of your social media, then, has a ton of benefits. A virtual phone number that is not linked to your personal information means that you stay in complete control of who has what information about you. You can choose who knows your real name, where you live, who your friends are, and more. It's up to you to decide how much you trust whomever you want to talk to.
What happens when you give out your virtual number?
When you give your virtual phone number to a stranger, most often nothing will happen. It will be exactly the same as if you had given them your primary number. You will still receive their texts and calls on your phone, you can still chat with them, etc. The difference comes if they are a bad actor and try to dig into your personal information for some reason. If they start asking about your phone number and trying to pry more personal information out of you, then you should reconsider if you really trust them or not; they could be trying to find a way to do you harm. Luckily, they won't be able to find anything - your virtual number has done its job.
At some point, you may decide that you trust them enough to give them your primary phone number. If you do, then great! You can give them your primary number to communicate with you on. Just explain to them that you use a virtual number for your own safety - who knows, maybe they'll want to start using one, too.
Using a virtual phone number as an emergency line
When you're meeting a stranger for the first time, it's always a good idea to have an "escape option" - a way to quickly get yourself out of the situation without letting the other person know the real reason you want to leave. You could do this by letting a friend know that you will be out at a certain time and to give you an excuse if you call them or text them. However, if you use the same phone number for emergency communication that you do for other communication, then you may have trouble in a situation where you do not have the time or means to make an explanatory phone call or to send an explanatory text. Enter the virtual phone number.
Establish with a trusted friend that every time they get a text or call - ANY text or call - from your virtual number, then it means that you need rescuing. Whenever they get a message from that number, then they'll know to call you with an emergency reason to leave. You won’t have to type out a lengthy message explaining or find a way to talk on the phone to them. You can just send them a single letter or let a call go to voicemail; they'll still know what to do.
Staying anonymous with a virtual number
There are many more safety measures you can and should take when meeting strangers. Nevertheless, using a virtual number will go a long way towards ensuring your personal safety. A service like Call.com can help you start using safe, secure virtual phone numbers. Simply sign up now to start sending and receiving texts and calls from your virtual number.