Throw-away Phone Numbers for Privacy

In this day and age of multiple phone numbers, and phone numbers for life, it might come as a surprise that you can get a throw-away disposable phone number – a phone number good for a day, six months, or whatever. However, it is completely possible to do just that, and there are several free and non-free services that provide just such a service.

Why would we want such a service, and why would a system administrator wish to recommend one? Privacy is important today, and telemarketing and dangerous individuals exist everywhere. With a disposable phone number – or a service that offers a private phone number – getting phone privacy just became a lot easier. Next time someone tells you they are being harassed to no end by telemarketers or stalkers – try recommending (or using!) one of these:

One is Tossable Digits, a for-pay service. This service offers a free trial, and charges US$3.95 per month for basic service.

Another one is Safe Talk, a British company that activates phone numbers via SMS text messaging from your phone. The cost is £1.50 per phone number valid for one month. The phone number can be cut at any time by you, or it can be extended with another text message.

Another service comes from the people behind Craigslist, called numbr. Numbr offers free numbers in an instant, and also offers free numbers via telephone call. offers MyPrivateLine, which will provide you with a disposable toll-free number. A new account gives 60 minutes free, and $4.99 for another 60 minutes.

PrivatePhone is another service, though it does not appear to offer dispoable numbers (though it. It does appear that you may switch your number at any time, and it is free as well. PrivatePhone is run by the people behind NetZeroVoice (which can only be a NetZero company).

Another free service, which is well-known by now since its purchase by Google, is GrandCentral. While this is not a privacy service, and does not necessarily offer disposable numbers, and such, it offers one extremely valuable service: calls that are found to be telemarketers can be flagged as “spam” by the receiver, and from then on, everyone using the service has the option to reject any call from that number. Is that good or what?

Which ones would I use? I’m currently on GrandCentral, but for other reasons. I like the flexibility it offers, and the features it has. For a throw-away number, I’d use Numbr. I’m also quite intrigued by PrivatePhone, but I’m not sure what it offers that GrandCentral doesn’t – but it certainly (in my opinion) warrants a closer look.

5 thoughts on “Throw-away Phone Numbers for Privacy”

  1. A woman used a throw away phone with the number 858-702-7159 and stole my puppy from my San Marcos home in california. Is there away to find out where the phone was purchased and what area so that I could possibly find my puppy? Thanks.

  2. It depends on the method used. If it was a true throw-away number – or a pay-as-you-go phone – probably not.

    That is the down-side of increasing your privacy – you can’t increase your privacy without providing means for nefarious folk to increase their own privacy to bad ends.

  3. I have a blind, elderly friend who would like to use a phone for only a few days a year when she is on a vacation and needs to call 2 folks from her hotel room and cannot read the room’s phone instructions. What do you recommend?

    1. I’m not sure why you are asking here – and how this relates to my post – but my recommendation would be to have her ask the desk staff to help, and/or call the operator to help her place the call from the room. Hotels in America will be subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and should have some way to help her anyway. If you are up front with hotel staff they should be able to help.

  4. Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks
    of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: