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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Protect your privacy, your cell phone number and email address

Phone scams are endless because to work. Fraudulent text messages are also on the rise. Here are five sure signs that a text message is junk and you should delete it.

While we are talking about scams, I would be remiss not to mention your inbox. Tap or click on compelling spam that landed in my email with not-so-obvious red flags.

One way to reduce endless attempts to steal your money and information to sell to sellers is to limit who has your contact information. Here are some simple and free ways to do it.

Hide your email address with a burner

Think of all the reasons you give away your email without thinking: signing up for a new account, emailing a business with a question, or getting a coupon code, to name a few.

Every time you provide your email address, you open yourself up to spam, malware, and an inbox full of spam messages. This is where a disposable email comes in handy.

Burner email addresses are disposable and can be used instead of the main ones. There are several ways to get one.

  • temporary mail provides a temporary, anonymous and disposable email address. No need to register for the free version. Remember that the service doesn’t automatically delete your temporary email address (that’s up to you) and you can’t send emails. Emails are stored for approximately two hours before they are automatically deleted.
  • 10 minute mail is another popular option that you can also use to send emails. As the name suggests, email and address are deleted within 10 minutes. If you receive an important message that you don’t want to miss, you can forward it to another email address. You don’t need to provide any personal information to get started, which is a nice bonus.

A good idea to increase privacy is a disposable email address.

If you’re an Apple iCloud+ subscriber, you get access to one of my favorite Apple features: Hide My Email. Create unique and random email addresses that are forwarded to your inbox. You can create as many addresses as you like and reply to messages.

  • To create a new email address, go to Settings and touch your Apple ID.
  • To go iCloud > hide my email > Create new address.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen, and you’ll get a new email address that you can manage from iCloud Settings.

Gmail also allows you to create free aliases linked to your main inbox. They are useful for filtering mail or seeing how your email address ended up on a spam list.

Tap or click here and scroll to #5 for steps to create new email addresses on the go.


Also set up a prepaid phone number

You need your real phone number for important things like your bills, medical and financial records. Otherwise, there is no reason to hand it over.

Google Voice is a free service that gives you a phone number to use however you want for domestic and international phone calls, texts, and voicemails. Google Voice is available for iOS, Android, and your computer. All you need is a Google account to get started.

A burner phone can help you avoid calls made by unknown numbers.

A burner phone can help you avoid calls made by unknown numbers.

Then follow these steps:

  • Download the app for iOS or Android or go to voice.google.com/u/0/signup to get it for your computer.
  • Next, sign in to your Google account.
  • Review the terms and continue to the next step.
  • Choose a phone number from the list. You can search by city or area code.
  • Verify the number and enter a phone number to link to your Voice account.
  • You will get a six digit code to enter in the next step.

Use your Google Voice number however you want, especially when you need to add your number to an online form. Tap or click here to see five smart ways to use Google Voice.

Another option is to download a recording app. These give you a second phone number and use your internet or Wi-Fi data to make and receive calls and texts. The capture? These cost money.

Burner is one of the most popular applications of its kind. You can route calls directly to your secondary number. The app comes with a 7-day free trial and plans start at $4.99 per month for one line or $47.99 for one year.

Hushed allows you to create numbers from all over the world, so you can go outside of your area code or the US if you want. A prepaid plan starts at $1.99 for seven days and comes with bundled minutes for local calls and texts. You can upgrade to unlimited talk and text ($3.99 per month) and international service ($4.99 per month).

Tap or click here for direct links to download Burner or Hushed for your iPhone or Android.

Protect yourself against identity theft.

Protect yourself against identity theft.
(Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Technological intelligence: Your old phone numbers can be used to steal your identity. Oh! Here’s how and what to do about it.


Keep your tech savvy on the go

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today”. That’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and tech callers like you from across the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click the link below to watch a recent episode.

PODCAST SELECTION: Sell ​​Your Poop, No More Netflix Sharing, Remove These Apps

Think before you flush. Your poop could be worth a lot of money. (Yes, really). Plus, Netflix wants you to stop sharing your account, Amazon Music gives Prime members more ad-free listening, and why Uber bombards you with ads. Also, free alternatives to Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator that work just as well.

Watch my “Kim Komando Today” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.


Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just look up my last name, “Komando.”

What questions about the digital lifestyle do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on her local radio station. You can listen or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or tap or click here to watch Kim’s free podcasts.

Copyright 2022, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved. By clicking on the shopping links, you are supporting my research. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases. I only recommend products that I believe in.

Learn about the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at Komando.com.

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