Phone scams never end because they do work. The number of fraudulent messages is also increasing. Here are five sure signs that a text is junk that needs to be deleted.
While we’re on the subject of scams, I’d be remiss not to mention your mailbox. Tap or click to convince spam that hit my email with not-so-obvious red flags.
One way to cut down on endless attempts to steal your money and information to sell to marketers is to limit who has your contact information. Here are some easy, free ways to do just that.
Hide your email address with recorder
Think of all the reasons you give away your email without thinking about it: signing up for a new account, emailing a company with a question, or getting a coupon code are just a few.
Every time you provide your email address, you’re opening yourself up to junk mail, malware, and an inbox full of spam. An e-mail for recording will come in handy here.
Burner email addresses are disposable and can be used instead of primary ones. There are several ways to get one.
- Temporary mail provides a temporary, anonymous and disposable email address. You don’t need to register for the free version. Please note that the service does not delete your temporary email address automatically (it is up to you) and you cannot send emails. Emails are stored for about two hours before they are automatically deleted.
- 10MinuteMail this is another popular option that can also be used to send emails. As the name suggests, the email and address are deleted in 10 minutes. If you’ve received an important message that you don’t want to lose, you can forward it to another email address. You don’t have to provide any personal information to get started, which is a nice bonus.
If you subscribe to Apple iCloud+, you get access to one of my favorite Apple features: Hide My Email. It generates unique 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 yours Apple ID.
- Go to iCloud > Hide my email > Create a new address.
- Follow the on-screen instructions and you’ll get a new email address that you can manage in your iCloud settings.
Gmail also allows you to create free aliases associated with your main inbox. They are useful for filtering mail or seeing how your email address ended up on the spam list.
Tap or click here and scroll to #5 for steps to create new email addresses on the fly.
Configure the recorder’s phone number as well
Your real phone number is needed for important things like medical and financial bills and records. Otherwise, there is no reason to give it away.
Google Voice is a free service that gives you a phone number that you can use however you like for domestic and international phone calls, text messages, and voicemail. Google Voice is available for iOS, Android, and your computer. All you need is a Google account to get started.
Then do the following:
- 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 proceed to the next step.
- Select a phone number from the list. You can search by city or city code.
- Confirm the number and enter a phone number to associate it with your Voice account.
- You will receive a six-digit code to enter for the next step.
Use your Google Voice number however you like, especially when you need to add your number to an online form. Tap or click here for five smart ways to use Google Voice.
Another option is to download a recording program. They give you a second phone number and use your internet data or Wi-Fi to make and receive calls and texts. Hitch? It costs money.
Burner is one of the most popular programs of its kind. You can forward calls directly to an extension number. The program comes with a 7-day free trial and plans starting at $4.99 per month for one line or $47.99 for one year.
Hushed allows you to create numbers from around the world, so you can go beyond your area code or the US if you want. The prepaid plan starts at $1.99 for seven days and includes a bundle of minutes for local calls and texts. You can upgrade to unlimited talk and text ($3.99 per month) and international services ($4.99 per month).
Tap or click here for direct download links of Burner or Hushed for your iPhone or Android.
Technical mind: Your old phone numbers can be used for identity theft. Oh, here’s how and what to do with it.
Continue your technical knowledge
Try my popular podcast called “Kim Komando Today”. It’s a full 30 minutes of tech news, tips and tech callers like you from all over the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, follow the link below to watch the latest episode.
Think before you flush. Your poop can be worth a lot of money. (Yes, really.) Plus, Netflix wants you to stop sharing your account, Amazon Music offers Prime members advanced ad-free listening, and why Uber bombards you with ads. Alternatively, free alternatives to Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator work just as well.
Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player.
Get more tech know-how on The Kim Komando Show, broadcast on over 425 radio stations and available as a podcast. Subscribe to Kim’s free 5-minute morning roundup for the latest security breaches and tech news. Need help? Leave your question for Kim here.
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