second phone number

Use a Second Phone Number to Protect Yourself From Cyberstalkers

Nearly half (41%) of Americans have experienced harassment online—a 6% increase since 2014. An even higher proportion (66%) have been a witness to online harassment, according to a 2017 Pew study.

Whether you’re meeting people on dating apps, selling secondhand items on Craigslist, or Instagram famous, you may be putting yourself at risk of cyberstalking by sharing your personal information online.

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Though not everyone experiences cyberstalking personally, the problem is common, with 94% reporting they are aware of the issue. Only 5% of people consider online harassment to not be a problem, meaning there’s a large majority of people who would like this trend to change.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 in 4 stalking victims also report some form of cyberstalking. That means that stalking in the real world transfers into cyberstalking 25% of the time.

On an individual level, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from becoming a target.

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Take action to protect your privacy online

The best course of action against cyberstalking is to be proactive. Protect your identity and information online to prevent a cyberstalker from getting ahold of your information in the first place.

There are some legal avenues to prosecute online harassment, but few cases actually make it to court. Over three years, 2.5 million cyberstalking cases were reported, but only 10 were prosecuted by the Justice Department. It’s important to protect your information from falling into the wrong hands, so you don’t end up with an online harasser.

Cyberstalking and online harassment appear to have become a part of our culture, and without significant change, are not going away. Proactive protection of your identity and personal information is the best way to avoid online harassment and cyberstalking. One of the best steps you can take is to limit the amount of personal information you share online, whether that’s on your social media channels or an online dating profile.

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When you do share personal information, try to use email addresses and phone numbers that are disposable or changeable, and not attached to vital personal or bank accounts. That way, if someone decides to abuse the privilege of having your personal information, you have the power to discard that information without disrupting your personal life.

With the majority of email systems, you can create a new email address within minutes for free. If you’re making a dating profile, selling something, or creating an online brand, using an email that’s separate from your personal account can give you flexibility and protection from online harassment.

You can also create a second phone number with Burner. Instead of giving out your personal phone number—which is difficult to change—give out a Burner number. A Burner phone number can be burned anytime it’s compromised, and setting up an account is simple and inexpensive.

It’s also important to manage and be aware of what privacy settings you use on social media channels. To protect the personal information you choose to share on social media from being used to target you, make sure that your privacy settings are closed to strangers and people you don’t know. This won’t entirely protect you, but it will make it more difficult for people you don’t know from accessing your information.

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If you choose to share your information publicly, be aware of what you’re exposing yourself to.

How Burner protects your privacy

As simple as it sounds, harassers can be deterred through methods such as a second phone number.

Burner can help protect your privacy in multiple ways. By giving out a Burner number instead of your personal digits, you have the power to get rid of a cyberstalker simply by deleting the number.

Burner is an app in your smartphone that’s simple to use. There’s no need to get a second device when you use Burner.

When someone calls or texts your Burner number, the call/text is rerouted to your phone without exposing your main phone number.

Take the Burner Challenge to see just how much of your personal info is already out there. Or do the research yourself by searching your name and phone number on Google and seeing how much you can pull up on your own.

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For those who haven’t experienced cyberstalking personally, it might seem like something that you can just brush off. It might even seem like online harassment isn’t as serious as harassment that happens in person. However, those who have experienced it know how upsetting and draining it can be, and their fear is very real.

As we spend more and more of our lives online, being able to protect your personal information and rid yourself of a cyberstalker easily is very important. For just $5 a month with Burner, you can protect your personal information.

9 Ways to Protect Your Privacy When You’re Dating Online

Online dating has become the new normal. If you’re going to be looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right on Tinder, Bumble, or other dating apps, it’s important to take steps to protect your privacy.

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Between ride-sharing, secondary email accounts, and a second phone number from Burner, there are many tools at your disposal. The trick is to know how to use them. Following these tips will help keep you safe when you’re trying to meet new people.

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1. Limit the personal information you give out

Start by limiting what personal information you give out by default.

Beware when giving out your home address, work address, personal phone number, or other identifiers.

You should also be careful not to share this information on your social media sites or elsewhere online. You never know who might search for that information, looking for you. If you’re not sure how much information is already available about you online, take the Burner Challenge.

In the beginning of a new online relationship, stick to the chat function within the app. When you’re ready to move to the phone (or if you just prefer texting), give your new acquaintance a Burner number. That way your personal number—and all the attached info about you—stays safe while you get to know the other person.

Once you’ve vetted someone and are relatively sure that they’re trustworthy, you can  consider sharing your personal phone number or additional private information.

2. Trust your gut

Your instincts are there to protect you, so it’s important to listen to them. If your gut is telling you to run for the hills, you have a few options.

First off, you can distance yourself from that person. Burner makes this easy. You can always Burn a number and grab a new one. Problem solved (at least on the phone calls and text messages front).

Additional measures can be taken if you decide it’s necessary, such as blocking a number or using Ghostbot to handle unwanted texts. Ghostbot is an intelligent auto-responder that helps you carefully distance yourself from a person sending you unwanted messages.

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If you’re new to the online dating scene and you’re still honing your instincts, here are a few red flags to look out for—if you detect the other person doing any of these, it may be time to cut off communication:

  • Asking for personal information too soon

  • Insisting on meeting for the first time in a non-public space

  • Refusing to talk on the phone or do a video call before meeting in person

  • Making inappropriate jokes or advances

  • Lying about who they are, or other aspects of their personality or life

3. Set up second numbers and bogus emails

If you’ve decided that the person you’re talking to is safe enough to move the conversation outside of the dating app chat function, you still might not want to share your personal email or phone number with them.

We’ve already mentioned Burner for second or alternative phone numbers but you may also want to consider maintaining a secondary email account to share with potential dates. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and several other providers will happily give you a brand new email account free of charge.

Even better, Google just made Gmail the most secure email provider on the planet.

As long as it’s not your personal email you’re giving out, you still have a layer of privacy between you and new people and you can always change the email address if it falls into the wrong hands.

4. Use your own transportation

As old-fashioned and adorable as it is to let your date pick you up at home, it adds risk. Not only do they know where you live, but if the first date goes badly, how will you get home?

Always have a plan B. In the day and age of ride-sharing and cell phones, there’s no excuse for getting in a car with a stranger. And always use a Burner number if Uber or Lyft (or other ridesharing app) drivers ask for a contact number outside of the app.

5. Use neutral party check-ins to stay safe

When you decide to meet your online date in person, set up a safety net, so someone knows where you are and when you’ll be back. Whether it’s your roommate, best friend, or mom, tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll check in (by texting or calling).

There are also apps out there that can alert emergency services or your trusted contacts, if you turn it on. Think of it like a panic button. There are many of these on the market such as Kitestring or BSafe.

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As a last resort, if you’re in a public space, don’t hesitate to let someone know that you don’t feel safe. If your date is making you uncomfortable, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom and notify the bartender, server, or other personnel that you don’t feel safe and need help to leave without making a scene.

Just knowing that someone else is watching out for you can make you feel more comfortable about making the leap to meeting people in person.

6. Do a background check

Catfishing and scamming are unfortunately becoming common issues in the online dating world. If something feels fishy, be sure to Google your new friend and look for some warning signs, as it’s possible they’re aren’t who they say they are. Ask yourself...

  • How many friends do they have on their social media account(s)?

  • Are those friends all men or all women?

  • Do they have multiple profiles on one social media platform?

  • Do they have profiles on multiple social media platforms?

  • Do they interact with friends online?

  • Use reverse image search to make sure their photos aren’t stolen from another profile

  • Look them up on Spokeo

  • Find out if they’re using a script to talk to you

  • Check to see if their profile images are altered

  • Confirm their IP address and email is connected to where they say they live

  • Look up public records such as marriages, criminal records, and property ownership

You can never be too careful. There are a lot of tools online for checking to see if someone is who they say they are.

7. Don’t just text

It’s okay to take your time early in a relationship to build trust.

Don’t just text, either. Why not try the old-fashioned approach and have a simple phone call with someone before meeting them in person? What about video calls? Surely someone who is being honest with you and likes you for who you are can’t refuse a simple request like that.

It can be a good screening mechanism -- if someone doesn’t want to show your their face over a video call or let you hear their voice over a phone call, they might be hiding something about their identity.

8. Don’t give out financial information

Just don’t. Anyone who asks for money should send up an immediate red flag for your finely honed gut instincts.

If you have good reasons to give someone money (for example, splitting a meal or movie tickets), use cash or a secure peer-to-peer payment app like Venmo.

9. Report or block them

Finally, if someone is trolling you or you don’t want them around, don’t be afraid to block them and report them if appropriate.

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Most dating apps now have a function for reporting users who are scamming others or just being inappropriate. Reporting people isn’t only for you, it helps to protect everyone who is using the app.

As the digital world becomes an intrinsic part of our lives, it’s important that you take steps to protect yourselves. Using a Burner number is only one way, but it’s a good first step. Use these tips and trust your instincts to help protect your privacy when dating online.

Separate Your Personal and Business Lives With a Second Phone Number

In today’s world, automatic communication and immediate responses have become the status quo. With that expectation comes the feeling that we always need to have our phones at the ready to respond to any problem that presents itself, no matter how trivial.

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But do you really want to answer that call or text from your boss that comes in after hours on a Friday evening? Probably not at all.

And how about when your mom calls when you’re in the middle of a work meeting? Your boss would probably frown on you taking work time to talk to your mom about your weekend plans. So what’s a modern millennial to do?

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One of the ways you can create some balance in your life is by getting a second phone number from Burner. You can use it solely for your work or business, and keep it separated from your personal life.

Whether you’re self-employed, an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or just want to create some distance between yourself and your co-workers, a second phone number from Burner might be the answer to your problems.

Burner business phone number productivity features

Burner is an app that lets you create one or more new phone numbers. It works just like any other phone number app, with all the functionality you’ve come to expect from a robust messaging system. Plus, it has additional features that help you create separation between your business and personal life, as well as protect your privacy.

When someone calls your Burner phone number, you can see which number they’re calling and immediately categorize the call based on which of your numbers shows up. If it’s after hours and you don’t want to take a business call, you know not to answer anything that comes in on your work Burner line.

But that’s not all. Burner has a whole host of features that help you to create additional separation and take back control of your life.

DND mode

One of the best features that helps maintain the balance between business and your personal life is Burner’s DND (Do-Not-Disturb) mode. DND mode can switched on at any point, so that any texts or phone calls your business number receives will go straight to voicemail, without any notifications.

With DND mode, you choose when you receive notifications, calls, and texts regarding your work. When you’re not open to talking to contacts, clients, or your boss, just switch on DND mode and deal with your messages later.

Set work hours

With DND mode, you can also set your work hours. Choose when you want to be available to your clients, set your DND schedule around that, and don’t worry about the rest of the time. You can even automate this with a tool like Zapier or IFTTT. By setting these expectations ahead of time and using Burner to reinforce them, you’re letting your clients, boss, and co-workers know when they can expect responses from you and when you’re not available to answer questions.

Autoresponders

Another bonus that makes separating your work and personal life that much easier with a second phone number from Burner is the text auto-reply. You can create a message for your auto-responder letting people know when you’ll be able to get back to them, what your normal hours are, what your email address is, or anything else you think they might want to know.

Think of your autoresponder like an out of office response for your text messages.

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Customizable voicemail

Not only can you create an autoresponder for your text messages, but you can also create a customized voicemail response.

Include any information you think your clients need to know and then you can relax, knowing that DND mode is taking care of your business calls and texts while you fully enjoy your personal life.

Choose your area code

For small business owners, it’s often very important to have a phone number that has a local area that matches where the business is located, so that your clients or customers know you’re local. With a second phone number from Burner, you get to choose your area code, and you can even have multiple numbers with different area codes. This is a great advantage for salespeople who may work in multiple districts.

Take back your agency with a second phone number from Burner. You choose when you want to be on the clock and are available to respond to business requests, and when you aren’t. You can even put your business number on your website and business card, and rest easy knowing that your personal number remains private.

Burner makes it easier for you to create separation between your business and personal lives.

8 Ways to Use a Second Phone Number Online to Protect Your Privacy

Every time you sign up for a new service or app, you’re asked to share your personal information. Sometimes that’s just an email, but often it’s so much more—phone number, mailing address, ZIP code, even social security number in some cases.

The more things you sign up for, the more likely it is that your personal information—and we mean all of it—will be up for grabs for whoever has the right tools to find it.

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We want to open your eyes to just how often you share your phone number online, and how sharing such personal information can put you at risk. And that’s exactly why we put together this list of ways you can use a second phone number to protect your privacy online.

The first step to keeping your information private is being proactive, and making sure it doesn’t get out there in the first place.

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8 situations where you should use a second phone number instead of your personal number

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1. Online shopping

Often, when you place an order with a company online you have to give them your phone number. Why? We’re not sure. ‘Cause honestly, when was the last time a company called you instead of emailing you?

Next time you’re ordering that fidget spinner, or the quadcopter drone you’ve been dying to buy, and they ask you for a number, use a Burner and protect your privacy.

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2. Promoting your side hustle or small business

We’re big supporters of taking that side hustle you’ve been dreaming about for years to the next level. What better way to do that than to give your side hustle or small business its own phone number?

Now you can sell your products or services online without worrying about scammers accessing your personal phone number.

Post your second phone number to Etsy, take sales calls, answer customer questions via text. You can do it all with Burner and know that your personal number is protected.

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3. Activism!

Need to call your senator? If you want to protect your privacy, now you’ll have a second phone number from Burner which you can use to call them. Also check out LobbyPhone, which is integrated with our platform.

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4. Social media profiles

Whether you’re using social media for personal or business use, do you really want everyone that you connect with to know your personal phone number? There are a lot of creeps and trolls online. Protect yourself from them with a second phone number that you can discard anytime.

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5. Dating apps

Online dating is a great way to meet the love of your life.

But you may also run into a few unsavory characters along the way.

Protect your privacy by using a second phone number to give to people you meet online. Then if things go sour, you don’t have to worry about your safety or going through the hassle of changing the phone number you’ve had for years.

And if Mr. Persistent won’t let up, we have a utility called GhostBot to help you distance yourself safely.

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6. Selling on Craigslist or eBay

Next time you’re cleaning out your closet and starting a new life of minimalism while selling everything on Craigslist and eBay, protect your privacy by using your second phone number.

Create a temporary Burner, put that number in the listing, and burn it when you’re done.

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7. Sign up for (more) freebies

Want to sign up for the free trip or signed book they’re giving away? Do it! And now you don’t have to worry about giving away your personal phone number.

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8. SMS Bots

If you’re using an SMS bot to recommend new comic books, quit smoking, or whatever it is you’re doing to make yourself a better human, you can now protect your identity while doing so.

The tech savvy go-getter among you might also be interested in the Burner API, which can be used to make SMS bots of your own devising, as well as automate other necessary functions and has OAuth 2.0 built into it for authentication through Burner.

Using a second phone number helps you to protect you online by helping keep your personal information private. Don’t broadcast your personal phone number all over the web. Instead, use Burner to get a second phone number.

How do you use your second phone number to protect your privacy online? If you haven’t signed up yet, download the free iOS or Android app to get a 7-day free trial!

Second Phone Number For Your Wedding: How to Get One and All The Great Things It Can Do

second phone number for weddings

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From caterers to party planners to guests and the officiant, when you’re planning a wedding, everyone seems to need your phone number. A second phone number that’s dedicated specifically to planning your wedding can be a huge advantage.

And it’s easy to do.

To get your second phone number, just sign up for the Burner app, create a new phone number, and begin sharing it.

If you want to keep it simple, that’s all you have to do. But if you’re interested in using some of the many features available exclusively through Burner, you might be surprised to find that it will make planning your wedding a whole lot more fun.

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Know who’s calling and why

With a second phone number from Burner, you know that a call from an unknown number is about your wedding, not your work or personal stuff. In fact, you can have as many lines as you want. Knowing who is calling and why makes it easier to choose which phone calls to take and which to ignore.

Instead of finding yourself at work talking about wedding flowers and centerpieces, you can confidently let the call go to voicemail and get back to it later.

Each time you meet a vendor, give them your second phone number and rest assured that your personal number remains private.

Protect yourself from spam lists

Whether you’re signing up for mailing lists to look for a good deal on a wedding dress or just checking the availability of your local caterer, you’re likely going to have to give each person your email and phone number.

Creating an email address and phone number pair specifically for your wedding will help to protect your personal email and phone number against the inevitable spam vortex.

You can, of course, get new phone numbers through us. Free services like Gmail make it easy to sign up for extra email accounts, which you can forward or link to your main email account for convenience.

Your email and phone number are valuable assets—one that not everyone will treat with as much care as you do. It’s not uncommon for people to sell your personal information for their own gain. Taking extra precautions such as setting up secondary email addresses and phone numbers will make unplugging later, after the event, much easier.

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Peace of mind with custom voicemail and “Do Not Disturb” mode

With a second phone number from Burner, you can create a custom voicemail greeting that has all the information your vendors might need, including time and date of the wedding, a good email to reach you at, and when you’re available for calls or planning to respond to texts.

You can also set the number to Do Not Disturb (DND) mode. When this setting is turned on, phone calls will go directly to voicemail and not ring through to your phone.

Instead of receiving phone calls throughout the day on your personal or business phone number about your wedding, you can let all of those calls go to voicemail. When you’re ready to answer questions or call people back, you can do so at your leisure.

Create an info hotline

As with a custom voicemail, a savvy auto-responder will save you time and energy by providing common info that you know your wedding guests will need.

As the date draws closer, create a second line or convert your vendor line into an “info hotline” by setting up a custom text auto-responder that tells people what to bring, where you’re registered for gifts, or the time and place of the wedding. If you have a wedding website, you can link to that in the auto-responder. That way, when guests text you a million questions, you don’t have to spend your time responding to the same queries over and over.

When you send your invitations or create your wedding website, include your second phone number from Burner and give your guests that ability to reach you and your information hotline (you can use the same number for both).

You can always add more information to the text auto-responder as you receive new questions, and change the voicemail to offer new information as it gets closer to the big day.

Finally, if you’re ready to be a Burner master, you can turn your second phone number into a chatbot using the Evernote Connection. With a little bit of setup, you can create an even more sophisticated smart auto-responder that’s programmed to answer guests’ most frequent questions.

Everything from “what time does the ceremony start?” to “how do I get to the venue?” can be answered contextually through text messages. You can always hop in to respond manually if a question is unusually phrased or completely unique.

Keep your big day stress free

You don’t want to have to worry about answering the phone or answering questions on one of the most important days of your life.

With a second phone number from Burner, you can keep your big day stress free a few different ways.

Your text auto-responder and voicemail can be set up to give out all of the information about the ceremony that guests might need.

You can also set up call forwarding. Instead of calls ringing through to your phone and stressing you out, they can be automatically forwarded to your wedding planner or maid of honor / best man, so they can take any vendor calls or questions that come through.

Either way, instead of answering call and texts, let your Burner delegate for you.

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Gather well-wishes and photos in one place

A second phone number from Burner is a great way to build a collaborative photo album and message thread of your big day, or even create an “audio guestbook.”

Instead of a hashtag on social media, have your guests send the photos they take and their well-wishes as text messages to your Burner line. You can archive photos and voicemails to the cloud with Dropbox, and save photos as well as text messages with Google Drive. By the end of the night, you’ll have a beautiful collection of images taken by all of your friends and family that you can treasure forever.

The “audio guestbook” idea can be setup easily with Burner’s SoundCloud Connection. Just activate it on your line, then have your loved ones at the wedding (or even those who couldn’t make it) call and leave voicemail messages for you that you can save and cherish forever. Savvy audio users could even create a highlight reel to share with family later!

However you want to use your second phone number from Burner to make planning your big day a little bit easier, we know one thing: it’s going to be a beautiful wedding.

We’re always so happy to hear our customer’s stories and just how they’re using Burner. Let us know in the comments or through an email just how Burner has made it easier to plan your wedding.

Congratulations!