Are you in the habit of giving out your phone number to every Tom, Dick, and Harry? Can you count the number of forms you’ve filled online and offline that included your phone number? Have you ever paused and wondered how much information people can get from your digits?
In case you aren’t aware, your 10 digits can reveal a lot about you. This vital piece of information you give out at the grocery store and on social media can showcase your full name, home address, educational history, pictures, and a whole lot more. But that’s not all! They won’t even need to pay to get most of this information about you. Scary, right?
That’s why this post is for you. We’ll shed more light on the kind of information people can glean from your digits. Hopefully, you’ll be more cautious when people ask for this seemingly harmless personal information online and offline.
How It Works
Any time you sign up for newsletters, rewards programs, and incentives with your 10 digits online and offline, you’re leaving behind a digital footprint. This data footprint is often different to erase and can be a tool that can connect the different dots of your data points.
Some companies primarily buy consumer data from different places, put them all together, and sell them to anyone who wants them. Therefore, you have to be careful out there while dishing out your personal information.
Information One Can Get From a Phone Number
Communication has evolved over the years, and it’s nearly impossible not to have a mobile number people can reach you through. But what most people don’t realize is that this makes up part of their personal information and shouldn’t be given out carelessly.
Let’s look at how the information your digits reveal about you can be used by those who are eager to receive it.
1. Discover your name:
There are many online platforms where one can know the name of the owner of a set of digits. With a reverse phone lookup tool, for example, a person can discover the name behind the number in just three simple steps. All it takes is to go to the website, type the digits, and click on the search button. Viola!!! Just like that, your name and other personal information will be available.
2. Pin down your location:
When you share your digits, there are chances that you’re also sharing your location. Someone who wants to get your current address can search for this information either through a people search website or through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. If you used your contact details to open an account on these platforms, a search of your location using your details can sniff it out.
3. Know your time zone:
Since discovering location has been made easy using mobile contact, getting the time zone is much easier. You’ll be wondering how a person who may not be living in your country is calling you at an appropriate time. It’s simple; the person has already looked up your time zone using your mobile contact.
4. Get access to your social media profiles:
When people have your mobile contact, they can simply search your profile on social media platforms like TikTok, Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Every social media user knows that some of the things they have on their social media platforms are, in most cases, exclusive for friends and families.
However, if you haven’t set privacy on social media, a total stranger will be able to access all of that information with just a search using your digits.
5. Run a background check:
Not everyone would want a background check from an unwanted person, first because of security reasons and then because some people may have some things in the past that they would love to remain in the past.
With a simple cell number, random people can discover lots of things about you. For example, it can help expose who your family and friends are. Furthermore, it can reveal your associates, relationship history, work and business history, crime history, and a lot more.
6. Know your credit score and employment history:
Finance is one of the things many people want to keep secret. But with your 10 figures in the hands of other people, this may not be information for only you.
Credit reporting agencies in the US, like Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, can provide your credit information to anyone. This service will only cost the person looking for your credit score a couple of dollars. They will also get access to your name and email address. Another piece of information that can be obtained from these agencies is your employment history.
7. Find your business:
While it’s a great thing to use a mobile number to run a business, it will be a very bad idea if you use your personal phone number as your business number.
For some reason, you may want to keep your business a secret; however, this may not be possible if you’re the type that uses the same number for both business and personal use. Anybody can get all the information they want about your business by simply using the number you listed in your business profile.
Is There a Way Out?
There sure is. The first step, of course, is to be aware that your privacy is important, and you need to safeguard it as much as possible. That’s how to maintain good digital hygiene.
- Be cautious when giving out your personal digits.
- Audit all social media and online accounts and check your privacy settings.
- Don’t give out private information on sites in exchange for rewards or incentives.
- Get an extra phone number just like you have extra email addresses.
- Remove any inappropriate information people have access to from platforms like PhoneHistory.
- Create a Google alert to monitor any online content associated with your name.
The amount of information available to complete strangers through one phone number may come as a shock to you. But don’t fret! You can try to either retrace your steps or be more careful with the information you put out there.
Safeguarding your private information can give you a sense of security and protect the interests of your relatives and loved ones.
Now that you know how traceable your data footprint is with just one piece of information, you can take the steps we outlined to restore some level of privacy to your life. Good luck with that!