Protect your privacy, your cell phone number and email address

Phone scams are endless because they to work. Scam texts are also on the rise. Here are five sure signs of a text is junk you need to delete.

While we’re talking about scams, I’d be remiss not to mention your inbox. Tap or click for convincing spam that landed in my email with not-so-obvious red flags.

One way to reduce the endless attempts to steal your money and information for sales to marketers is to limit who has your contact information. Here are some easy, free ways to do it.

Hide your email address with a burner

Think of all the reasons you might submit your email without thinking about it: signing up for a new account, emailing a company with a question or getting a coupon code – to name a few.

If you give out your email address, you’re opening yourself up to junk mail, malware and an inbox full of spam messages. This is where a burner email comes in handy.

Burner email addresses are disposable and can be used in place of your primary ones. There are several ways to get one.

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

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

  • To create a new email address, go to Settings and click on your Apple ID.
  • Go to iCloud > Hide My Email > Create new address.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen, and you will receive a new email address that you can manage from iCloud settings.

Gmail also allows you to create free aliases that are linked to your primary inbox. They are handy for filtering email or seeing if your email address ended up on a spam list.

Tap or click here and scroll to number 5 for steps to create new email addresses.

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Set up a burner phone number, too

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

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 from unknown numbers.

A burner phone can help you avoid calls from unknown numbers.
(iStock)

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 conditions and proceed to the next step.
  • Select a phone number from the list. You can search by city or area code.
  • Verify the number and enter a phone number to connect to your Voice account.
  • You will receive a six digit code to enter the next step.
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Use your Google Voice number however you like, especially if you need to add your number to a form online. Tap or click here for five smart ways to use Google Voice.

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

Burner is one of the most popular apps 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 lets you create numbers from around the world, so you can go outside 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)

Tech Smarts: Your old phone number can be used to steal your identity. Yikes. Here’s how and what you can do.

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Keep up your tech knowledge

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Haut.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Look for it where you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click on the link below for a recent episode.

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PODCAST PICK: Sell ​​your poop, stop sharing Netflix, delete these apps

Think before you flush. Your poop could be worth big bucks. (Yes, really.) Plus, Netflix wants you to stop sharing your account, Amazon Music offers Prime members expanded 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.

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

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

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Tune in to Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch the Kim Komando show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or tap or click here for 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 affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products that I believe in.

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

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