How many different websites and apps have your phone number along with other personal information? We get it if you’re not comfortable saying the number out loud.
Your phone number is, after all, one of the most frequently shared pieces of personally-identifiable information – and one that makes you vulnerable to attacks, hacking, identity theft, and whatnot.
Using a free temporary phone number is one way to tackle this issue and improve your privacy and security in the online world. However, these free services come with a host of problems that make them flat out impossible to use.
Stick around and see for yourself!
What’s a Temporary Phone Number – And Why You May Need One?
Your brain will probably jump straight to burner phones, which, honestly speaking, have a not-so-great reputation for being used for all sorts of criminal activities. We’ve all seen at least one Hollywood movie where the “bad guys” found these temporary phone numbers to be quite useful, so we get the connection.
However, we’re talking about a whole different type of temporary phone numbers here – those that aren’t linked to any piece of hardware or tied to a specific phone line, intending to protect your privacy and anonymity.
Your real phone number is connected to a dedicated phone line and device – but a temporary phone number isn’t. There are no network operators or carriers involved, and there are no physical connections; the entire process is Internet-based.
As the name implies, they’re used for a temporary purpose, too – for example, receiving SMS online or completing account verification – and remain active only as long as you need them to.
Now, you could be wondering why you should even bother with getting a temporary phone number? How much damage can give out your real number do, anyway?
First, there’s the risk of your phone number being used for criminal activity. You’d be shocked to learn how easy it is to track down the current address, date of birth, banking information, or social security number using nothing but a phone number.
Second, it’s scary to think about all the websites and apps that have your phone number already, especially when you think about the genuine possibility of them exploiting the personal info you provided.
As surprising as it may be for you, in the online world, temporary phone numbers are a rather common thing – and the number of people who use them in their daily lives only continues to grow.
There are many a scenario where using a temporary phone number, either free or received through a paid service, can be a smart move. The main idea, of course, is to maintain a sense of privacy in the online world and protect sensitive data from the ever-growing number of cybersecurity threats.
Two-step verification is one of the most common scenarios where it’s recommended to use a disposable phone number. Most websites and apps these days will require SMS verification for new accounts – but rather than giving out your real number, you can use a temporary one for account verification.
It comes with several other benefits, too, all of which come down to securing user data online and keeping your personal information untraceable.
Seriously, though, your phone number is a valuable, personally-identifiable piece of information – and a gateway to other personal info, too – and it shouldn’t be shared around freely and carelessly. There is an alternative, and it comes in the form of a temporary phone number.
Downsides of Using a Free Temporary Phone Number: Is Free Worth It?
A quick search will reveal a growing number of services, both website- and app-based, that can provide you with a free temporary phone number.
And that’s bound to leave you wondering:
Why should I bother paying for this service when numerous readily available alternatives are completely free?
We get it; free temporary phone numbers sound good in theory, and the idea of having this convenience without paying a single dime makes them super attractive to the average user.
In reality, though, free disposable phone numbers come with a ton of disadvantages. These often remain “hidden,” or rear their ugly face halfway through the process.
As you’re about to see, there are several issues that you’re likely to experience if you opt for a free temporary phone number.
1. Free Temporary Phone Numbers for Foreign Countries Are Hard to Find
If you live in the USA and need a US-based, free temporary phone number, then you might have some luck finding one that delivers as promised.
However, if cases where you need the number for an exclusively foreign website or you happen to live outside of the US, your chances of finding one that works drop down significantly.
The problem here is that the majority of these free services don’t bother to include foreign phone numbers. And even if you manage to find some that do, there’s a pretty good chance that your options will be severely restricted – and further limited to virtual phone numbers, rather than those coming from real SIM-cards:
We dug around a bit and discovered that the most popular free disposable phone number bases only bother to include one to two foreign phone numbers tops!
There are tens of thousands of others who had already used that same phone number before it ever got to you, which opens a whole other can of worms – and brings us to our next point.
2. They Were Blacklisted A Long Time Ago
There are but a limited number of times that a particular temporary phone number can be used for a given website or app before it gets blacklisted. Once it does, there’s no turning back. The problem is that free temporary phone number services feature a limited collection of phone numbers, both foreign and US-based.
Can you guess where’s this going?
When you use one of these free services to obtain a temporary phone number, you’re getting one that’s been insanely overused. The chances are that thousands of others already used it in the past, and it’s linked to more accounts and services than you could count.
More often than not, you’ll end up with a disposable phone number that’s already been recognized as “fake” by a particular website or app due to overuse – and at that point, it’s pretty much useless.
3. Things Are Rarely Kept Private
The lack of actual privacy is a massive red flag when it comes to services that offer free temporary phone numbers. Matters of privacy should never be taken lightly, and this alone should be reason enough to skip these free services and pay for something reliable, instead.
One of the primary reasons why you’re using a disposable phone number is to help maintain your privacy in the online world. And you probably won’t be too happy to realize that most of these free services keep everything out in the open and don’t bother going the extra step to keep things private.
What we’re saying is that these services store a lot more than just their list of free phone numbers on their websites:
The SMS messages received through these numbers are often public, as well.
MobileSMS.io Temporary Phone Numbers Come from Real SIM Cards
Yes, there are free services available – and you can certainly try your luck with them. But while they may be free of cost, you’ll probably switch to a paid service at some point due to all the issues we’ve discussed previously.
And as you’re about to see, yes, that switch will be worth it!
1. Our Temporary Phone Numbers Are Real and Private
All the disposable phone numbers in the MobileSMS database are real and private, which instantly gives us an edge over the competing services, both free and paid.
By using real phone numbers that come from real SIM-cards – the same ones you’d get if you bought a mobile phone – we can guarantee that our disposable numbers will work in a virtually limitless number of uses and applications.
The numbers won’t be detected as “disposable” when used on websites and apps, because they’re real.
More importantly, our temporary phone numbers are private. When you request a disposable phone number, it’s yours – and it won’t be shared with or sold to others. That way, you don’t have to worry about other accounts associated with it, which is a common concern with free temporary phone numbers.
2. Our Phone Numbers Work Abroad, Too
Most of these free services don’t bother with including phone numbers that work in foreign countries, limiting the available options to US-based numbers only.
MobileSMS.io, however, made the conscious effort to put together a versatile phone number database that won’t be limited by location-specific factors.
We’ve already included real SIM-card numbers not only from the USA but from many countries abroad, too. Not that we’re bragging, but our database features phone numbers from China, India, Vietnam, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands – and many more.
3. Your Online Privacy Is Our Top Priority
Our goal is protecting your privacy and helping you control what sensitive info you do or do not share with the online world. We’ve made it our point to make the online world as safe for you as possible.
Not only do we provide temporary phone numbers but ensure that any texts you do receive to your disposable number are for your eyes only, too.
When you get your temporary phone number, all the text messages and verification codes that you receive are strictly yours, rather than visible to all other users, as is often the case with free services.
4. Any Website and Any App, You Name It
Maybe your primary goal is to protect your online privacy, or you want to give online dating a try without handing out your phone number to strangers. Or perhaps you want to create more than one account on apps and websites that only allow one account per person.
Whatever the reason, a temporary phone number is your best bet.
On that note, we wanted to be sure that our database of disposable phone numbers meets any – and every – application you could come up with, from online shopping and account verification to online dating and creating multiple accounts on a single platform.
5. MobileSMS.io Is Super Easy to Use
In an attempt to make our services widely available to users around the world, regardless of how tech-savvy they are, we also made it incredibly easy to acquire a temporary phone number here on MobileSMS.io.
The registration process takes a minute or so, and you can request a disposable phone number as soon as you pick the country and the service that you’ll be using.
Once you get your disposable phone number, you’re free to use it on a previously selected website or app within a ten-minute time frame. For maximum convenience, you’ll receive all the relevant text messages and verification codes on your MobileSMS dashboard.
Wrapping Things Up
If there’s one thing that we’d like you to take away from all this free temporary phone number talk is that “free” isn’t always the way to go.
Sure, there’s the apparent benefit of not having to pay a dime for a disposable phone number, but after everything that we talked about, can you honestly say that you’re okay with all the potential downsides, too?
Yeah, we didn’t think so, either.
MobileSMS.io temporary phone numbers, on the other hand, are guaranteed to work, because they’re real SIM-card phone numbers that aren’t shared with or sold to others. Give us a shot and see for yourself!