The Internet has opened up all kinds of information to anyone in the world that wants it, and that includes your home phone number. If you would like to keep your home phone number but remove it from public access then you need to unlist your phone number. There is a series of steps you should follow to make sure that your phone number remains unlisted to the public, and remains off limits to telemarketing companies as well.
Contact your local phone company and ask to have your phone number unlisted. The most efficient way to insure that your number will be kept private is to request a new phone number and then have that number unlisted. It can take up to six months for your existing phone number to become completely unlisted in all of the print and online phone directories, as it takes time for the changes to take effect.
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Sign up for the federal Do Not Call registry that prevents telemarketing companies from being allowed to call you with unsolicited sales calls. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there is a 31-day waiting period from the day you sign up to the last day that telemarketers can call you. If you receive an unsolicited telemarketing call after that 31-day window, request the name and phone number of the company from the telemarketing representative and report the company to the Federal Trade Commission.
Search through online phone directories and ask to have your name removed. To do this you will need to conduct an Internet search for online phone directories, check each directory to make sure your information is listed and then go to the Privacy section of the website to find out the procedure for removing your information from their listing.
Contact the three credit reporting agencies and request that your phone number be kept private. The credit reporting agencies include your phone number on any credit report they issue whether or not your number is unlisted with the phone company. This will eliminate another possible source for having your number revealed.
Check each new issue of the print and online phone directories from your phone company to make sure your number remains unlisted.
Let family and friends know that you are having your phone number unlisted. Ask them to not distribute your phone number without asking your permission first.
- CNN Money: You Don't have to Unplug the Phone
- Internet Family Fun: Getting Unlisted in the Internet Age
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: Junk Mail
- National Do Not Call Registry
- White Pages Directory: Removing an Entry
- Experian Credit Reporting Agency
- Equifax Credit Reporting Agency
- Trans Union Credit Reporting Agency