How to Mask Your Phone Number for Privacy & Protection [2024 Guide]

February 5, 2024
·
6 min

Protect yourself from future breaches

You can try Cloaked for free for 14 days

Do you need to mask your phone number?

We vote yes.

Americans waste 227 million hours (equivalent to 9.4 million days) on spam calls. Spam isn’t the only problem. People with access to your personal phone number can potentially find more information about you, persistently make unwanted contact–and even sell your data for profit.

Fortunately, masking your phone number is easy when you have the right tools. Masked phone numbers work pretty much the same way as your real number–and they’re disposable.

Let’s talk about what exactly masking your phone number means, how it works, and how you can mask your phone number using your phone or computer.

What Does It Mean to Mask Your Phone Number?

Masking your phone number helps you make calls without displaying your number.

Instead of sharing your real number with people, you share a different phone number (also called a burner number). When someone calls this number, it’s routed to your actual phone number.

Different apps use different names for their phone number masking feature. For instance, Cloaked calls this “cloaking.”

Cloaking helps you generate completely new identities. Cloaked generates a unique email and phone number so you can use this identity on social media, online dating, or anywhere you please.

How Does Masking Phone Numbers Work?

The first thing you need is an app that offers a second phone number. This phone number works like a “cloak” for your real phone number.

Imagine you’re Batman and you have two phone numbers—one belongs to Batman and the other belongs to Bruce Wayne.

When you mask your phone number, you only reveal Batman’s phone number. When someone calls Batman, the call is forwarded to Bruce Wayne, keeping your real identity as Bruce Wayne a secret.

Why would someone mask their phone number?

Phone number masking, or cloaking, has various practical applications like:

Sharing Phone Numbers Publicly

Online dating platforms are full of strangers trying to get your contact details.

Many of them are persistent about chatting with you, and no matter how clearly you communicate, they don’t seem to give up. Almost two-thirds of women and 27% of men under 35 have experienced persistent contact from a person they met on a dating platform, even after saying they’re not interested.

But, it’s not just online dating. Sharing phone numbers publicly anywhere can be a recipe for disaster. Sharing your number in online portals or social media can be an open invitation to spammers.

If you mask your phone number, you can just trash the second phone number if things get out of hand.

Business Communications

Receiving work calls after business hours? Protect your personal time by always sharing a second phone number with business associates and clients.

Using two separate numbers helps you manage personal and business communication separately.

Some apps might even help you track customer calls, monitor response times, and assess call volume on your business number.

Temporary Communication

You regularly share your number with people whom you need to be in touch with only for a brief period.

When you’re selling something on an online marketplace, renting your property for a few days, or subscribing to services that might potentially spam you, it’s best to use a masked number.

Once your interaction, relationship, or transaction ends, discard the number.

Benefits of Phone Number Masking

Phone number masking (or cloaking) gives you more control over your privacy. Here are some privacy benefits of phone number masking:

1. Keep Your Real Phone Number Private

The most obvious benefit of phone number masking is that it keeps your real phone number a secret. No more worrying about hackers getting your info through data breaches, or telemarketers paying for your data.

2. Security

Hiding your phone number protects you against unwanted attention from telemarketers and persistent acquaintances who just won’t take a hint–or are trying to spam you.

3. Dump Phone Numbers

Phone number masking gives you control over who can reach you. If you want to cut off communication with someone, you can easily dump your virtual phone number and generate a new one.

4. Keep Business and Personal Communication Separate

There’s no need to carry two separate phones to keep business and personal communication separate when you can get a second phone number that forwards calls to your real phone number.

5. Dodge International Charges

When you want to call your folks back in the States while sipping coffee somewhere in Paris, using a second phone number can help you avoid international rates.

Providers use VoIP technology to help you make these calls using the internet, which means you don’t pay international calling fees.

6. Peace of Mind

You never have to worry about your information falling into the wrong hands after masking your phone number. In fact, you can create unique identities (or “cloaks”) using Cloaked when creating an account on a website.

With just a few clicks, Cloaked can create a new identity with a unique name, email, and phone number. Every time you need to sign up, you can create a new identity. Or you can group specific platforms into a single identity.

Cloak your identities across various use cases

How to Mask Your Phone Number When Texting

Phone number masking hides your phone number when texting, too. Here’s how you can mask your phone number when texting:

1. Sign Up With Cloaked

Sign up with Cloaked, an app that offers privacy solutions. Once you’ve signed up, download the app to your phone.

Generate identity with Cloaked

2. Get Your “Masked” Number

Log into your Cloaked account and go to the “Create” section. Generate a new identity, which includes various elements—a phone number, email, password, username, and a one-time passcode.

Create new identity with Cloaked

3. Start Texting

Select the “Identities” section from the bottom, tap on your phone number, and select “Text from [phone number]” to send a text using your masked phone number.

Example of Cloaked identity

Need a second (or third, or fourth) number?

Cloak your number in seconds with Cloaked.

How to Mask Your Phone Number When Calling

The process for texting and calling is pretty much the same:

1. Sign Up With Cloaked

Sign up for a Cloaked account on the Cloaked website. Or download the app on your phone and sign up using the app.

2. Get Your “Masked” Number

If you’ve already created an identity for texting, you can skip to step 3.

Log into your Cloaked account, select “Create” from the options at the bottom of the app, and create a new identity. This identity includes a phone number, but you’ll need to generate it first.

Create new identity with Cloaked

About to make a call but don’t want to reveal your real number?

Cloak your phone number in a few clicks.

3. Use Your Cloaked Phone Number for Calling

Head over to the “Identities” section in the Cloaked app. Tap on your phone number and select “Call from [phone number]” and when the dialer opens, type in the number you want to call.

Cloaked identity example

How to Mask Your Phone Number When Using Social Media or Dating Apps

When using social media or dating apps, Cloaked helps you generate unique identities for each account. This means you never have to share your real phone number or email.

You can discard your identity whenever you need to with a few clicks. Here’s how you can mask your phone number to protect your privacy when using online dating or social media platforms:

1. Sign Up With Cloaked

Sign up with Cloaked using either the website or the phone app—available on Android as well as iOS.

2. Get Your Cloaked Identity

Launch the app and select the “Create” option at the bottom of your screen. Generate an identity, including a new phone number and email.

If you’re using the Cloaked website, click on the “New identity” button at the bottom-left and generate a new phone number and email.

Cloaked identity

How to Hide Your Number on an iPhone

Here’s the process of hiding your number when calling or texting from an iPhone:

1. Sign Up With Cloaked

Download Cloaked to your iPhone. Launch the app and sign up.

2. Get Your New Identity

Create a new identity on Cloaked by tapping on “Create” and then selecting “Generate” next to the phone number field.

New Cloaked identities

3. Start Calling

Navigate to “Identities” from the bottom of the app, tap on the phone number, and select “Call from [phone number]” to make calls.

How to Hide Your Number on an Android

The process to hide your phone number on Android will be the same as iPhone:

  1. Sign up with Cloaked using the Android app.
  2. Create a new identity and generate a new phone number.
  3. Go to the “Identities” section, tap on the phone number, and choose the relevant option to make calls or send texts.

How to Mask Your Phone Number on Landline

Image of a landline telephone

Masking your phone number on a landline isn’t as straightforward as it is on mobile phones because of traditional systems. Here are some options you could try:

  • Ask your service provider: Your landline service provider might offer options to hide your caller ID.
  • Use a third-party service: A third-party service provider might offer a second phone number you can give out instead of your actual number to make and receive calls without revealing your real number.
  • Use *67: This vertical service code doesn’t always work on landlines. Whether the code will work for you or not depends on your location and service provider.

More About Masked Phone Numbers

Now that you know the basics of masked phone numbers, let’s address a few commonly asked questions.

How do I create a mask phone number?

You can create a virtual number that masks your real number using an app like Cloaked. The app lets you make calls using your virtual number and all calls to your virtual number are routed to your real number. So you never have to share your real phone number.

What does *67 do?

*67 is a vertical service code to hide your number from the recipient’s phone. Almost all service providers, including Verizon and AT&T, support this vertical service code.

When you add *67 before dialing someone’s number, the recipient sees a message like “Restricted” or “Private number” on their phone, even if they have your number in their phone.

*67 is a great way to call people from whom you don’t want to receive a callback. For example, if you’re calling a client after business hours for an emergency from your personal phone number, you might not want them to call you back on your personal number.

One thing to note—some people configure their phones to automatically block hidden or private numbers. If your recipient has blocked hidden numbers and you use *67, your call won’t go through.

What is an example of phone number masking?

Suppose you want to sell your car online.

The portal asks for your number, but you don’t want to share it publicly and you’re worried about the number ending up in the hands of spammers.

So you sign up with Cloaked, an app that helps you create a unique phone number to put up on the car sales platform.

When a potential buyer calls this number, it’s routed to your actual phone. The best part? The buyer never sees your real digits.

How do I hide my caller ID?

There are multiple ways to hide your caller ID:

  • The *67 vertical service code: Adding *67 before dialing a number hides your caller ID for that specific call.
  • Changing phone settings: Some smartphones have a built-in option to hide caller ID. Search for “caller ID” in the settings app to see if your phone offers this feature. If it does, toggle it off to hide your caller ID for all outgoing calls.
  • Contact your service provider: In some cases, the service provider might help you block your caller ID for all outgoing calls.

Mask Phone Numbers With Cloaked

Masking your phone number helps you protect your privacy throughout your entire online ecosystem. Getting one is quick and easy, but there’s more to protecting your privacy than masking your phone number.

With Cloaked, you can create identities. This means you can generate a second email, username, and password as well. You can use a different identity on all platforms so you can dump an identity if you feel the need.

Like the sound of it?

Get Cloaked today.

Protect yourself from future breaches

You can try Cloaked for free for 14 days
View all
Data Privacy
February 16, 2024

How to Send a Secure Email: Your 2024 Email Privacy Guide

How to Send a Secure Email: Your 2024 Email Privacy Guide

by
Arjun Bhatnagar
Data Privacy
February 16, 2024

How to Send a Secure Email: Your 2024 Email Privacy Guide

How to Send a Secure Email: Your 2024 Email Privacy Guide

by
Arjun Bhatnagar
Data Privacy
January 24, 2024

4 Steps to Experience Privacy Wellness in 2024

4 Steps to Experience Privacy Wellness in 2024

by
Arjun Bhatnagar
Data Privacy
January 24, 2024

4 Steps to Experience Privacy Wellness in 2024

4 Steps to Experience Privacy Wellness in 2024

by
Arjun Bhatnagar
Data Privacy
January 17, 2024

Airbnb Guest Privacy Misdeeds & What You Can Do to Protect Yourself [2024]

Airbnb Guest Privacy Misdeeds & What You Can Do to Protect Yourself [2024]

by
Michael Abbate
Data Privacy
January 17, 2024

Airbnb Guest Privacy Misdeeds & What You Can Do to Protect Yourself [2024]

Airbnb Guest Privacy Misdeeds & What You Can Do to Protect Yourself [2024]

by
Michael Abbate