Do you remember a time when you would answer the phone with no idea who was on the other end? Sometimes you would just let the answering machine answer and wait until you knew who it was before you would pick up. Thankfully, since the late ’90s most of us have caller ID, and even better, today all smartphones come standard with caller ID —you no longer have to wonder who is calling. However, that same technology allows the people you are calling to identify you by your number and possibly also by your name, and that isn’t always a good thing. 

Are you wondering why? Check out these seven reasons you would want to block your phone number from caller ID. 

Protect Personal Information

You may not realize this, but when people have your phone number, they can research you and find out your personal information. Google your phone number and you will immediately get your full name, and sometimes your address. Then Google that information and watch how much you will find out about yourself. But if you block your number, only the people you want to have your personal data will have it. 

Calling From Your Work Number

If you are calling from a work line in the office or from a work-issued cell phone, you may not want those numbers given out. People often return a call without manually dialing a number, and imagine if someone you barely knew called your work asking for you. Or worse, what if you were calling someone from work because you didn’t want to be bothered in the future, and suddenly they are always calling you at work. Block the number and save yourself a headache.  

Calling From a Friend’s Phone

Calling someone from your friend’s phone is similar to calling someone from work — neither party wants to receive return calls from the people you are trying to reach. Remember that you wouldn’t want your personal information given out to your friend’s friends or your friend’s contacts, so don’t give your friend’s contact information out either. 

Calling a Telemarketer

You have probably received your share of telemarketer calls over the year, and even some that call day after day until you call them back and ask that they remove your name and number from their list. If you are calling them from a different number, such as your cell phone, you will want to block your number so that they don’t get that information and begin bugging you on a new number. 

Calling About an Ad

Have you ever called someone advertising something on Craigslist or a similar website, and then had that person call you back even though you never gave them your information? That can happen when you call an unknown person without blocking your number. Although you may be safe in most cases, there is the occasional annoying person who keeps pestering you until they have sold their items. 

Calling From Your Child’s Phone

As a parent, you want to protect your child, and one of the ways you do this is by not allowing anyone other than friends or family to have access to your kid’s phone number. Ensure that no one else gets his or her number by teaching your child how to block his or her caller ID when making outgoing calls. Learn how anyone can block their number with T-Mobile’s incredibly easy step-by-step directions. 

Making an Anonymous Call

If you have witnessed a crime or have seen or heard information that might be helpful to report to the police or to another party, you might want to report the information anonymously. Although you can call the authority and refuse to supply your personal information, there is still a chance that they can find out who you are simply by seeing your telephone number on their caller ID. But if you block your number, you are truly making an anonymous call. 

There is a time and a place for sharing your caller ID with the people you call. Identify the right times, and pay attention to the wrong times. When the time is wrong, block your caller ID and avoid the frustration and hassles that can arise. 

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