Keep your landline telephone number from appearing in a directory by asking the phone company for a private listing. The best time to make this request is when installing a new phone or changing a number. The phone company sometimes charges a setup fee and monthly service charge for the unlisted number. Most cellphones are not listed in a directory unless the owner lists the number himself.
A private phone number keeps the owner's address and number out of print directories and directory assistance listings. It can help to reduce the number of marketing calls the number receives. However, the number remains accessible to emergency services.
Although removing a phone number from the directory increases privacy, many phones have caller ID. This means that even though the phone number is not in a directory, it displays on the recipient's phone when making a call. It is possible to block this information by dialing a special code before making a call. Some phone companies offer to block numbers permanently from caller ID.
The National Do Not Call Registry can place a phone number on a list of numbers that telemarketers are not allowed to call. Once a number is registered for 31 days, owners have the right to file a complaint if telemarketers continue to call.