Q:

How secure are residential phone listings?

A:

Quick Answer

Phone number listings are accessible to the public unless the owner chooses to utilize services to protect the privacy of a phone number. There are ways to have the number unlisted, unpublished or blocked.

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Full Answer

The owner may request that a phone number remain unlisted, which means it's not available in a public phone directory. An unlisted phone number, also referred to as private, may still be shared or sold. A phone number can also be unpublished at the request of the owner, which means that it's both unlisted and also not available for sale or sharing.

A phone number is blocked by either requesting per-line blocking or per-call blocking. Per-line blocking prevents the phone number from appearing on caller ID on all calls made from that number. With the per-call blocking option, the user must dial a code prior to making an outgoing call in order to activate the block. Both options can be set up with the phone company.

Another way to protect a phone number is to register it with the National Do Not Call Registry. This will restrict telemarketing sales calls from contacting the number. Additionally, the number can be removed from online consumer databases, which also house information linked to the number, such as name and address. Instructions on how to have a number removed from such databases can be obtained from the privacy policy on the Intelius official website.

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