If you haven’t heard about what it is, a virtual number is a phone number in the cloud, on the Internet, that can perform functions similar to a computer. Most virtual numbers serve the simple task of forwarding a phone call to a primary phone number. For example, if you give out a virtual number and you have it forwarding to your primary phone number, the person calling your virtual number would never know that they are calling your number, but would be redirected through your virtual number to your phone number.
Virtual number services are now going beyond just performing the simple task of forwarding and becoming affordable automated virtual assistants to an extent. It will still not be able to make your coffee unless you have it scripted to do so, but virtual numbers can assist you with recording calls, holding virtual conferences, leaving messages to those who call, or even allowing for voicemail.
The latest and greatest systems of virtual numbers allow companies to ditch the overhead and high costs of hardware, software, installation, setup fees, and maintenance fees, as well as cancellation fees by offering one account with directory listings and nearly unlimited extensions to choose from. For example, pressing 1 for Sales, 2 for Support, 3 for Billing, 4 for General Inquiries, and so on and so forth will forward a call to a specific number. Extensions allow for the dialing of any number in order to connect to any phone number chosen. Thus, it can be a virtual assistant that reroutes all calls to their proper place.
So who is a virtual number for and why? A virtual number is for anyone and everyone. Whether you are an individual, an entrepreneur, a startup, or an established company. You can even have a virtual number for your household!
Growing up, there was one phone line in the house, a landline, that your mother was usually on. There were definitely calls from your mom’s friends and sometimes even your friends. As mobile phones became more portable and affordable, teenagers were able to acquire cell phones and use them to make and receive calls directly from their friends.
Imagine everyone having their own cell phones, but having a single “family line” that could be redirected throughout the household. For example, using Call Me Private’s custom directory listing would allow the family to set up their own call service. When the virtual number is dialed, the caller would hear, “For Dad press 1, for Mom press 2, for Joey press 3, for Sara press 4”, and so on and so forth.
Using Call Me Private’s extension feature, Dad can have the extension 1000, mom can have the extension of 1001, Joey can have the extension of 9000, and Sara can have 9999. When someone calls the virtual number, they can hear those public extensions and reach the person they desire. If set to a private extension, the caller would have to know those extensions offhand.
Most companies will usually invest in thousands of dollars to set up equipment for their phone lines, usually paying the phone company a set amount to have a set amount of phone lines reserved for them. Not only does the company have to pay for the phone lines, but all of the equipment that the phone company provides as well. If the phone company does not provide it, than the company has to go shopping for expensive equipment.
Using Call Me Private’s features, with call directory listings (a.k.a. auto attendant) of up to 9 available spaces, and 8,999 available extensions, numbers can easily be redirected to every employee cell phone if the company preferred to forego the hardware phone equipment. The employee’s cell phone would never be known, but the virtual number and extension would be associated with a specific employee phone number, especially if they are remote workers.
The conference feature allows the virtual number to be turned into a conference, for which up to 100 people can call into for a virtual meeting all at the same time in a single chat room over the phone.
It seems that nowadays, everyone and their mother is an entrepreneur. Most people are tired of the daily 9–6 and are looking for ways to work for themselves and their clients. They want to be their own boss, sell their own products or services, and make a living doing this, especially if it means getting to work from home and having a better work-life balance which most companies can barely provide.
Entrepreneurs often have to do a lot of work including finding their audiences, marketing themselves, convincing their potential clients to buy their product or service, etc. This usually includes giving out a business card which includes website, email address, and a phone number. Considering that giving out a personal phone number can often lead to a ton of phone calls might draw annoyances, specifically if you are taking a break from being an entrepreneur, or just prefer to have your number private again.
With Call Me Private’s virtual number service, not only can an entrepreneur organize their life by using multiple virtual numbers, but they can use those numbers for different events. For example, if that entrepreneur traveled to California and Alabama for a convention. They could give out the California virtual number and anyone who calls it, they would know they met in California. Anyone calling the Alabama number, they are likely to be from that state. With Call Me Private’s announcement feature, the entrepreneur can receive a text message knowing who is calling which virtual number.
A virtual number can organize and keep an entrepreneur up to date with who is calling and even why they are calling. No longer does there have to be worry about how someone got your number. For any state the entrepreneur travels, a virtual number is available for that state.
Most people really do not mind if their privacy is breached. If they did, the fact that 145 million Americans’ data was hacked by the credit bureau’s Equifax would be a much bigger deal. Supposedly, there are some lawsuits going on and those 145 million Americans are going to see some compensation, but does that really make up for the fact that hackers have that much data? 145 million Americans is nearly half of all Americans, so you could be in a room of 100 people, and it is likely that around 45 of the people in that room had their data stolen.
Other services including Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Instagram, and every iOS or Android app you use also have some form of your data. Most of us freely give over this information without a second thought. There are, however, some people who use Incognito mode, Tor browser, a VPN or an IP scrambler, ProtonMail, and other tools to keep their computer browsing data as private and secure as possible.
These people may even buy burner phones to avoid keeping a permanent mark instead of using a major phone company. Virtual numbers can provide a great service to these people by protecting and securing their personal phone number, scrambling who has called them and who they are calling.
Handing out a virtual number freely to anyone should come without worry, as this number can always be changed at a moment’s notice. It is considered a disposable temporary number. You need not really worry about the Internet having your virtual number. If you put it on your website or even Craigslist, or any website that may require it, you can expect it to get its fair share of legit people calling you, but there may also be a slight chance of attracting spammers or scammers. No problem at all! You can block these calls or change your virtual number!
It is not really men who would have this problem, but something that sparks hesitance in lots of women is giving out their number to some random guy, or maybe even a guy who might have asked them out on a date. While it is not that she wanted to say no, she just grew slightly weary of giving out her number to someone who might stalk her or otherwise keep calling, even if the date did not go well.
Her date might have her number and maybe she does not want him to have it anymore. With a virtual number, she no longer has to worry about her privacy or the fact that some guy has her number. If he keeps calling her, she has two choices: block his number or ditch the virtual number and get a new one.
This should give most women who date a peace of mind to know that if she ever crosses paths with him again and she gets that awkward stare, she can always use the excuse that she changed her number. After all, it is cheap enough to change on a monthly basis.
Before you make your judgments, just know that the service provides virtual numbers only. Virtual numbers do not provide counseling for a person who might be using an “adult service”. Thus, we cannot actually be held responsible for what someone does with their virtual number.
When I was first designing a virtual number service, I had mentioned the idea to several people that I often confide in to get their thoughts and opinions for further brainstorming. One of those people mentioned Ashley Madison, which is a website that helps people to have affairs. Now I don’t know anything about it personally, have never used it, don’t plan on using it, and I do not endorse it, but I had to ask him, “Why?” He responded, “If men (or women) could hide the fact they were calling someone, this would be perfect for them.” Interesting that he said this even with his wife sitting right beside him. I hadn’t thought about that, but yeah, it could definitely be used for that purpose.
When you use your phone number to call your virtual number, you could make an outgoing call to a phone number, but that phone number is never known, as the only known phone number called was your virtual number. The number calling your phone is from the virtual number which is forwarding a phone call to your phone. This virtual number is given the appearance on caller ID of the actual number that is calling it, however, your phone log would only show the virtual number, thus protecting the privacy of the phone calls.
There are tons of other things that can be done with a virtual number, from re-routing calls through a household to giving up to 8,999 employees an extension from a single virtual number, and allowing those extensions to make outgoing calls to the virtual number. Virtual numbers can provide any company or entrepreneur the appearance of a professional establishment. From call forwarding to outward calling and recording, the virtual number can serve as an affordable alternative to expensive hardware and software equipment. A virtual number is as good as the company that uses it.
Being an alternative method to the traditional phone service, companies that switch to a virtual number service could save thousands of dollars a year. Non-companies are also able to afford such services, designed not just for the company, but the individual, the entrepreneur, and the startup, whose budget are all likely to be somewhat limited.
Virtual numbers allow for privacy that you cannot find with a phone number. Your virtual number can be temporary meaning that you can change it at anytime. Start receiving too many unsolicited calls and you can either block those calling or just change your virtual number. They allow you to mask your location completely, as they are available around the country. Whether giving out your virtual number or making a call from your virtual number, you have complete privacy.
What better way to keep your life more private than to have virtually untraceable inbound and outbound phone calls? Any phone company could easily hand over your records of who you called, but with a virtual number service, this would be more complicated, as the phone company would not have the complete records of inbound and outbound calls to and from the actual phone numbers.
If you haven’t tried a virtual number service yet, Call Me Private makes things easy for you, and can be done in as little as three steps:
- add your method of payment
- verify your personal phone number
- select and add a virtual number
Once you have completed these three steps, you can begin using your virtual number immediately. No setup. No wait. No installation. In just a few clicks, you can have your very own private and personal virtual number ready to use for whatever you might use it for — no judgments or questions for what you are doing with your virtual number!
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