The entire internet is working to acquire and sell any data it can manage to gather from you; fortunately, a VoIP can help! VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Basically, it’s an internet-based phone number, acquired on any number of apps or sites. In July, we discussed how spammers get ahold of your email address. It’s collected every time you make an account on a website, join a mailing list, etc. People buy those lists of email address, and then can spam the daylights out of you. But that’s not all! Facebook and Twitter have each admitted to giving marketers (read: spammers) our phone numbers too! Do we sign up for sites using our phone numbers? Not typically. Certainly not like email addresses! So where are they getting our digits from?
The Real Reason for a VoIP
The answer is two factor authentication (2FA for short). On many sites you can elect to prove that each of your logins are performed yourself by enabling this security feature. Typically, the site will send a code to that phone number, you type that code in on the website, and you’re in. It’s an important feature for account security, and it feels CRIMINAL that our security data, of all things, is being sold for marketing purposes.
Just like you have a spam-only email address, you can funnel all the phone-based nonsense to a VoIP! Not every website will allow an internet-based phone number for 2FA, but then there are 2FA apps to try, and so on. While it may feel like overkill, having your personal phone number gives access to documents such as your voter registration, real estate history, court proceedings, etc.
You can never tell exactly what a corporation is going to do with the data they gather. Ideally, you know all of these tips before putting your information everywhere, but it’s not exactly common knowledge! Keep checking back for more continuing education on how to keep your data YOURS in the digital age.