Caller ID is a service available through many phone companies that lets subscribers find out who is calling them before deciding whether to answer. Consumers gain a number of benefits from caller ID, including the ability to screen calls and improve efficiency. However, some individuals and businesses object to being identified and recorded by caller ID for a variety of reasons. Below is a closer look at caller ID and its benefits as well as reasons why many individuals and companies may want to block caller ID and the best methods of doing so.
What Is Caller ID?
Caller ID relays information about callers to those receiving calls while the phone is still ringing, allowing for screening or avoidance of calls after viewing the data on a phone screen or separate device. This technology is useful in both residential and commercial settings. For example, caller ID may discourage harassment or prank phone calls. Companies using caller ID can avoid taking less important or unnecessary calls and become more productive as a result. When recognized, unwelcome calls from telemarketers can be avoided as well. Even calls from friends, family and acquaintances can be screened if they arrive when time is short.
Why Callers Might Want to Block Caller ID
Reasons for wanting to block numbers from appearing on caller ID range from privacy concerns to commercial objectives. Not all callers are comfortable with having their numbers known or recorded by the parties they call. When consumers contact companies with questions about goods or services, they do not necessarily want their contact information to be taken, held and possibly sold later. Individuals who want to keep their work separate from their personal life can block caller ID to prevent clients from gaining their personal contact information. Whenever one is dealing with contacts from the public through sites like Craigslist, it is often best to hide contact information.
How to Block Your Number from Caller ID
It’s possible to block your phone number from caller ID on a temporary or permanent basis depending on your needs. Permanent methods usually require a subscription while temporary ones involve the use of an action before placing each private call. Below is a look at the four most popular methods of blocking caller ID.
1. For Single Calls
In the U.S. and Canada, callers can enter *67 before dialing a phone number to shield their information from the recipient’s caller ID. In the United Kingdom, residents can dial 141 to accomplish the same task. Codes vary outside of these areas.
2. Company Subscription
Many phone service providers offer continual privacy for a fee. When subscribers want to reveal their phone numbers, they simply dial *82 before dialing a phone number.
3. Prepaid Phone Cards
Callers can use phone cards to block their numbers from caller ID at the other end. Since the call will be routed through a third party, the call recipient will see the number of the third party instead of the caller.
4. Calling Through Voicemail
In some cases, cell phones allow users to place calls through their voicemail system. Instead of seeing the caller’s number, recipients will see the number of the voicemail line. This does still consume minutes from the user’s phone plan.