How to hide your phone number UK

It is quite easy to hide your phone number if you are in the UK. Doing so will prevent the person you are calling from seeing your phone number and help you remain private. However, since a change in UK regulations, you´ll find it less likely that a call using a hidden number will actually get through to the recipient, at all. You can find out more at the bottom of this article, but listed below are the ways you can hide your number.

Calling from a Landline or Mobile Phone

Whether you want to withhold your Mobile number or a Landline number, simply dial 141 before the number you want to call.

  • From Keypad
  • Dial 141
  • Dial number you are calling
  • Press Call
  • Your phone number for this call will be withheld

Example: Number to call 07727457526 – dial 14107727457526

This will work when you want to dial one off numbers. If you want something more permanent, where maybe you are dialling a batch of numbers you will want to set up Permanent Withholding. Here is how you can hide your number for Landlines, iPhones or Android Phones:

Permanent Withholding BT Landline

  • Call BT on freephone 0800 800 150
  • Request to add ´Withhold your Number’
  • Await Confirmation
  • Now all calls you make will show as ‘number withheld’ when you call
  • Dial 1470 before any number to temporarily unhide your number

How to hide your number UK – Permanently on iPhone

  • Open the Phone Settings
  • Go to Phone
  • Find My Caller ID, and UNTICK it
  • Your iPhone Number is Now Permanently Withheld

How to hide your number UK – Permanently on Android

  • Open The Phone App
  • Tap The Three-Dot Menu Icon > Settings
  • Next, Click on Supplementary Services
  • Click Show My Caller ID and Select The HIDE NUMBER option

Why is it bad to hide your number?

It might seem handy to withhold your number. Maybe you have received a call from an unknown number and want to call it back, but we wouldn’t advise it permanently. Your friends, family, colleagues won’t know it is you and most people nowadays will not pick up the phone when they don’t recognise a number, assuming it is a spam call.

Why you feel the need to hide your number?

There could be a few reasons you feel it necessary to hide your number but in the majority of cases it will due to you wanting to protect your identity. Protecting your phone number from scammers and spammers is a top priority. Once your phone number is in the public domain you could be fair game for all kinds of phone hacks, even identity theft.

By hiding your number, you’re not only keeping your identity and personal information private, you’re also giving yourself peace of mind that you’re not going to be interrupted with an annoying robocall when you’re in the middle of bigger and better things.

One of the biggest risks from sharing your number online these days doesn’t come from robocalls. Those are just annoying and scammy at their worst, but hackers pose a unique and persistent threat to all types of private data. One of the worst and most common methods of attacking a person with phishing schemes actually involves stealing a legitimate phone number and signing up for a service with it for verification purposes. This can essentially pin the blame on you for any illicit or illegal activity.

You’ll even see hackers reverse engineer your phone number to harass where you work or live, or sometimes it may even become a spoofed number that hackers, and robocallers use to hide their true identities. This is especially risky any time you share your phone number online, such as when you sign up for a website or service. Even if the website is legitimate, if a keylogger malware is installed on your system, you’ll still have your number pilfered with ease.

However, hiding your phone number is simply not an option in many cases. So, is there another solution?

Virtual Phone Numbers will solve the issue

A virtual phone number is a real phone number you can use to make and receive calls from or if SMS enabled send and receive messages. The virtual number can be forwarded to your landline, but better still can work from your mobile phone acting like another SIM card or Virtual SIM card.

The beauty of virtual numbers is you can use them for every part of your life, and even add different numbers for the various aspects of your life, like; work, social, online selling or dating, the whole time keeping your actual phone number completely private.

Why are calls blocked when the phone number is Withheld?

In an attempt to block spam calls, regulations that came into force August 2021 from UK Telecoms regulator Ofcom, enforced telecom operators to charge a premium for any calls which had a mal-formed caller identity, ie where a phone number was not shown correctly.

The charges ranged in level but could cost in excess of £5.00 per minute extra.

Many operators have taken the view that rather than pass these charges on to their customers and encourage ‘Bill Shock’ followed by ‘Bill Rage’ they would rather block these calls at source.

Other countries, including the USA are enforcing similar policies with more and more calls are simply being blocked from entering the telecoms network.

Quite simply hiding your number is slowly becoming a pointless exercise.

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