Your mother always told you not to talk to strangers, right? These days, however, there are times we have to call people we don’t know. Whether it’s a blind date, new business partner or just selling a couch online, the phone is still the preferred communication method.
It’s not safe to give out your real number to just anyone. Luckily, these apps create a second phone number you can distribute. You can turn off or disconnect the number when you stop needing it and your real phone number will still be safe.
Burner ($2; iOS) – This app starts you off with a number that lasts 7 days, 60 texts or 20 minutes of call time. Texts don’t count against your monthly bill. When the number expires, you can buy credits to extend it or buy a whole new number.
The app allows you to permanently delete – “burn” – any number at any time. This takes it out of the service and permanently deletes it from your phone.
Vumber (Free app, paid service; iOS, Android) – Instead of allowing you to create numbers on the fly, Vumber has you pay a monthly fee (starting a $9.95/month) for a second number with 1,200 minutes. You can add extra numbers or long distance to dozens of countries, too.