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A guide to temporary phones and online privacy

The second surveillance state: why you want a temporary phone number

by John Cravath

The tech entrepreneur Naval Ravikant delivered his seventh Periscope Q & A session to his fans, and touched on the subject of online privacy about an hour and thirteen minutes into the recording:

The second surveillance state that we live in is Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, etc… and a zillion little tech startups — they’re all gathering data on you also.

This is less malicious in the sense that they’re not going to burst in your door at night with a death squad and execute you, as governments can do. But they still have way too much data on you. And they’re bad at storing it. So I have no doubt that the NSA is getting access to most of their data. That’s the unfortunate part, because these guys are gathering huge amounts of data and then maybe the NSA, or maybe even the Chinese secret service, or North Korean hackers, or who knows — it just creates these honey pots for people to attack.

So the next time you sign up for that social media account, or that dating app, consider using a temporary phone number to add a layer between you and the unexpected third party who gains access to your data. And check out Naval's Twitter for great advice on life, business, and the future.

System Upgrade: Better (Free) Temporary Phone Numbers

by John Cravath

All phone numbers updated

by John Cravath