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A guide to temporary phones and online privacy

Use a temporary phone number for WeChat verification

by John Cravath

While travelling through Hong Kong, I decided to try the popular Chinese messaging app called WeChat. Upon installing the app I was annoyed to find that a phone number is required to create a new account.

Jetlagged and short on time, I caved in and provided my personal American cell phone number to register the application. I regretted doing so, as their privacy policy states personal information is shared with advertisers -- and I was wary of how the parent company Tencent might share data with the mainland Chinese government without official acknowledgement.

The need for reliable, disposable, and anonymous phone numbers to register for apps stuck with me even after I returned from my vacation. I locked myself in for a weekend and coded this site. To avoid the trouble of giving WeChat your real phone number, you can use www.temporarysms.com to maintain your privacy.

PS. If you get the chance to visit Hong Kong, try the noodles at Shugetsu.


System Upgrade: Better (Free) Temporary Phone Numbers

by John Cravath

All phone numbers updated

by John Cravath