Why Do Businesses Want Your Mobile Number?

Sep 20, 2012 14:58:15Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Why Do Businesses Want Your Mobile Number?

It may sometimes seem as though every time you visit a store or enroll in an online service, they are always asking for your phone number. While this may make sense in certain situations, such as when you buy a product online and the seller needs to contact you, you should still consider your mobile security before handing out your number. In some cases, you may not have a choice about supplying the information, but other instances do not require you to divulge your phone number.

Why do retailers want your number?
Stores such as Payless Shoes, TJ Maxx, and countless other chain retailers may require their clerks to ask for your digits when you make a purchase. According to ABC News, some stores may use your number to look up your address so they can send you promotional flyers and catalogues, but others may want to sell your information to third party marketers. When you visit a store and are asked for your number, you are likely not obligated to provide it. In many cases, there will be a sign posted near the register regarding the company's privacy policy, so you know what they plan to do with your information. If you do not see this sign, you may want to consider declining when they pop the question.

What can you do to protect your personal information?
In certain situations, you may not be able to abstain from sharing your number. For instance, if you are joining a gym, applying for a credit card or shopping online, your phone number will be required so they can contact you for billing, shipping and other reasons. If you have any concerns about your mobile privacy being compromised, you have an option to protect your personal data. You can use an anonymous second mobile number to give the business the ability to reach you if need be without compromising your security. This number is not connected to any of your personal data, so if it does fall into the hands of third party marketers, they will be unable to obtain your address or other information.

Whenever you are asked to supply your phone number, you reserve the right to inquire about the reason a company wants the information. If the answer you get seems at all suspicious, you may want to reconsider the services you were seeking from the business. If you still want to purchase an item or enroll in a membership, you can give them your second mobile number so they will be unable to access any further information about you.