Declutter your phone life with a virtual number
I gave up a landline in 2009. The days of having a phone ring throughout the house were gone. So were the days of long-distance, not calling someone after 9:00 p.m., and listing a “home number” as the primary contact info on forms.
For many years, I had a work phone. I traveled and carried a separate cell phone so clients could call me. This was back in the days when cell phone providers limited the number of talk minutes per month. Plus, I wanted a barrier so that clients could not call my personal cell phone whenever they felt like it.
Eventually, I stopped traveling but still had a work phone line. I worked from home, so it was a VoIP phone connected to my home internet. It was a big, plastic office-style phone that sat on my desk. Clients could call the corporate number, dial my extension, and the phone would ring. When I left that job, the phone became a relic.
Yet I still have multiple phone numbers: my regular cell and a Google Voice number. Google Voice is an app installed on my phone and can “ring” and receive text messages.
Why would I still want multiple phone lines when my iPhone does everything I need it to do? I can control my notifications and accessibility just fine — why complicate things?
Turns out, there are some very good reasons to have a Google Voice number.
Use Google Voice for Two-Factor Authentication
I’ve been with my spouse for more than 15 years. We have a house and three kids. That means shared bank accounts, shared utility accounts, etc., etc., etc.
The past several years have seen a rise in two-factor authentication (2FA) for extra security. My spouse and I both have backgrounds in technology, so we have 2FA enabled whenever possible. We log into an account and get a text message to confirm our identities.
However, this immediately created problems with any company that only allows one cell number to be used for text verifications (as many do). For example, he would try to log into our bank account, only to have the text message sent to my phone. And maybe I was not home at the time. We’d constantly find ourselves “stuck”…