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Who Called Me and How Did They Get My Information?

We’ve all had those unknown numbers that call, and call, and call. More frustrating than the missed calls, though, is the question: how did they get my number?

Sometimes, it can seem like you get phone calls from unknown numbers or telemarketers once or twice a week. These callers don’t usually leave messages, and their phone numbers are often untraceable. You wonder how these people got your phone number in the first place. In what way do they get ahold of your information? One way, of course, is that telemarketers collect information you share online. To make sure you’re keeping your privacy as well as you can, make sure to quickly run DFNDR’s Security Scan feature. Regularly run a Security Scan to ensure that your device isn’t infected with viruses or security breaches:

But even a trustworthy anti-virus app isn’t enough to completely protect yourself from telemarketers. There are other ways these crafty companies find your information.

Read More: 500 Million Yahoo Accounts Stolen

Terms of Use Clauses

Lots of apps are only in operation because they want to collect and sell your personal information to telemarketers. Make sure you’re carefully reading the Terms of Use before you click the “Yes, I accept” button on the app. You might be giving more information away than you even need to for the app to operate. Often, people rush through app downloads and don’t read the Terms of Use — don’t be caught like this.

Data Mining

The more information you share online, the easier it is for telemarketers to find your number — and to learn lots of information about your life. In the age of Big Data, companies can find out all about you: public records, census data, your Likes, your Tweets, and even your personal information, like your phone number shared on Facebook. Additionally, companies, including credit bureaus and department stores, sell the information you’ve used to sign up for things like store credit cards. Share wisely online — you never know who might find you.

Random Calling

Even if you haven’t given your number away to anyone, sophisticated technologies can generate hundreds of thousands of randomized telephone numbers in no time. A robo-caller might have come up with your phone number out of thin air.

What else can you to stop telemarketers besides running regular security scans? For one, make sure you know the Terms of Use of various apps before you download them. Additionally, register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. Some unscrupulous companies will call you anyway, but it doesn’t hurt to try.