In today's digital age, privacy and security have become increasingly important considerations, especially when it comes to our personal contact information. Publishing your mobile number online can expose you to a range of risks and blur the line between your personal and professional life, leading to constant interruptions or intrusion outside of business hours. However, there are alternatives available that allow you to promote your business effectively while safeguarding your privacy and maintaining boundaries. By striking the right balance, you can protect your personal privacy and enhance the professionalism of your business.
Risks of publishing your personal number
1. Privacy and Unsolicited Communication
When you publish your mobile number online, it becomes easily accessible to anyone (or any technology) who comes across it. This can lead to an increased risk of unsolicited communication, such as spam calls, telemarketing, or even malicious attempts to extract personal or financial information.
2. Targeted Attacks
Cybercriminals or scammers may specifically target publicly available phone numbers for various fraudulent activities, including phishing, identity theft, or social engineering attacks. They may pretend to be customers or business partners to deceive you into sharing sensitive information or performing unauthorised actions.
3. Personal Safety
Publishing your mobile number online makes it easier for strangers to contact you directly, which can compromise your personal safety. You may receive unwanted calls, messages, or even harassment from individuals who have obtained your number.
4. Professionalism and Boundaries
Providing a mobile number can blur the line between your personal and professional life, potentially leading to constant interruptions or intrusions outside of business hours. Having a dedicated business contact number, such as a landline or a separate business phone, helps maintain boundaries and a more professional image.
5. Scalability and Efficiency
As your practice grows, managing and responding to a high volume of calls or messages on your personal mobile number can become overwhelming and time-consuming. Having a separate business line or utilising digital communication channels can provide more scalability and efficiency in managing customer inquiries, and also give your business a very professional brand.
Alternatives to publishing your mobile phone number
1. Business Email
Encourage potential customers to contact you via a dedicated business email address. This provides a professional means of communication while maintaining privacy and security.
2. Online Booking
Set up a booking link on your website where visitors can submit enquiries or requests, and book discovery calls directly. This allows you to gather necessary information while keeping your personal contact details hidden.
3. Website Messaging
Utilise messaging features on social media /website platforms to engage with customers. Many customers prefer to communicate via platforms like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, which can provide convenience for both parties. You can also integrate a chat function on Website Builders like Wix / Squarespace.
4. Business Phone Number
If you prefer to have a phone contact option, consider using a separate business phone number, such as a landline or a virtual phone service. This helps maintain a clear distinction between personal and professional communication.
Remember, it's crucial to strike a balance between promoting your business effectively and safeguarding your personal privacy and security.