It’s catch-up time at No Biz Like Horsebiz! Watch for and enjoy multiple posts throughout the week – it’s part of catching up due to the International Hoof-Care Summit, helping judge the ESMAs, and new client projects. Whew, how’s YOUR February progressing?
Are you hesitant about giving out your mobile number online, yet rely upon your smartphone as either your business or ‘everything’ phone? Some interesting trends and websites now let you have a ‘private’ identity, but also allow others to do the same. Here’s a heads up on some things to watch when it comes to horsebiz phone calls.
One example of a site that provides a privacy barrier between your phone number and the general public is iNumbr.com; the site provides several options for ‘virtual numbers’ that can have any specified area code. Features include inbound & outbound caller ID, call forwarding, number blocking, voicemail, and support for multiple phones. They can be good to use on social media sites such as your Facebook or LinkedIn business pages, when you want to be reachable yet might not want to provide your personal mobile phone number. It’s also good for things like Craigslist or other advertising forums. It’s not free, but there are a variety of pricing options that make it worthwhile as a business tool.
A tool like iNumbr can also be useful when you travel, since your on-site contact can have calls forwarded to their phone; it leaves the dial-in number the same but allows a different designated contact.
Google also has a phone-oriented option, and it’s free if you have a Google account. Google Voice assigns you a single number that can ring through to all your phones (great if you have multiple people answering your barn or business phone), saves your voicemail recordings online, and even transcribes voicemail messages into text that’s sent to your emailbox. What’s great about the last two options is that if you get a client thank you or testimonial, you can easily share it online (but get an OK from your customer first, OR do it purposely and ask folks to leave a recorded message you can share with others).
It’s great that technology puts such a variety of tools it puts at our disposal, but one drawback is that people with less than honest intentions can take advantage of them, too. The ‘alert’ related to phone call management is on the topic of what’s called ‘vishing’ – fishing or ‘phishing’ for victims using voice technology; it’s a trend that has its own Wikipedia page.
This PCWorld article has a good overview of vishing, including how criminals are using cheap and easy VoIP (voice over internet protocol, the type of technology used by Vonage) numbers and how you can protect yourself. One good tip they mention is never to respond to phone numbers given to you in emails or recorded phone messages, and instead call credit card or bank numbers listed on the back of your cards or on statements to verify any possible account problems.
Do you use iNumber, Google Voice, or any other phone privacy tools? Or have you had a negative experience you’d like to alert others to? Share them with the No Biz Like Horsebiz community by posting a Comment. Given how tied to our smartphones many of us are today, and with mobile use expected to grow in years to come, this is an interesting trend and one that could be useful to the horse world.
Images courtesy iNumbr.com and Google.
Pass this article along to your Facebook or Twitter communities using the Share button, and THANK YOU for taking a minute to do so!
This article and the site contents are copyright Lisa Kemp and Kemp Equine, all rights reserved. Brands and trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. Content may be linked to from your site or social media, but not copied, in whole or in part, without prior permission. It’s also good karma, and good ethics, to give source credit when sharing. Thanks.