Why I won't give you my phone number on Facebook

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Why won’t I give you my phone number on Facebook?

Because if you knew what you were doing, you wouldn’t need to ask me for it.

I was reading through my normal morning selection when I ran across this article on TechCrunch detailing how they tricked a bunch of people into giving up their phone number openly.

People, this is unnecessary. Why are you falling for this kind of nonsense?

If you lose your phone, here’s how to get those numbers back. More to the point, here’s how you can get your number to your friends *without* having them ask for it and without it being public knowledge.

Step 1: Set the privacy settings up properly

First, go to the Settings dropdown menu and select Privacy Settings. Then select your Profile, and then click the Contact Information tab. You’ll be here:

Facebook Privacy Screen

All you have to do is select which people you want to be able to see your phone number. I expect you’ll want “Only Friends” to see them. The “Limited Profile” thing is normally excluded from these as well.

Step 2:  Put in your own phone number

This one is easy. Go to your profile page. Click the Info tab. Click to edit the information. Under your contact info, put in the phone number. Hey, you just set it up so only your Friends can see it, so those are the people you’d want to have it. If you’re friends with somebody you *don’t* want to have it, put that friend into the Limited Profile so they can’t see it. Although frankly, in that case, I’d reconsider your “friendship”.

Facebook Contact Info Page


Simple enough.

Step 3: Use the phonebook when you need numbers

Click the Friends dropdown at the top, and select “All Friends”. On the left hand side of the page is the “Phonebook”. Click it.

Facebook Phonebook

See how easy that is?

So seriously, stop falling for these scams, people. Use the phonebook. Use the privacy settings. Facebook is perfectly secure, it’s *people* that are idiots and who willingly give out personal information. Take the time to go through your Privacy Settings and make stuff private properly. It’ll save you a lot of effort and annoyance in the long run.

While you’re at it, do yourself a favor and put your Friends into groups, like Work, Family, Drinking Buddies, etc. Then when you setup your privacy settings, you can exclude specific groups of people from seeing specific types of things. Might save your job, you know?


9 thoughts on “Why I won't give you my phone number on Facebook”

  1. Interesting perspective, and I sort of agree with you. However I just hide my phone # on Facebook so that only my friends can see it. Works like a charm and I don’t have any random phone numbers calling me, so it must work…

    1. This is not the problem, having friends or others see your cellphone number or not. The thing is I want to present ideas or policies that differ from the mainstream ones and if I give them my personal cellphone number, my postings might be used against me if they pull my postings and prove them to be of my own and then get harassed by the gov. Mafia police and security agents!!

  2. This is a good idea, and is almost exactly what I did. The main difference I did was this: I have many people who are “Friends”, who I like but (since my phone cost is per minute) may not trust them with my phone number. Facebook lets you set up multiple “Lists” of people, so I made one for my family, one for close friends, and so on, then I let certain Lists of people have access to certain things. With the new security features, the “Lists” feature is a double-whammy to make whatever content you publish to be pretty secure.

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