Disposable Phone Numbers with MySudo

A brief on setting up disposable phone numbers with MySudo, and why it matters.

Apps and services typically ask for a valid email address and phone number during registration to combat account fraud. This certainly helps fight bots or scammers looking to take advantage of the system, but also increases user privacy risks due to data leaks and breaches. Having a disposable or "burner" phone number can help deal with this challenge with a bit more nuance.

Now, you may have seen burners being used by criminals on television shows and hence be wary of them, but there are legitimate uses of a second phone number too. Looking to put something up for sale on Craigslist? Visit a new place? Or test drive a new app in beta? Or simply download a white paper? Yep, burner phone numbers are just fine.

There are a plethora of apps that offer burner phone numbers at reasonable rates. Burner does a good job if you are in US or Canada. Hushed supports 40 countries and is a good option if you are travelling. My personal favourite is MySudo - a simple app that allows you to create multiple profiles, and even offers an entry-level plan with a single phone number for free.

Image source: MySudo
Image source: MySudo

Built by Anonyome Labs, the MySudo app is part of Sudo Platform, which uses limited disclosure digital identities (or Sudos) as the cornerstone of a set of privacy-focused components. MySudo doesn't require an email address or password to sign up, and instead uses a unique encryption key generated on the device to encrypt user communications and data.

Here are some features of the MySudo app:

  • Create multiple Sudo profiles e.g. Social, Craigslist
  • Send encrypted MySudo-to-MySudo messages for free, send standard SMS messages on a paid plan
  • Set up multiple email accounts (@sudomail.com), send encrypted emails to other MySudo users for free
  • Video chat with MySudo users for free, call anyone with a paid plan
  • Browse the web with a built-in ad-free browser

Obviously, this post is not a call for abuse of privacy-preserving systems. However, when used responsibly, burner phone numbers (and email aliases too) can truly help improve your privacy online.

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