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What is Google Voice and why you should use it for privacy reasons

Google Voice is a Free Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Telephone And Messaging Service for Google Account customers in the US, and Canada. I have personally used Google Voice since 2009, and have been very satisfied with this service!

AARP is endorsing the use of a FREE Google Voice App in order for you to maintain your privacy!

Why add a "Virtual Cell Phone Number" to your smartphone to maintain your privacy

1Less than 40 Percent of U.S households have a landline. If you currently have one, get rid of it and save the money!

263% of adults live in "Wireless Only households" – those where there is no landline but at least one cellphone!

⚠️ Strongly encourage you to perform a reverse phone number lookup on your cellular number and view the detail information! Does it show personal data?

What are the features of Google Voice

You keep your privacy by not giving out your personal cell phone number to strangers and businesses!

Unlike other Apps such as Skype and WhatsApp that require both parties to use the same service, with Google Voice, you can call any number.

You can use the Google Voice phone number for your business and get to determine when you do not want to receive phone calls and forward them to Voice Mail by activating the Do Not Disturb feature!

Record incoming calls phone conversations

Both Android and iPhone Smartphones DO NOT offer this feature!

✔ TAP 4 on your Smartphone and the participant(s) will hear an announcement that the recording has begun.

✔ TAP 4 AGAIN on your Smartphone and the participant(s) will hear an announcement that the recording has ended.

All voice recordings are stored in the Voice Mail Tab.

All Google Voice recorded calls can be found in the Voice Mail Tab

Block callers from leaving voice mail messages

Both IOS and Android Smartphones can block callers however, they can still leave voice mail messages!

When you block a phone number with the Google Voice App, repeat callers will hear this recording and they can not leave a voice message!

When you use the Chrome web browser and install the Chrome Google Voice Extension, you can reply to Text Messages from your Chromebook, MacOS and, Windows desktop and laptop devices!

All Google Voice recorded calls can be found in the Voice Mail Tab

You can initiate a phone call or receive a phone call via your carrier's network or Wi-Fi connection in the US.

To initiate a conference call, TAP 5 on your Smartphone to bring another phone number into the conversation.

All Phone Calls can be forwarded to your cell phone so that you can receive all notifications ON ONE DEVICE.

You can send and receive SMS and MMS Text Messages via your carrier's network or Wi-Fi connection.

If you are ever in a situation where your Smartphone is lost or stolen but you have a Tablet, you can use the Google Voice App on your Tablet to call any U.S phone number using your cellular or Wi-Fi connection! This feature alone is a great backup plan!

If you are ever out of the country and as long as you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can CALL THE U.S FOR FREE by dialing the appropriate international dialing code.

How to sign up for Google Voice

All you need is a FREE Gmail Email address. If you do not have a Gmail address, you can sign up for one here. Once you have a Gmail Email address and password, use your computer or laptop web browser to:

1Login to Google Voice

2Choose a new phone number and activate the new service.

Based on availability, you will have the option to select a phone number that has certain values (i.e. you may want your Google Voice phone number to end with same 4 numbers as your cellular phone number.

3Download the Google Voice App on your Smartphone and Tablet devices from the Apple App Store or Google App Store.

Standard Google Voice app configuration

Phone Calls

1Phone calls originated from the Google Voice App will show your Google Voice Number Caller ID.

2All phone calls to the Google Voice Phone Number will be AUTOMATICALLY FORWARDED to your cell phone number and show the actual caller id.

3The history of all Google Voice Phone Calls appear in the Google Voice App 📞 Calls TAB.

4If the caller leaves a voice mail, it will be stored in your IOS or Android Phone App.

Messages

1Text Messages originated or replied to from the Google Voice App will show your Google Voice Number Caller ID.

2When a New Text Message is received, it will be forwarded to your Google Email address.

3The history of all Google Voice Text Messages appear in the Google Voice App Messages Section.

4You can attach pictures when you SEND, and REPLY to Messages. You are also able to RECEIVE Text Messages that contain pictures.

Configure Google Voice app features on your smartphone device

1Open The Google Voice App On Your Smartphone.

2Login to your Smartphone Google Voice App with your Gmail email address and password.

3TAP the Search Google Voice Menu.

All Google Voice recorded calls can be found in the Voice Mail Tab

4TAP Settings and proceed to configure the Google Voice App Features Configuration Options listed below.


ACCOUNT

✔ LINK your Cell Phone Number to the Google Voice Number


MESSAGES

✔ ENABLE Smart Reply.

✔ ENABLE Forward messages to email. All Text Messages sent to your Google Voice number will be automatically forwarded to your Google Email Address.


CALLS

✔ ENABLE Make and receive calls. Use carrier only.

✔ ENABLE Incoming Calls. Choose which devices you want to answer calls on.

✘ DISABLE Anonymous Caller ID.

✘ DISABLE Call Screening.

✔ ENABLE Get email alerts for missed calls.

✔ ENABLE Incoming call options. This allows you to Start and Stop recording incoming calls by tapping the number 4.

✘ DISABLE Show my Google Voice number as caller ID when forwarding calls. You want the real phone number that is calling to appear as the Caller ID in case you want to block it!

✔ ENABLE Default account for Google Voice.


DO NOT DISTURB

YOU CAN ENABLE OR DISABLE THIS FEATURE ANYTIME to determine when to accept incoming calls or send them to Voice Mail!

✘ DISABLE this feature and all calls are forwarded to your Smartphone.

✔ ENABLE this feature and all calls are sent to Voice Mail.


VOICEMAIL

✔ ENABLE Custom Voicemail Greeting. Suggest that you record the same voicemail as on your Smartphone.

✔ ENABLE Get Voicemail via email


PAYMENTS

✘ SKIP this section


SECURITY

✔ ENABLE Filter Spam


ACCESSIBILITY

✘ DISABLE High-contrast conversation view.


MISC

✔ TAP to configure defaults apps.

Configure Google Voice app privacy settings

✔ ALLOW Access to Contacts

✔ ALLOW Access to All Photos (Read and Write)

✔ ALLOW Access to Camera

Configure Google Voice app notification settings

✔ ALLOW Notifications Settings

✔ ENABLE Alerts for Lock Screen, Notification Center and Banners

✔ ENABLE Sounds

✔ ENABLE Badges

✔ ENABLE Show Previews - Always

✔ ENABLE Notification Grouping - Automatic

Test the Google Voice app configurations

1Have someone call your Google Voice Number to verify that:

The phone call was forwarded to your cell phone number.

Shows the person's "Caller ID" instead of the Goggle Voice number.

During the conversation, test the Google Voice Recording Feature of incoming calls.

✔ TAP 4 and all participant(s) will hear an announcement that the recording has begun.

✔ TAP 4 AGAIN and the participant(s) will hear an announcement that the recording has ended.

Listen to the recordings after you hang up.

2Test the DO NOT DISTURB feature.

Enable this feature and have someone call you.

The call should go straight to voicemail.

Listen to the recording and DISABLE the feature!

3Have someone send a Text Message to your Google Voice Number and verify that you are being notified, and can reply to it.

4Add the Google Voice Chrome Web Browser Extension to your Chromebook, Windows desktop and laptop devices! This is a great feature to quickly reply to Text Messages from your Desktop, Laptop or Tablet without using your Smartphone. You can also make Google Voice calls from your tablets!

Congratulations, Google Voice is now protecting your privacy!

Perform another reverse phone number lookup on your new Google Voice Number. Does it show personal data?

👍 By choosing to share your Google Voice Number instead of your cellular number, you are protecting your privacy!

✔ If you feel that Google Voice provides additional privacy features, go ahead and share this web page with your business associates, co-workers, friends, relatives and, social media!

Would love to hear your comments, opinions, and thoughts!Raul