Claire Nowak/Rd.com, Apple iPhone

As society becomes more reliant on technology, the concern for online privacy has skyrocketed. Expert hackers have gone beyond simply cracking your passwords to the point of using your own laptop to spy on you. And your smartphone is just as vulnerable as your computer.

Anyone you text automatically knows your cell phone number, which leads to a potential security risk if you’re talking to someone you don’t know well. Luckily, it is possible to text without giving away that precious personal info.

Most major cell phone carriers allow texts to be sent to their customers via email. (Pro tip: If you send a completely anonymous text, use a temporary email address.) You’ll need to know the recipient’s carrier for this to work. Then, send your email to the intended phone number using one of the following templates:

AT&T

SMS (a text-only message): 10digitphonenumber@txt.att.net
MMS (a message that includes multimedia like pictures, audio, or video): 10digitphonenumber@mms.att.net

Metro PCS

SMS/MMS: 10digitphonenumber@mymetropcs.com

Sprint

SMS: 10digitphonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
MMS: 10digitphonenumber@pm.sprint.com

T-Mobile

SMS/MMS: 10digitphonenumber@tmomail.net

Verizon Wireless

SMS: 10digitphonenumber@vtext.com
MMS: 10digitphonenumber@vzwpix.com

Claire Nowak/Rd.com, Apple iPhone

You don’t need to put anything in the subject line, and if you do, it will appear in parentheses. Any messages you get back will come as a TXT file that you must open to read. You can reply to it like a normal email.

Claire Nowak/Rd.com, Apple iPhone

However, your message may look a little strange on a phone.

Claire Nowak/Rd.com, Apple iPhone

Another way to text anonymously is with free texting websites and apps. Pinger and TextNow require you to sign up with a username and password, but you can check your messages at any time, even if you shut down your computer. If your situation calls for a “one-and-done” type of text, use a site that lets you send messages without making an account. Popular ones include TextEm, TextSendr, and OpenTextingOnline.

Voila, your text is sent! But whatever you do, do NOT do any of these nine things over text message.