The prospect of having telemarketers
bothering you on your cell phone is infuriating. Fortunately,
though, unlike landline telephone numbers, cell phone numbers aren't
published in any publicly available format. Furthermore, making
telemarketing calls to cell phones is against the law.
The vast majority of telemarketing companies rely on pre-recorded voice messages and/or automated dialers to do their work, both of which are illegal to use to contact people via their pagers or cell phones.
The possibility of producing a 411-style database for mobile phones has been the topic of much conversation amongst several telephone companies, the idea being that, like directories for other types of phone numbers, such a cell phone directory would not only enable people in general to get a hold of your number, but telemarketers too.
Currently, a 411-style database for cell phones is only a conversation, but even if this kind of project were to be initiated, telemarketers would still be unable to make unsolicited phone calls to people's cell phone numbers legally.
The Do Not Call list is a good idea for landline numbers, though you must be aware that it takes 30 days before you can take action against telemarketers defying the law and calling you anyway. However, your cell phone privacy is protected legally, whether or not you place yourself on the Do Not Call list. But even with that legal protection, it's still prudent to be cautious about who you give your mobile phone number to.
For example, you should not submit your mobile phone number anytime you fill out an online form to sign up for something on the web, be it:
An opt-in mailing list.
A freeware, shareware, or purchased software download.
A social networking/bookmarking site.
A shopping cart.
Most online forms leave the field for phone numbers as optional, so take advantage of this freedom and prevent any more of your personal information than necessary from circulating around the web.
One reason why you want to be sure to take this advice is because there are many services online that allow people to trace almost any cell phone number. If you have your mobile phone number publicly available online, anyone, from telemarketers to prank callers to blackmailers and identity thieves - can trace your cell phone number and perpetrate their malicious activity against you.
Don't give them that opportunity to trace your cell phone number. Don't give it out online, unless you absolutely have to.
One caveat to all this - if you have done business with a company in the previous 18 months, they do have permission to call you on either your landline or cell phone number.
So do people/companies conducting
telephone surveys and non-profit organizations.