Here's a bet we can wager on: You are here because you were prompted to provide a phone number when opening a ChatGPT account and were wondering why your phone number is needed. For security reasons, we'd say.
Consider providing your number at this point invasive, but OpenAI sees it differently. The verification process for which the number is needed in the first place is done to confirm the user is human. Without this security process, ChatGPT's user base may be populated by bots created to coordinate distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDOS) on the service. These cyberattacks can run the service down and make it unavailable to people who genuinely need it.
This article explains in detail why ChatGPT needs your phone number, the benefits of phone number verification, the possibility of skipping the phone number verification part, and alternatives you can try out.
Phone Number Is Not Required When Using HIX.AI
Chatting with AI here at HIX.AI is as easy as it gets! You don't even need an account, or a phone number to get started. Try it out now!
Why Do I Need to Verify My Phone When Registering An OpenAI Account?
It is very easy to get an account and log in to ChatGPT. It is free to do so, too. Sign up by entering your email address or using the quick Google or Microsoft account login. But as you have rightly noticed, ChatGPT also asks for your phone number. This can be worrying if you have been a target of telemarketing calls and scams in the past.
But can it be done without?
Security is the foremost reason you must verify your account during registration. It serves as an additional layer of authentication in a two-step verification process. With the two-step verification process toggled on, it becomes more difficult for unauthorized persons to gain access to your account.
The service also uses your phone number to confirm you are a real person. This helps to guide against spamming and fraudulent account creation. How? It is very easy to create emails these days. A single user can create as many as they want and dispose of them as soon as they are done with them. In comparison, getting that many phone numbers is not as easy. Verifying with phone numbers makes creating fake accounts more difficult for bots.
OpenAI uses the phone number to identify the user's country of residence, as ChatGPT is unavailable in some countries. This may also help the service provide customized recommendations to the user based on their country-specific interests.
Providing your phone number could help with account recovery, too, if you forget your password. When you click "Forget Password," OpenAI can send recovery instructions via SMS to your registered phone number.
You can still access ChatGPT's features without signing up using Discord and OpenAI Playground. However, do not expect to tap into all of ChatGPT's features without proper verification.
Is Sharing My Phone Number With OpenAI Safe?
There are good reasons to be concerned about giving your phone number to a service like ChatGPT. After all, they were banned in Italy for violating Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But in fairness to the service, the privacy concerns weren't exactly about users giving them their phone number. It was more about the data used to train their language model. It was argued that there was no basis for how the data was collected.
As for what the phone number is used for, OpenAI explicitly states in their privacy agreements that users' personal information will not be used for other purposes. The general idea is that they are used for security reasons only.
We, however, do not recommend giving any of your personal information during conversations with the chatbot. This is because ChatGPT records all conversations made even after deleting them from the chat history.
Can I Use ChatGPT Without A Phone Number?
Yes, you can. We aren't discussing going the Discord and OpenAI Playground route this time. Alternative registration methods exist for those who prefer not to use a phone number. Some of these methods include:
Use WhatsApp to Register ChatGPT
This is only an option in certain countries where ChatGPT is not officially available. The WhatsApp verification option may be available if you live in any of the following countries: Egypt, India, Nigeria, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Israel, and Ukraine.
Generally, you must select your country from the drop-down menu when creating your ChatGPT account. You should see "Do you have WhatsApp?" below the phone number field if you reside in the above-listed countries. Tap "yes," followed by "send code via WhatsApp," and you should get a verification code to enter to verify your account.
Use a friend's phone number
You can verify your account using the phone number of a friend who already has an account, with their permission, of course. This is possible because each phone number can be verified for two ChatGPT accounts. There is a catch to this method. This friend can gain access to your account by resetting your password. Therefore, we only recommend using the number of friends you can trust.
Use Microsoft's Bing
Microsoft's Bing now reportedly has its own version of ChatGPT, known as the new Bing, and you can use this chatbot without verifying your phone number. Be mindful that you must have a Microsoft account to be able to use it. This is relatively easy to set up since you can set up a Microsoft account using a VoIP phone number like Google Voice.
Use phone number services
Temporary phone number services like SMS activation service, SMSnator, Anoymsms SMSPool.net, and Autofications.com can be used to receive verification codes for a virtual phone number. This way, you can verify your account without providing your phone number. Note that not all SMS verification apps work, as OpenAI can detect whether the phone number is a “real” contact number or a virtual number from these SMS platforms.
HIX Chat: A ChatGPT Alternative with No Phone Verification Requirement.
If you are having trouble with your phone number and you don’t feel like getting a virtual number or borrowing from your friends, there are other options available as well. Introducing HIX Chat, one of the best alternatives to ChatGPT that do not require phone number verification or any account registration at all. Let's take a closer look at HIX Chat.
No phone number is required
As we already mentioned, HIX chat does not need phone number verification. All you need to create an account is to provide your name, email, and password. You may even go with the quick Google sign-in option. You should get a verification link in your email. Verify your account, and you can use it right away. This is a less invasive service in that regard.
It is no news that ChatGPT is only trained on existing data before September 2021. HIX Chat, on the other hand, has web access. Thus, its answers to your queries are based on more recent data. Its predictions are also more accurate, based on more recent data. HIX Chat can access real-time reports and updates like weather and traffic reports.
Can be accessed via a web app and browser extension
Like ChatGPT, HIX Chat can be accessed via the web app. But that's not all there is to this service. It can also be integrated into Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers via extensions, and you can call them into action simply by typing "//". You can also ask it general questions using prompts like you would on ChatGPT or ask it to draft social media posts, reply to emails, or even write long-form blog posts for you.
Can summarize a YouTube video
You can also use HIX Chat to summarize YouTube video content. You do not need long or complicated prompts either. You can ask the chatbot to summarize that one-hour-long YouTube video. Using its advanced algorithm, it goes through the video in less than a minute, draws out excerpts for them, and puts out the salient points in writing.
Can read PDFs and Docs
HIX Chat can read PDFs/Docs and ask questions based on the text content within the document. This is very helpful for researchers and students who need to read several pages of text quickly. It can also provide a summary, as well as develop a content-focused conversation based on the uploaded file.
Can read content from webpages
HIX Chat can also fetch text content from a webpage and hold conversations with you based on the provided webpage URL. Based on the webpage's contents, you can ask HIX Chat any questions, tell it to relate it with similar contents or ask it to provide a summarized view.