I've never had a punting phone - I always thought I wouldn't need it as I'm a single guy, no one's gonna be reading my texts and/or emails, and I'm pretty good with my privacy settings etc (I often google my own phone number to see if it gets any hits, and it doesn't), I never reveal my full name to WG's (although I do use my real first name, but I don't reveal my surname - mainly as there's no reason to not use my first name, and no reason to reveal my surname), and I even have numbers of regularly contacted WGs in my phones contacts, as it's easier than always going on AW to get the number (for one off meetings, I'll save the girls number for calling/texting prior to the punt, then delete it after). I also always set a pin on my iPhone before attending a punt, so that if I lose it or I'm robbed, I can remotely wipe the phone before (hopefully) it's accessed by whoever finds/steals it.
However, I got a surprise today (hence posting on this thread). I was looking for an old friend on FB, and after sending this person a friend request, below it was a list of "people you may know" generated by FB. Nothing unusual there, FB is always doing that - usually it's friends of friends, colleagues, etc. Normally I ignore them, but since I was bored I decided to click them off, so they don't reappear again - and was amazed to find a WG I've punted with in that list! She's not too far from me, but isn't really close either. I do have her number saved in my phone, as even though I've only punted her once, I intended to book her again.
Now my number isn't associated with FB - made sure of that as even though I have people on my friends list, I don't want all of them to have access to my phone number. So unless she has her number associated with her FB account, the only way I can think FB listed her as a person I may know is GPS tracking - i.e., she uses FB at her address, I've been to her address with my phone that also has the FB app installed on it, and FB made the link. This kinda makes sense as it also suggested I may know two of my neighbours - neither of which I haven't got a phone number for, nor any other contact details. So I can only assume it's linked those two neighbours to suggested people based on GPS location of where we all use FB regularly. That being said, I know I didn't *USE* FB at the WG's address, I'm just thinking that maybe the FB app is often tracing where I've been in the background, for location based services and ads, etc.
I've also had plenty of instances where a WGs number has come up as iMessage, or on Whatsapp.
So yeah, now I'm thinking a punting phone might not be a bad idea. Problem is, I'm still likely to take my iPhone with me, 1) as I use it as a sat nav for directions / finding places, 2) as I might need it for non punting, and 3) it's an extension of my arm and with me wherever I go anyway, which is why I've never bothered to go down the punting phone route.
But it's definitely food for thought!