Devices | How To |

How to block your number and caller ID on your phone

By Campbell Simpson August 2, 2021

There are plenty of legitimate reasons that you might want to temporarily or permanently block your caller ID so that your phone number is not displayed to whoever you’re calling. Here’s how to do that on your home phone or mobile phone.


Change your caller ID on a home phone

To block your number on a call by call basis when you’re making a call from your home phone service, first dial 1 8 3 1 and then dial the number that you want to call. When you do this, your caller ID won’t be displayed.

You can find out more of the features that your home phone service is capable of, like Call Waiting and Call Return, at our Home Phone Features page.

If you wish to block your caller ID on a permanent basis, we call this an ‘unlisted service’; you can enable this feature in My Telstra – a guide on how to do so can be found on our Silent Line page.

Change your caller ID on an Android phone

Blocking your caller ID on an Android phone varies depending on what device you’re using, but the below is a general guide – it will work on most current Android phones including Google’s Pixel range.

  1. Open the Phone app
  2. Tap the three dots to open the menu, then tap ‘Settings’
  3. Tap ‘Calls’
  4. Tap ‘Additional settings’
  5. Tap ‘Caller ID’, then select whether you want to hide or show your number when calling.

To check the network default setting, dial * # 3 1 # in the Phone app and tap the call button – you’ll then see a pop-up message that tells you whether your caller ID is restricted or unrestricted by your mobile provider.

Change your caller ID on an iPhone

Blocking your number on an iPhone is quite straightforward – there’s only one setting that you need to change to decide whether you want your caller ID displayed when you’re making a phone call.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap ‘Phone’
  3. Tap ‘Show my Caller ID’ to switch between displaying or hiding your caller ID every time you call.

To check the network default setting, dial * # 3 1 # in the Phone app and tap the call button – you’ll then see a pop-up message that tells you whether your caller ID is restricted or unrestricted by your mobile provider.

Entertainment |

Disney+ is now available on Telstra TV

By Nathan Gumley July 28, 2021

For some time now, we’ve heard you asking: how can you access your Disney+ subscription on Telstra TV? We finally have the answer you’ve been searching for: access to Disney+ is now available on Telstra TV!

What is Disney+?

Disney+ is the home of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars™, National Geographic and Star.

Disney+ brings you the best stories in the world and offers something for everyone, from family essentials like ‘Luca’ and ‘Monsters at Work’ to exclusive Originals including the world’s first live-action Star Wars series, ‘The Mandalorian.’

With Premier Access, Disney+ subscribers can get access to blockbuster films like ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Jungle Cruise’ for an additional fee before they become available to all Disney+ subscribers.

Star on Disney+ offers a range of adult comedies and dramas, including fan-favourite TV series’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Family Guy’ and ‘Bob’s Burgers’, plus award-winning movies like ‘Nomadland’ and ‘Jojo Rabbit’, cult classics like ‘Juno’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, and the entire ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Alien’ collections.

Disney+ has easy-to-use robust parental controls and PIN operated profiles, making it simple to manage what content your family can view.

The addition of Disney+ makes the Telstra TV one of the best all-in-one media streamers out there.

With over forty apps now available for download, Telstra TV gives you access to watch and control all of your entertainment, from accessing your streaming subscriptions, free-to-air and catch up TV, sport, music and movies – without changing HDMI inputs or remotes on your TV with a voice-enabled remote and search function that allows you to easily search for titles, people or genres across Live TV, the 5 Catch up TV apps, Telstra TV Box Office, and other well-known streaming services. Subscription charges may apply to access these services.

How to get Disney+ on Telstra TV

Adding an app is super simple. You’re only minutes away from having Disney+ on your device.

To add or remove an app:

  • In the Telstra TV menu, go to the Apps Store
  • Choose an app and select OK
  • Select Add app and confirm; the app will appear on your home screen

If you’re not already a subscriber, you can sign-up to Disney+ here.

To get your hands on Telstra TV, you can order online. It’s available for outright purchase, or purchase over 24-months when you add it to an eligible Telstra mobile or home internet plan on your Telstra account.

If you are a Telstra Plus member and add the Telstra TV to your account as an add-on for just $9 a month over 24 months (min cost $216 + your plan charges), you’ll score 20,000 bonus Telstra Plus points. Eligibility Criteria apply to join Telstra Plus.

Things you need to know

Telstra Plus: Must be 18+ with an active service. Points expire 3 years from earning. Marketing opt-in required (preferences can be changed). Excludes Telstra Enterprise and Corporate accounts. Bonus points will be loaded onto your account within 14 days of sign up to TTV (for existing Telstra Plus members) or within 14 days of signing up to Telstra Plus (for new Telstra Plus members. Not compatible with other offers, and not redeemable for cash. Eligible accounts are account numbers that start with 2000.

Telstra TV: Requires a compatible TV, minimum internet speed of 3.5Mbps. Antenna required for live TV. Subscription and data charges may apply

Devices | How To |

How to extend your phone’s ring time

By Campbell Simpson July 27, 2021

If you’re just missing picking up those important phone calls more often than you’d like, there’s a solution: you can extend your phone’s ring time using a quick shortcut on your handset. We’ve got a guide for iPhone and Android users alike, as well as for home phone users.

It’s always a pain when you hear your phone ringing when you’re not close enough to catch it – especially if you were waiting for that important call! Here’s how you can solve it once and for all.


Extend the ring time on your home phone or landline

If you want to extend the time that your home phone or landline rings before diverting to voicemail or hanging up, the settings to do so can change depending on the handset that you’re using. For most handsets, though, it’s a straightforward process.

To extend the ring time on a landline phone, you’ll have to type in a short sequence of numbers as if you were about to call someone. This time, though, you’ll be using the * (asterisk) and # (hash) keys as well.

The code you want to enter is * 9 9 [5-60 seconds, in 5 second increments] # .

So, if you wanted to extend your home phone’s ring time to 45 seconds, you’d type in the code * 9 9 4 5 # and then hit the call button. After that, you can hang up the call, and your phone’s ring time will be set to the time you entered.

Extend the ring time on your Android phone

To extend your ring time using an Android handset, you’ll need to open the Phone app in your phone’s menu and then dial a code.

You’ll want to change one part of the sequence – that’s how long you want your phone to ring for. You can choose for your phone to ring for 15, 20, 25 or 30 seconds before diverting the call to voicemail.

Here’s how:

  1. Open the Phone app on your phone.
  2. Type the following: * * 6 1 * 1 0 1 * * [15, 20, 25 or 30] #
  3. Press the call button.

So, if you wanted to make sure your phone only rings for 15 seconds before diverting, you’d open the Phone app and type * * 6 1 * 1 0 1 * * 1 5 # .

Once you’ve done the steps above, you’ll then see a pop-up appear with a message that says “Call forwarding successful”.

To find out how long your phone is currently ringing for before diverting to voicemail, you can dial * # 6 1 # in your Phone app. You’ll see a pop-up appear that tells you your voicemail phone number, and how many seconds your phone will ring for each call that comes in.

Extend the ring time on your iPhone

To extend the ring time on an iPhone, all you have to do is this – open your iPhone’s Phone app and enter the sequence below.

There’s one part of the sequence that you’ll want to change – that’s how long you want your phone to ring for. You can choose for your phone to ring for 15, 20, 25 or 30 seconds before diverting the call to voicemail.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Phone app on your phone.
  2. Type the following: * * 6 1 * 1 0 1 * * [15, 20, 25 or 30] #
  3. Press the call button.

By default, ring time on the iPhone is set to 20 seconds. So, for example, if you wanted to extend your phone’s ring time to 30 seconds, you’d open the Phone app and enter the code * * 6 1 * 1 0 1 * * 3 0 # .

How To |

How to enable call and SMS over Wi-Fi on Telstra

By Luke Hopewell July 23, 2021

If you’re outside of a mobile coverage area, there’s still a way for you to make and receive calls, and send SMS messages back and forth over your Wi-Fi network. Here’s how to do it.

What is Telstra SMS over Wi-Fi?

SMS over Wi-Fi allows you to send and receive SMS messages on via your fixed Wi-Fi network.

Instead of sending the SMS using mobile signal, modern smartphones use the connectivity found via the Fixed Wi-Fi network at your home or business to get the message out.

To be able to use Wi-Fi SMS, you need to:

  • Have a Telstra approved Wi-Fi SMS compatible device
  • Have VoLTE enabled on your device
  • Have updated to the latest device OS software
  • Turn on Wi-Fi calling on your device

It takes a few steps to enable, which you can find below.

How to enable Telstra SMS over Wi-Fi

First, you need a compatible device. You can check to see which devices are compatible on our regularly updated Support Centre.

For iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Mobile
  3. Turn on Wi-Fi calling. This will also enable Wi-Fi SMS

To enable Wi-Fi SMS, you’ll also need to disable and re-enable iMessage if it’s already turned on:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Messages
  3. Turn iMessage off
  4. Restart the phone
  5. Turn iMessage back on

For Android devices:

  1. Go to your phone’s calling app
  2. Select More or the three dots in the top right corner
  3. Select Settings
  4. Turn on Wi-Fi Calling. This will also enable Wi-Fi SMS

What is Wi-Fi Calling?

Wi-Fi calling enables you to make calls using a fixed broadband Wi-Fi connection from your compatible Telstra mobile when you can’t connect to the mobile network.

Your mobile simply uses your Wi-Fi network instead of the mobile network, so you can make and receive calls as you would normally.

Plus when roaming overseas and connected to Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Calling allows you to make and receive calls back to Australia at no additional charge.

Calls to destinations other than Australia over Wi-Fi Calling when roaming overseas are not enabled and will need to be made over the mobile network. Standard charges apply.

To use Wi-Fi calling, you need to:

  • Have a Wi-Fi calling compatible smartphone or tablet. This includes:
    • Apple iPhone 6 onwards, Apple Watch 3 onwards
    • Samsung Galaxy devices, S7 onwards, Note 5 onwards
    • Google Pixel 2 devices onwards
    • LG devices G6 onwards
  • Have 4G voice calls enabled
  • Have up-to-date software
  • Turn on Wi-Fi calling

How to enable Wi-Fi Calling on Telstra

For iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Mobile
  3. Turn on Wi-Fi calling. This will also enable Wi-Fi SMS

To enable Wi-Fi SMS, you’ll also need to disable and re-enable iMessage if it’s already turned on:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Messages
  3. Turn iMessage off
  4. Restart the phone
  5. Turn iMessage back on

For Android devices:

  1. Go to your phone’s calling app
  2. Select More or the three dots in the top right corner
  3. Select Settings
  4. Turn on Wi-Fi Calling. This will also enable Wi-Fi SMS
How To |

Get up to speed on tech trends and navigating teen tech use

By Luke Hopewell July 22, 2021

We want Aussie parents to feel they can keep up with the latest online and social media trends popular with teens, empowering and educating them to have the conversations they need to be having in 2021.

Our recent research reveals today, less than 1 in 5 (19%) Australian adults feel that they can completely keep up with or understand the latest online and social media trends popular with teens.

Not only are Aussies finding it hard to keep up, but 43% of parents of 8-15 year olds also don’t feel strongly confident having conversations with their children around setting boundaries for tech and social media use.

We recently held a webinar, hosted by Em Rusciano featuring a panel of experts discussing the top trends parents need to be across in 2021, how kids are engaging with these trends and emerging social media platforms and how to talk to teens about tech use and setting boundaries.

We invited social media Expert Grace Watkins, Aussie TikTok sensation Scott Boersen, Telstra cyber safety pro Darren Pauli, and ReachOut Parents’ Annie Wylie to discuss and explore the ever-developing world of social platforms and tech for teens.

We’ve pulled out the best questions below, and made the whole hour-long panel discussion available for you here so you can get the full story.

What is it about TikTok that has captured youth’s imaginations?

Scott Boersen:

I think it’s probably due to a shorter attention span! When Facebook first came out, you got so much of what you wanted to see. TikTok has made that more condensed and easier to consume. The videos are super short and you can swipe away from what you don’t like in seconds, and then the algorithm learns to show you content that you like for longer. The more you watch, the better your feed becomes tailored for you. 

And because it’s all short form, you can bounce around your interests really quickly. From plants to cooking, to lettuce tea and anything else after that. It’s also just everyday people, and why Facebook and Instagram clicked early on. 

Gaming is huge, but the new communities might be getting away from us. What is a Twitch and what is a Discord?

Grace Watkins:

Beyond the games that people are playing, there are platforms that kids are engaging with to either support their own gameplay or watch others play games. Twitch and Discord fit into that.

Beyond the games they might be playing like Fortnite, Minecraft or Roblox, they might be watching someone else or streaming themselves playing on a platform like Twitch. It’s one of the biggest game streaming platforms.

Discord is a community-based chat platform where people are talking about the games that they like and particular groups. 

YouTube is the other major platform where people watch others play games. There’s a huge market of creators making 20-minute game videos who are amassing audiences of millions watching them do that.

These sorts of games are the way things are trending going forward. They look different to what you expect of a game, but they have a huge amount more depth. Like sandbox games where you can build, create and interact with the ecosystem of the game.

How can I be more involved with my kid who’s a gamer?

Grace Watkins:

It’s amazing during COVID how parents have connected with their kids over gaming. Whether they’re playing together, or just watching gaming content with their kids online.

A disconnect can come between kids and parents where there’s a lack of understanding about particular subject matter. Even parents making the effort or having a conversation about their kids playing and what they like about it, it’s a great first step to take.

Growing up, my brother was into games, and I have vivid memories of my parents not understanding and being points of contention! 

How can a parent find what’s trending online so they can connect with their kids?

Get involved! The easiest way to figure out what’s trending is to download these apps and get on the feed for yourself. As you scroll you’ll notice these trends, and the easiest way to pick up on them is to notice the sounds people are using or the dances they’re doing. 

To connect your kids is a little different in practice. The way I did it was to show my parents the videos that I like to watch. It starts to build an idea of what the app is about and the content that you like. Starting to share videos that you think your kids will like helps you gauge what they like in return and where they are on the platform.

How can you talk to kids about their tech use?

Annie Wylie:

Be open to learning from them. You can be a bit vulnerable. And you can say that you don’t actually get it, but recognise it’s a part of their life and it’s important that I as a parent do know about it, and I want and I want you to share that with me. 

Your teen might want to say that this is their thing, but it’s showing them that you’re comfortable saying you don’t know something and showing that parents don’t know everything in reality. It’s just a good chance to connect with them and establish new boundaries.

Another thing is just to ask them how they feel about some of those things you’re concerned about. So if you have concerns about the sorts of accounts they follow, for instance, rather than saying, ‘I’m concerned about this’, you could actually start with, ‘Hey, could you tell me a little bit about some of the accounts that you follow’ and just be curious, see what they say. They might actually surpriseyou in coming to some of those realisations themselves without you having to go in on that attacking front foot. 

Finally, in terms of actual boundaries (which looks really different for all families), one thing to really think about is role modelling. So if you have boundaries that you’re really clear on as a parent that you want your teen to follow, then think about whether you yourself, follow those boundaries. For example, if you as a parent are on your phone all the time during dinner, but you have your expectation that your teen won’t be on the phone during dinner, then we’re probably going to have a bit of friction about screen time, right?

How do you protect your kids, and monitor what they are doing on the internet or social media platforms?

Darren Pauli:

There are heaps of technical platforms that you can use…that you can kind of use to really keep tabs on kids.

That’s what I’d call more of a kind of a stick approach.

And it’s really up to you, as a parent, how you do these things, but you need to know that your kids almost always will find around a way around a technical control that you think is going to work.

You can’t use technical controls, in and of itself – and just leave it at that. As Annie said before, an open dialogue is important.

Darren Pauli’s guide to being safe on the internet

Parental controls

  • Can give you some assurance over the content your kids view online, the people with whom they can interact, and the total time they spend on their devices.
  • Some controls are built into smart phones including iPhone and Android
  • Big social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook have their own specialised controls, too.

Password managers

  • Password managers set complex random passwords you have no hope of remembering and store them in what you can consider a vault. That vault can be unlocked with a key – a single password you need to remember.
  • Apple and Android have password managers built into their phones. Apple’s iCloud keychain works across Apple products like iPhone and iPad, while Google’s works on Android phones and the Chrome web browser.
  • Paid password managers like 1Password and LastPass are also popular choices.

Multi-factor authentication (also called two-factor or two-step authentication)

  • Multi-factor authentication is the best security defence you can use
  • Multifactor authentication is most often a code you enter after your password, but only one time for each device you use, like your phone or laptop, so you are not typing it out endlessly.
  • It is a way to prove beyond a password that you are the owner of your account.
  • A hacker who has stolen your password will be unable to break into your account protected by multi-factor authentication because they don’t have access to your phone to get the code. They almost always give up and move on.

Some handy links