Text Spam and How to Stop It

Are you tired of text spam polluting your smartphone and wasting your time? Are you frustrated by the constant smartphone notifications trying to make you spend money or worse, reveal your private information? Read this article to know how to prevent text spam from reaching your smart devices.

Text spam is a pain, and it might cause serious problems. You stop your work to check your phone after a notification only to see that it's a text message trying to sell you something you don't need. However, it can be worse: the message might attempt to trick you into revealing some confidential information.
Hundreds of banks worldwide issue warnings to their clients about such scams. Nevertheless, many people still fall victim to them. One of the obvious ways to defend yourself is to simply ignore text messages from suspicious sources.

But you can do more. For instance, there might be phone numbers that you can forward the deceptive messages to. Then, the authorities will deal with the perpetrator. Additionally, Androids and iPhones have spam-filtering features, allowing you to evade such messages in the first place.

How do you stop them? Unfortunately, there's no way you can stop spam texts completely. However, there indeed are ways to make sure that you receive very few of them through all day. We share with you some pretty effective ways how you can do so.

Avoid Answering

This tip comes right at the top. Never reply to a spam text. Also, don't ever click on any link a spam text carries. Until you're sure that a push message is from a genuine source, hold yourself back from replying. Know about the source the message has come from after a bit of research. Additionally, please note that reputable services would never require your credentials via a text message.

Use the Spam Filter

Enable the spam filtering feature on your iPhone or Android phone. Here are the instructions on how to do it.

On Android Phones

Android may tag a message as suspicious. You may mark the number as spam. In case you receive a spam text that hasn't been flagged, here's what you should do:
  • Tap on the three dots at the upper corner on the right.
  • After selecting "Details," select "Block and report spam."
  • You can also block the number itself by sending the texts. You may also check "Report Spam" and send the number to Google and also possibly your carrier.

Please note, the process of blocking the text may differ from phone to phone.

On iPhones

  • Select the user icon on the page's top after opening the spam text.
  • After you've tapped on the "info" icon, tap on the "info" button.
  • Select "Block this caller."

Look for the "Report Junk" link below the message if you want to report a message as spam on your iPhone. After you've located it, tap it and then tap delete and then finally, "Report Junk." If you want to block the phone number altogether, you'll have to do so separately.

Use your Phone's Spam Filter

Users of both Android and iPhones can enable their spam-filtering functions to limit the amount of spam they receive.

On Android Phones

  • Open messages
  • Click on the three dots you see at the upper-right corner.
  • Select "Settings" and then "Spam Protection."
  • Make sure to toggle on "Enable Spam Protection" if it already isn't.

If you want to check which numbers you've marked as spam, go to "Settings" and then "Spam and Blocked."

On iPhones

Apple's spam blocking has a more basic approach and largely works by itself. It simply blocks phone numbers you haven't saved and those that you haven't contacted before. This might be an issue, and important calls might get blocked as well, like one from a recruiter you don't call often. Here's how you block spam texts on iPhones-
  • Open settings.
  • Scroll down to "Messages" and then select "Unknown and Spam."
  • Simply toggle on "Filter Unknown Senders."

Let's now focus on another menace faced by phone users, which is a grave security threat. It's a SIM swap.

What is SIM Swap?

SIM swap occurs when someone calls a call center agent of your carrier and convinces him that it's you. They do so by accessing your information leaked through data breaches or the information you share on social network sites. They convince the call center employee to swap the SIM card of your phone number and then replace it with their SIM.

What Should You Do?

To minimize the chances of having your phone number taken over by a criminal, you may lock your wireless account with a PIN or a password. Here's how you do it:
  • T-Mobile: Assign a PIN or passcode the very first time you access your account. Follow the prompts after you've picked Text Messages or Security questions.
  • Verizon: Ask for a Port Freeze on your account after you've called *611. You may also enable Enhanced Authentication for your account.

To protect your online security in these days of rising crime, we suggest that you use a VPN app. With a VPN, your IP address is hidden, which prevents hackers from tracking you. This protection happens because you connect to a remote server in the location you have chosen. As a bonus, your internet traffic gets encrypted and travels safely through the digital space.
It's very irritating when your phone buzzes and you see it is only spam. We have given you effective tips on how to minimize the spam you receive every day, even though you can't stop them altogether. SIM swap is a dangerous crime we have talked about briefly. To protect yourself, follow our instructions and be safe.
Since people are glued to their mobile devices all day, it is understandable that many might fall for text scams. Thus, exercise caution whenever you receive an unexpected message, and do not let emotions take over. For instance, a message claiming that there is a problem with your tax returns might seriously scare you. However, be rational and contact the official institution.


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