In a tech-driven world, we organise our busy days on our devices, being smartphones, tablets, laptops and even watches. We list our appointments, alarms, errands, and track our health.
Surely, robotexts and spam are not welcome, as they only serve as a distraction from our tight schedule. The malicious sender has no good intentions, and if we aren`t sharp and click on a link in error, or because we were in a hurry, we might end up in an unpleasant situation, with a hacked device or even worse.
We hear the bell/tune, and excitedly check our phones for incoming messages or emails, only to find spam, which interrupted us for nothing. To add insult to injury, some service providers or phone plans may incur charges with any incoming messages, so that is an extra pain, adding to our frustration.
So how to block these pestering robotexts and spam?
Here us out, as we list some tips below.
Do Not Respond
The safest thing to do when receiving messages or emails from unknown sources is to ignore them, don`t reply, even better delete.
If email was opened out of curiosity, avoid replying, and most importantly do not click on any attachments or links featuring in the email/message.
If these type of emails/messages are replied to, or links clicked on, they could trigger malware (malicious software) which will infect your device, sending a message to the scammer that your number is valid. Your number could be shared among other scammers, generating even more junk mail or text. Meanwhile, your device and it’s software, your passwords, and apps, including the banking app could be compromised.
– ideally don`t open any suspicious emails/messages
– avoid replying to unknown senders
– do not click on any attachments or links
– delete these type of emails/messages
Block Phone Numbers
If instead of emails, you are receiving spam messages, one of the options could be to block this particular phone number. Thing is that scammers can still send you messages from a different phone number. However, if you opt for this method, we are explaining it below for both Apple iOS and Android.
Apple iOS (iPhones)
– tap on the scammer`s phone number featuring on the top of message received
– tap on Info
– on next screen, select Block this Caller
– then Block Contact to confirm
– tap on the three-dot icon on the right hand side as featuring on the scammer`s message received
– the steps then may vary depending on your phone model and OS (Operating System) version
– look for Block Number option, or select Details then click on Block and Report Spam
Report Phone Numbers
Depending on phone plans and providers, one can also report these scammers` phone numbers.
On an Apple iPhone, this is usually done by pressing down on an offending message, tap more and then click on the right arrow to forward it as a new text.
For Android phones, one must still press down on the malicious message, then tap the three-dot icon at the top, and select Forward.
Filter Out Spammers
For Android, spam messages can be disabled from Google`s Messages app:
– click on the three-dot icon top right
– select Settings
– then Spam Protection
– switch on the Enable Spam Protection
Now your smartphone will let you know whenever an incoming message is suspected as being spam.
As for Apple iPhone or iOS system, one can group unknown messages into a folder within the Messages app:
– click on Settings
– then Messages
– switch on the Filter Unknown Senders
Some providers offer their own filtering and blocking tools for subscribers, although for the most part these are more focused on phone calls, but they can also block numbers which attempt to send in messages. For this option, check with your provider for further information.
Alternatively, there are a myriad of apps both on Google`s Play Store and Apple`s App Store, which may assist in filtering/blocking spam messages or calls.
We explain a free one as a taste hereunder, while mentioning a couple of others which are good but come at a cost.
SpamHound SMS Spam Filter
On iOS it simply enhances Apple`s built-in Messages app to filter out SMS spam.
Whereas on Android, it is a bit different. The app becomes your default SMS app for sending and receiving texts. SpamHound automatically displays past text messages and provides access to your contacts, but then you can`t use GIFs, images, videos or other files.
Regarding message blocking, the app can detect spam based on keywords and other factors. You can fine tune SpamHound by creating a blacklist and a whitelist, listing rules for what you want filtered out or coming in.
Other apps worth mentioning which come at a cost
SMS Spam Stopper – iOS only, around €2.85
RoboKiller – for both iOS and Android, around €3.80 monthly, or around €28.55 yearly
TextKiller – iOS only, free one-week trial, a premium edition costs around €3.80 monthly, or around €28.55 yearly
Feel free to roam in the respective Stores, and do check the reviews prior to installing, especially if the app you fancy comes at a cost.
Remember that hackers or scammers are always on the lookout, enhancing their equipment, and studying plans to infiltrate into big companies` data, but also into our devices. They scour and try to obtain precious information, enabling them to access personal belongings, being media like videos and/or photos with which they can blackmail, or even trying to transfer money from bank accounts.
To avoid frustrations, or even worse a shock, please do consider our suggestions as listed above. After all is for your own benefit, and peace of mind.
If you suspect that your device has been compromised or tampered with, liaise with your provider and police if need be. Nowadays, police forces have their cyber squads who will assist and guide you accordingly.