In 2004, Bill Gates predicted Spam would be “solved” in two years. To say that he missed the mark would be an understatement. The average American receives 28 spam calls and 14 spam texts ever month! Spam is not just irritating, it can also be dangerous, as 94% of malware is delivered via spam messages.
If you phone is getting blown up and your inbox bogged down with unwanted spammy messages, there are a number of tips and tricks you can use to protect yourself. Here’s how:
When it comes to spam texts, the number one, most important rule is ignore, ignore, ignore. This is a tough one as you may be compelled to give the spammer a piece of your mind but replying to spam texts proves to the spammer that your number is valid and that there is a real living breathing human on the other side. Once the spammer has validated your phone number’s validity, that gives them the green light to keep spamming you or even sell your number to other spammers.
Instead of replying, simply block the number on your phone (how to block a number on iPhone/Android) and report the text as spam to your provider. Many people don’t know this, but anyone can flag a text as spam by forwarding the text the 7726. Once you forward the text to 7726, you will receive a reply asking for you to reply with the phone number that sent you the spam message. Doing this helps your provider identify spammers and potentially investigate, saving customers from being spammed by that same number again.
This should go without saying, but you should never, ever, ever click any links in any spam text messages. Be careful to resist the urge to click on links that look harmless. Some spammers will use fake package tracking links to attempt to trick you into checking the status of a delivery. This is one of the most common tactics.
As a precautionary measure, be sure to turn on your phone’s built-in unknown number filtering feature (iPhone/Android) as well. While this will not necessarily stop spam messages from being received, this will certainly help you to identify, ignore, block, and report suspicious messages, and prevent accidental link clicks.
For an added layer of protection, add a service like RoboKiller or SpamHound. RoboKiller is a paid service, but if your spam situation is totally out of control, then the small expense will be well worth it as RoboKiller will analyze incoming calls and text messages and automatically stop 99% of incoming spam. SpamHound is free and works a little differently by allowing you to blacklist and whitelist certain types of messages, keywords, and other attributes.
When it comes to spam email, there are a number of different types of “spam” that clutter our inboxes. Some “spam” is legitimate (but still annoying) marketing email. Other, more nefarious, messages originate from bad actors trying to dupe you into opening a file, clicking a link, or even extort you for money. To clean out your inbox, you need to take action against each type of spammer. Simply deleting or archiving a message will not stem the flow.
The fist step to dealing with an unwanted, unsolicited email is to flag is as junk. Each email provider (Outlook/Gmail/Yahoo/AOL) has a different process, but all are relatively easy to do. You can also block specific addresses to stop receiving any future messages from that sender (Outlook/Gmail/Yahoo/AOL). Finally, you need to unsubscribe from any mailing lists you are on. While this may seem obvious, it is still important and will make the biggest impact on your overall inbox health. Fortunately, there are some nifty tools that can be helpful here. For example, Unroll.Me will both consolidate your subscriptions into a single “Daily Rollup” email and allow you to quickly and easily unsubscribe with 1-click.
If you feel like you are past the point of no return when it comes to spam messages, popups, or any other computer issues, it may be time to call in the experts. Luckily, TekDash can connect you with expertly trained tech professionals to diagnose and treat the problem, fast, remotely or in your home. Booking an appointment takes less than 3 minutes, and our friendly Teks are eager to help.