Statistics show that 81% of Americans text regularly with more than six billion text messages being sent every day.
An impressive 2.7 trillion texts are sent every year! That’s just in the US.
It’s not surprising. Sending a text is quick, cheap, and anyone can do it, even if you don’t have a smartphone.
Unfortunately, as with most developments in technology, text messages can be used for other purposes.
You can end up receiving a lot of messages you don’t want or need. That’s a spam text message.
That’s why you need to learn how to block text messages.
Dangers Associated With Text Messages
There are a variety of issues associated with text messages.
Some, such as texting while driving, are a personal choice and will make it more likely that you’ll have an accident.
In fact, texting while driving is considered so dangerous that it is banned in 39 US states.
Hospitals have also noticed an increase in patients with text-related injuries.
Sending a text message in itself is unlikely to injure you. However, you are likely to be focused entirely on your phone.
As a result, many people are injured because they have walked into objects or even walked out into the road.
Text messages are easy to write but many people will abbreviate words, making it even faster.
Unfortunately, this relies on the person receiving the message understanding the abbreviation.
In addition, most people have autocorrect turned on, allowing the phone to correct messages from you. This can lead to words being changed, confusing their meaning.
It’s worth noting that humans generally communicate physically as well as verbally.
Think about any conversation you have had and you’ll realize that you use your hands a lot.
This isn’t the case when sending text messages, meaning that the message won’t capture your underlying meaning.
The result is miscommunication and poor understanding.
Text messages can be accessed by others. This wasn’t originally the case.
However, the closer phones become to computers the easier it is to hack them.
That means you’ll need to be careful about what information is sent via text messages and make sure your phone has adequate security.
The most common way to hack someone’s phone is by installing malware.
This is usually downloaded when you download a dubious-quality app. The simplest way to avoid this is to only use apps developed by trusted and reputable businesses.
Spam is one of the biggest concerns and the top reason people conduct searches such as ‘how do I block a text message’ or ‘how to stop spam texts’.
Spam is effectively junk mail on your phone.
It can be sent in an attempt to convince you to buy a particular product.
Spam messages may also be asking for your personal data or encouraging you to download software.
In both cases you’ll be releasing your personal data to cyber criminals.
They can use this information to access your personal accounts or even to steal your identity.
You’ll end up with a financial mess which needs to be sorted out.
While spam messages are a nuisance, they can’t force you to part with your money.
To ensure your hard-earned cash stays safe, you need to avoid clicking on any link in your text messages. It’s a good idea to adopt the same approach with emails.
Only click on a link from someone you know and trust, and even then, only do it when you’re confident the link is genuine.
Why You Receive Spam Messages
It’s likely that you’ve added your mobile number to your social media accounts.
When you do this data brokers will collect your personal information and create a file with all your details.
This file can be accessed by anyone, including scammers.
Alternatively, you may have inadvertently replied to a spam message in the past, thinking it was a genuine message.
This gives your number to data brokers and scammers.
Equally, data breaches can leak your details, including your phone number.
That means almost anyone can locate it and start sending you random messages.
How To Block Text Messages: Most Effective Techniques
There are several effective techniques to block spam texts.
The simplest approach to blocking text messages is to do it from your phone.
However, the process is slightly different depending on what phone system you’re using.
On Apple Phones
Here’s how you block a text message on an Apple phone:
- Turn on your iPhone
- Open the messages app
- Tap the number of the unwanted message
- Find the symbol of a person’s head and tap on it
- Look down the pop-up list and select ‘block this caller’
You can classify it as spam at the same time, if you wish. To do so you simply hold your finger on the message for a few seconds.
A menu will pop up and you can select the ‘report junk’ option. You will need to confirm you’re listing it as spam.
Apple will then receive the number and permanently delete the message from your phone or other device.
It’s also possible to filter messages from unknown senders. This is also very easy:
- Tap on the settings option
- Find the messages option and select it
- Move through the next menu until you find message filtering
- Look for ‘filter unknown senders’ and activate it
You’ll only see messages from known senders.
To see other messages you’ll have to look in the unknown senders folder.
You can still access the messages but it is impossible to click on any link unless the sender is added to your contacts list.
If you’ve blocked a number and realize that you know the person, here is how you unblock it.
- On your iPhone select the settings option
- Choose the phone option followed by ‘blocked contacts’
- You’ll be presented with a list of blocked numbers
- Choose the number you want to unblock and tap the small ‘i’ next to it
- Select ‘unblock this number’ from the list and you’ll start receiving messages from them again
Using An Android Phone
You can block text messages directly on the phone, the approach will vary depending on which messaging system you are using:
The following process works for the Google Messages app, the approach is similar for most apps although the commands may be located in slightly different places.
- Open your Google Message app and find the message that needs to be blocked
- Select the three horizontal dots next to the message
- A menu will appear, choose the ‘details’ option
- You’ll be given more menu options – select ‘block & report spam’
- Decide whether you want to block the message or block it and report it as spam. You’ll need to tick the box if you want to report it as spam
- Hit ok and the message is blocked, you won’t receive any more messages from the number
Messaging App On Phone
This process is very similar to blocking a number on Google Messages:
- Open your messages app
- Find the message that you wish to block and touch it, holding your finger in place for a couple of seconds
- The message will be selected, it’s possible to select more than one message at the same time
- Tap the three vertical dots in the top right of the screen
- Select the information option
- Choose the block and signal spam option
- Decide whether you want to just block or block and tell your carrier that it’s a spam message
- Click okay
Again, it’s possible to unblock a phone number if you realize it is safe to do so.
- Open your messages
- In the top right of the screen select the three vertical dots
- Choose the ‘spam and blocked’ option
- Select the message you want to unblock
- You’ll be given the option to unblock the number and move it back to your inbox, click Okay
Blocking Text Messages Via Phone Carrier
It’s also possible to block a text message via your phone carrier:
- Go to the website of your phone carrier
- Log in – if they are your carrier you’ll have an account, although you may need to find the login details
- Locate the option to block a text message. It will usually be found in the profile options
- Choose which device you want to block text messages from – it can block the device from receiving any messages
- Of course, it can also block individual messages, simply select the blocked list and tap on the plus sign to add the number you want to be blocked
- Remember to hit save before exiting the app
As mentioned, the process is slightly different for each carrier but there will be instructions to guide you on their site.
Top Tips To Help You Deal With Spam Messages
An effective approach to stop spam texts is to be aware of what they are and deal with them correctly.
It’s easier than you may think.
Identify Spam Messages
If you receive a message from a number that you don’t recognize it could be spam. If the summary of the message seems vague then ignore it.
However, most scammers will tell you there is a potential issue with your account and ask you to call them or verify the issue via the provided link.
This is likely to be spam.
As well as the message being unsolicited, you should look at the number, it’s likely to be longer than it should be.
You can check whether it is a genuine number online.
Equally, any message that requires you to act urgently should be treated with suspicion.
Do Not Respond
The bottom line is simple, if the message isn’t from someone you know and trust then don’t click on links or ring the phone numbers provided.
Instead, look online for the real phone number of the bank or other business and ring them directly to ask if there is an issue.
Don’t forget, you should never give out passwords, your date of birth, or other personal information over the phone.
Make sure you block the number from sending you any further messages.
If you have clicked a link and entered any personal details, change all your passwords and notify your bank immediately.
Keep Your Number Private
Keeping your number private will make it harder for scammers to get hold of it and send you spam.
Remove from All Accounts
To prevent scammers from getting your phone number, keep it private. That means taking it off all your social media accounts and other public sites.
There is no need for your phone number to be displayed for the world to see.
Avoid Posting It Unnecessarily
Equally, if a site asks for your phone number, question why they need it and check what they will do with it. Provided they have a good data policy you can provide it.
But, if not, it’s also possible to supply a fake one.
Use A VPN
A VPN hides your internet connection, making it more difficult for anyone to hack your device and access personal information.
This will help to keep you safe online and your phone number private.
Check Privacy Settings
On your computer or phone open the settings menu and then choose the privacy option.
You’ll be presented with an array of options.
Go through each option and make sure your personal details are set to private.
You don’t need to share them with anyone.
Remove Your Information From Data Brokers
Your data, including your phone number, can be logged by data brokers.
They scrape information from various websites to create a profile of you and your activities.
This can then be sold to scammers and accessed by virtually anyone.
To protect yourself and stop spam messages you need to remove your data from the data brokers.
All you have to do is send them a request to remove your data, they must then comply or contact you if they need further information.
However, there are hundreds of data brokers, contacting all of them will take hundreds of hours.
That’s why you should use a data removal service.
Personally, I have used Incogni .
The service is effective, fast, and they have an excellent customer support team.
What Incogni Has To Offer
Incogni offers you two subscription plans. The first is a monthly option, you pay month-by-month and can stop at any time.
It costs $12.79 a month. In my opinion, the better option is an annual subscription.
It’s paid in one go but effectively costs $6.49 a month.
You’ll find it invaluable as Incogni will repeat requests to remove data as and when needed.
The reason this is necessary is that data brokers are legally obliged to remove your information when requested to do so.
However, there is nothing stopping them adding your data back onto their system a month or two later.
Incogni knows this and will resend the requests to ensure your data stays removed.
As a service, Incogni is excellent, it does exactly what it says it will.
But, my favorite part of the service is the dashboard.
At a glance I can see how many removal requests have been made, how many are completed, the number in progress, and any that have queries.
It’s even possible to get more detailed information on each data broker.
Alongside this, it’s very easy to get started with Incogni. Simply add your username and create a password before selecting your subscription.
A few more personal details and your payment and Incogni will instantly start working for you.
If you have any issues the customer support team is on hand to help. I’ve found them to be fast and effective assistance.
Text messages, even spam ones, can seem fairly harmless. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
They can provide access for scammers to steal your information and even your identity.
That’s why you need to know how to block text messages.
Fortunately, this guide has everything you need to effectively block messages and reduce, or even eliminate, spam messages from getting to your phone.
I recommend you start adjusting your privacy settings today and enlist the help of Incogni to ensure your details remain private.