SMS spam has increase exponentially in the digital age. With this increase in SMS spam, everyone needs to know the rules governing spam as well as ways to block spam on your device, whether it is Android or Apple.
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A man holding smartphone with one new message on a screen. Closeup shot.[/caption]
Android and Apple have ways to block unwanted SMS. Spam SMS could cause overages and are just plain annoying. I do not want to know about your great sale on peanuts. If I wanted to know what sale is going on, I can look online, on Facebook or even the old-fashioned way- newspaper ads. I do not always get SMS spam but when I do, it is not anything I am interesting to me and with SMS spam on the rise, enforcing regulations is like stopping on an anthill and trying to calm the angry ants down.
There are rules listed on the FCC site but there is one important one- when it comes to SMS spam. There is the CAN-SPAM Act that defines commercial messages as any used for advertising or to promote products or services primarily. The CAN-SPAM does not include SMS that are about recent payments, warranties or bill reminders. The FCC ban does not include non-commercial SMS, which are messages about political office candidates, or email messages that you forward from your email to SMS.
The rules for commercial messages are as follows:
- Identification – it must clearly state that it is advertisement for services or products
- Opt-Out – it must state clearly, how to opt-out and it must be easy and free to reject SMS from the sender
- Return Address – if it is an email, it must have a return address.
If you have given consent for commercial SMS, it must be in written form with a signature. The only exception to this rule is if you sign up for “tips or informational SMS” – these can be just orally approved.
For Apple iPhones:
You must have iOS 7 or later installed, all you have to do is open message, tap Contact and then tap the little “I” button. When the contact information come up, you scroll down to the “block this caller” option and tap it. Apple, also, allows you to see all the numbers you have blocked on your device. You can access this feature on your Apple iPhone by the following steps: go into settings, select messages and then go to blocked senders. Here you can remove a sender by swiping the number from right to left.
It is not quite as easy to block spam SMS on Android. Do not be discouraged because it can be done. If there is a number attached to the SMS- then you can add it to contacts and block the contact (this is something I have done to block spam SMS)
Also, if you have not updated to KitKat, you can download third-party SMS apps such as SMS-Filter. These Android apps allow you to create and manage a block list. Also, there are SMS filters that flag certain messages as spam for you so that you an review and block.
If you already have KitKat,to you will have to change your default SMS to another program that allows SMS blocking. First, you can just use Google Hangouts as your default SMS to block ads. Also, there are other SMS third party apps as EvolveSMS or SMS Blocker.
With SMS spam on the rise with both Android and Apple devices, being able to stop these nuisances is not complicated and will clear out unwanted SMS.