If you haven’t gotten your first spam text message on your mobile phone yet, consider yourself lucky. Maybe we’ve all adjusted to the nuisance that is e-mail spam, but I don’t think I’ll ever reach that point when it comes to the privacy of my text message inbox. I mean, this is my cell phone! Does it get any more personal than that? These days, it’s hard to imagine life without my cell phone. It has provided me with easy, instantaneous access to my contacts, calendar, email, even my music – all in the palm of my hand! I know I can’t be the only one who equates the phrase ‘cell phone’ with the epitome of personal privacy. Obviously, I was less than thrilled to receive spam on the tool I use to organize my entire life, and thus became deadset on fighting it ever since.
I decided I would make my small impact on the issue by calling up the four most popular wireless providers and demanding a solution.
o Using this location on the provider’s website, customers can block text messages or phone calls from certain numbers and limit the sources of email that reach their phones from this location. Typing in “BLOCK” or “STOP” as a response to unwanted text messages is another way to keep from receiving text messages from unwanted senders. You can also call a customer service representative to solve the problem.
o Sprint suggests calling customer service to report spam messages so the company can modify its spam-filtering technology to block the phone numbers that are sending it. If you are a Sprint user, don’t respond to a spam message because it will validate your number to the sender.
o Postpaid and Flexpay customers must call customer service in order to block or filter chargeable text messages, emails, instant messages, and MMS messages.
o Customers have the option to log onto this location and purchase the Usage Controls option for $4.99 per month that permit them to block certain numbers from calling or texting. If you text with only a few select people, you can create an address here for free and receive text message sent from only that address. Verizon has filed ten lawsuits against SMS spammers over the past five years and twenty lawsuits against telemarketers.
You may not get hit by cell phone spam that often, but it’s definitely a burden when it happens. The mobile service providers are doing everything they can to protect you from mobile spam by using antispam filters and anti-virus technology. You can do your part by submitting your number to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry. Stay away from free ringtone download sites and television advertisements because they generally harvest mobile phone numbers. The mobile phone providers are doing everything that they can to make cell phone spam a legal issue, and for the most part, the government has certainly taken action against it. I know cell phone spam is an annoyance, but we’ll just have to be patient until we are able to defeat the enemy.