Spam texts, calls, and emails are out of control. Here’s how to fix it

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If you think you are getting a lot of spam these days, you are not alone. Both Spam Calls and Spam Texts Volume has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 5.9 billion spam calls reported in June 2021, an increase of 11%. Spam texts did not rise to 7.1 billion (a 1% increase), although there were complaints about spam texts. up 146%,

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The number of spam emails is even more staggering, with 122.3 billion sent every day Although most are caught by spam filters. Truecaller, a well-known caller ID and spam-blocking app, has also confirmed that there has been an unprecedented increase in spam robocalls and texts, with an estimated $29.8 billion in scam calls in the past year.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve certainly seen an overall increase in spam, as well as an increase in the amount of spam making it through spam filters. Apart from this being annoying, we also have to be vigilant to ensure that our devices are not tampered with, and that our invaluable data does not fall into the wrong hands.


But with so many technologies and algorithms to stop spam, why are we still getting these emails and text messages in 2021? We asked industry professionals for their thoughts on spam.

How are spammers getting my information?

Spam folder details are shown in this picture.
Raphael Heinrich / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

You get spam messages because someone gains access to your email address or phone number. Think about how often you provide your phone number or email address when checking out online, signing up for something online, or signing up for a rewards program in a store.

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“Many of these service providers have been violated, and consumers are not even aware of it. The consumer has no way of recovering their information after a breach, and that is when it is leaked to robocalling services for big money,” said Rick Lazio, former congressman and now of Cyber ​​Consultancy. senior vice president Alliant Cyber ​​Security told Nerdshala.

How simple it really is. Even if you practice good data protection, there is no way to prevent your phone number and email from spreading around the world. It’s just the cost of modern living and convenience.

Why do you receive inappropriate spam messages

If you’ve ever received an NSFW (Not Safe for Work) spam message with completely inappropriate subject matter, you’re not alone.

“While everyone gets spam, there has been an increase in receiving “inappropriate” or “dirty” spam texts and emails,” says Rizwan Virani, CEO Alliant Cyber ​​Security, “Bad actors know what they are doing. The purpose of sending spam and phishing messages is to ultimately get the recipient to open, click, or provide information. With regards to dirty spam, bad actors are protected from these types of messages. Success is coming, and therefore, they are shipping them at a higher rate than ever before.”

Even if someone responds with a “stop sending me this”, the spammer has gotten the recipient involved, providing them with a way to further exploit and collect data.

Spam and regulatory issues

Another reason we continue to receive spam calls and emails is that laws are slow to catch crimes online, and spammers use this to their advantage. “There is no law from a cybersecurity or data privacy standpoint that allows law enforcement to go after criminals who committed a breach … or allow users to protect their data.” Lazio says.

“These are all rapidly growing issues that Washington is trying to solve,” Lazio continued. “We see gains in Alliant Cyberspace in a private right of action against vendors buying data by consumers and/or a large increase in fines for the same (eg up to $5 million) if law enforcement catches up. The whistleblower also makes provision to encourage people inside these companies to light up.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allows people to complain and initiated combat robocall with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which allows you to sign up for National Do Not Call Registry, The FCC has also engaged in enforcement actions, sending ceasefires and imposing fines. Part of the problem, however, is that the spam problem is too large for the FCC to handle alone. “Close coordination within the agency and between federal and state partners can help address this consumer epidemic,” said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel as part of her statement regarding the launch of the Robocall Response Team.

How to Tell If a Text or Email Message is Spam

If you weren’t expecting a message from that person or business, it could be spam. The following are other symptoms of spasms:

  • a sense of urgency in the message
  • Bad grammar or spelling errors in the message
  • There is a link to click in the message
  • Message asking for your personal information or asking for money
  • The sender’s email address is from a personal email, but they are claiming to be a business
  • You don’t recognize the number, but the sender is claiming to be someone you know

What to do when you get a spam message

If you receive a message that you think may be spam, do not engage in any way, shape or form with the sender. “The best practice for dealing with spam is to not respond to it and delete it. Do not reply and do not call the sender’s phone number,” Virani says. “Luckily, this is the time to open a text message. That said, clicking on links, pictures, replying to text and providing any additional information. Instead of opening a text message, to begin with, play it safe and delete it.”

If you’re not sure whether a message is spam or not, contact the person or company directly and ask if they’ve contacted you. For example, if you receive a message from your bank, and you’re not 100% sure that the message came from your bank, call your bank directly and ask if they sent you a text message or email. sent it.

Whose equipment is the weakest?

Whether you’re on Android or iOS, there are many ways to stop spam, but some devices may be more vulnerable than others.

Says Virani, “The phone operating system has its own risks and vulnerabilities. “Android phones are really risky due to the variety of different operating system versions among Android phone manufacturers. The best practice here is to make sure you are keeping your phone up to date with the latest software. It is also important to understand that What mobile apps are on your phone. Mobile apps also tend to contain new code and new vulnerabilities. Be sure to update your apps and remove any apps you’re not using regularly.”

how to stop spam

Truecaller App.

Third-party IDs and spam blockers like . Apart from TruecallerOf course, many cellular carriers offer spam-blocking services either as a separate app that you can download or as an additional subscription service. one such example is T-Mobile Scam Shield, which is available to customers free of cost and provides scam ID, scam block and caller ID services. Verizon offers a similar call filter to screen incoming calls, and Call Filter Plus, which requires a subscription but includes caller ID and a block list. Finally, there’s AT&T AT&T Call Protect, which lets you block spam calls and unknown numbers, as well as identify spam risks. The Call Protect Plus upgrade requires a monthly subscription, but it adds caller ID, reverse number lookup, and more granular control over which call categories are allowed.

Pixel device users can also use Google’s AI-powered call screening to filter spam calls and block robocallers. Android and . Most default phone dialers on both iOS There are also call-blocking options, allowing you to create your own call block list and providing a way to export this list when you switch devices.

clear your data

In addition to these basics, we have . Also asked CEO of Patrick Ambron brand yourself, Other ways to help stop spam. He suggests going straight to the data brokers and searching for sites for people to opt out so they can’t sell your data. He also recommends deleting old accounts and protecting your active accounts.

“Although we don’t want to admit it, many of us still have that old MySpace account we used to have in high school but haven’t thought of in decades,” Ambron said. “While this may sound harmless, these accounts still run the risk of a data breach, which would make all personal information available to spammers on the dark web. To ensure that any old social media accounts remain dormant, we We recommend auditing all your new and old email accounts. Tools like BrandYourself’s Account Deleter or Mine can automate that process for you for free…

“Take advantage of sites that offer two-factor authentication, which many people do today. Use a password manager like LastPass or OnePassword to create complex passwords that are easily accessible, so you’re not constantly resetting them. Also, take advantage of the new privacy options sites such as Facebook or Google have begun to offer. To do this for yourself, manually turn off the tracking toggle or use a tool like Jumbo Privacy. VPNs and ad blockers are great additional tools to limit the amount of data tracking that happens while you browse.

It’s obviously easiest to practice good data hygiene from the start, but the next best option is to clean up old zombie accounts and delete profiles and services you’re no longer using. It can be tedious, but the less personal information you have online, the better.

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