SMS Spam

Is there anything more annoying than spam? I think yes, it’s those websites that take our personal information and on-sell this for their financial benefit to our detriment. Often it is difficult to ascertain whether a website is indeed trustworthy, is their stated Privacy Policy just for show or are they planning to abide by what’s written?

Often when signing up to a website we’re required to provide our mobile/cell phone numbers, it’s a required field for which they then text us a code to confirm we exist. Unlike email services where we can create aliases that can be per-site (e.g. Apple’s hide my email service) or manually created via sites like Outlook.com and the like, doing the same for our phones is just not an option, unless you have an additional account just for such situations.

Recently, I signed up to a website, several in fact, and despite checking the Privacy Policy of each, soon after one of these websites had forwarded my details to a spammer and it has been regular SMS messages with links in hope I might be stupid enough to click.

Though my iPhone supports filtering unknown texts from known senders sadly it is not using machine learning to examine content from unknown senders and disable links, something I think should be default from all mobile platforms to protect users. If the message was valid, we could do as we do with our emails and enable per message, I think the current default of loading content and enabling links is a dangerous one.

I would dearly love to see Governments restrict/stop businesses on selling user’s personal information, that we must opt in to allowing its being shared and having control over what we allow to be shared.

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