How To Actually Get Rid Of All The Spam On Your Phone

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Getting spam in your email is common enough, but getting spam texts and calls on your iPhone is becoming an all too common reality.
If you ended up on your local airport's notifications list you can probably pinpoint the cause: That escape to warmer weather you took in February, perhaps?
But other spam texts come from more sinister places. "Sometimes criminals don't have your number but are merely texting to verify [that the number is valid]," says Satnam Narang, Senior Security Response Manager at Norton by Symantec.
But there are steps you can and should take if you get a spam text. Many will suggest that you reply with the word STOP to cease further communications. Do not do this, unless you solicited the text in some way by signing up for alerts. "This can be a ploy to verify your number is working, which could lead to more text or call related spam messages," Narang says.
Also, avoid clicking on any links in the message. Instead, forward the text or a screenshot of it to the Federal Trade Commission at 7726. Can't remember that number? It craftily correlates with the letters S-P-A-M. You can also file a separate complaint with the FTC online here or over the phone at 1-888-382-1222.
If you're getting calls from telemarketers or automated services, you can take your number off those lists by signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry. There are also free spam blocking apps you can download, such as Hiya and Truecaller, but Narang cautions that you should always read the privacy policy for these and know that some will require access to all of your contacts.
Above all, don't give your number out unless you need to and you fully trust the person or company you're giving it to. And if you don't feel comfortable giving our your real number, sign up for Google Voice to get an alternative burner number.

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