Spam protection feature rolling out to some Messages' users

Judy Cobb
December 31, 2018

Thankfully for Android users, Google has been on top of developing a solution to combat this problem, and it'll come to us in the form of an updated Messages app. Users who received the function should get a pop-up when they open Messages informing them about the new feature.

There is no official announcement from Google as yet, meaning that like most new features the company rolls out, it is a server-side change that is going to gradually go live for users, depending on device and geographical location.

Based on a support page that has since been deleted, the feature does send some information back to Google (like the numbers behind incoming messages), but strips out data that could identify you personally, and the message content.

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To work effectively, Messages will send some information about your messages to Google, and when spam is reported, reports "include a copy of the spammer's messages (up to 10)". Howbeit, the content of the message will not be read; such as the phone number or the message body. If you do, you can access it in Messages by tapping Settings Advanced Spam protection where you will find a simple enable/disable toggle. If you send a report, it includes the spammers last 10 texts, but none of your replies.

The new feature compliments existing features, such as blocking numbers and the spam protection already built into Google's native Phone app available on Pixel, Android One and some Android Go devices. It's a feature that will be automatically enabled, but you can venture into the settings and disable it if you choose.

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