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Scam Alert! How Google Messages' spam protection feature keeps you safe – A quick guide

Google Messages now fights SMS scams with built-in Spam Protection which keeps users safe from deceptive messages. Here's how to do it.

Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Updated on: December 12, 2023 9:11 IST
google, google messages, google messages spam protection feature, what is spam protection, tech news
Image Source : GOOGLE Google Messages

In the constant battle against scammers, Google Messages offers a built-in Spam Protection feature. This feature is designed to protect users from deceptive messages that often come through SMS, a common method employed by scammers.

What is Google Messages Spam Protection? 

Google Messages, the default SMS app for Android, incorporates a Spam Protection feature. This real-time scanning tool works actively to identify and filter out potential spam messages. Importantly, Google emphasises privacy, ensuring users have control over this feature, making it optional.

How to Activate Spam Protection in Google Messages

  1. Open the Google Messages app on your smartphone.
  2. Tap on your profile icon located at the top right corner and navigate to Settings.
  3. Look for the "Spam Protection" option.
  4. Enable the toggle.

That’s it! With Spam Protection turned on, Google Messages will automatically filter messages which provides an additional layer of defense against scams. Users also have the option to manually report any message as spam. 

How Does It Keep You Safe?

The Spam Protection feature operates by detecting suspected spam messages and directing them to a dedicated folder. Users can actively contribute to the spam identification process by marking messages as either "Report spam" or "Report not spam" when prompted. 

Machine learning models on the device play an important role in identifying spam patterns without compromising message content unless the user chooses to report it. Notably, the spam detection process occurs offline which prioritises user privacy. Google may collect anonymous data, including non-identifying information, to enhance spam protection.

This data might be temporarily stored, but persistent identifiers like names or phone numbers are deliberately avoided to preserve user privacy during the improvement process.

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