How to control Whatsapp Spam

Whatsapp is a popular texting app available for almost all platforms of mobile devices. It has literally killed Short Message Services (the SMS) as the features that come with Whatsapp, allow you to pick up a cool background, backup the conversations and more. In short, Whatsapp is speedily replacing SMS as a form of texting. And with this, the form of spamming is also changing. People are facing what is now called Whatsapp spam. This article intends to discuss Whatsapp spam and methods to block or control the spam.

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Whatsapp Spam

You know spam, and you have dealt with it. It started with email, and you saw countless emails – sent to bulk email addresses – that were of no use to you. There were days when you manually picked up wanted emails from unwanted ones. Then the Junk Mail Filters were created, and email spam is literally under control. There is still email spamming – no doubt on that – but most of the spam is caught by the filters on the webmail and on the email clients.

After email spam, you had to deal with SMS spam. Unwanted SMSes from people you never know start coming to your phone. Many countries placed a ban on sending bulk SMSes so that cellphone users can breathe a sigh of relief. In India alone, 97% of SMS spam stopped after the introduction of a ban on bulk SMS.

But spammers always find out a way to reach you and this time; it is unwanted and unconfirmed information on Whatsapp. The spam you receive can be advertisements or rumors. I often wonder how they get our phone numbers to spam us whenever they want. The only method around Whatsapp spam is to identify the number from where spam is coming and block it.

Block Whatsapp Spam

The methods to block Whatsapp contacts are different in iOS and Android. In either case, first, you have to save the number that is sending spam so that you can block it. Add the number as a contact to your phonebook and then block it.

In iOS, you have to go to the contact list and then block the user from there. In Android, you can block people right from the message. Just hit the context menu button and select block this contact. You can also go to the contacts and long press on a contact name to bring out a menu with block option in it. Once blocked, though they may send messages to your cellphone, the messages will not reach you.

Regulation of Whatsapp Spam

In the lines of law that bans people from sending bulk SMSes, lawmakers of all countries should now consider blocking bulk messages. Facebook cannot block spam messages because it cannot see the contents of the message to determine whether the message is spam. Though it sees bulk messages being sent to different phone numbers, it cannot see the contents because the contents are encrypted from end to end. Though a good measure, it stops Facebook from snooping on what you are being sent and thus makes it unable to stop spam.

That is why a regular ban from lawmakers is required. If the lawmakers introduce a law similar to the one brought in for SMS, you can see a decrease in Whatsapp spam.

It is said that Whatsapp is continuously monitored by government agencies, but I do not know if they can do anything to stop spam. I also do not know whether the government agencies decrypt the messages or if it is just another rumor that government is spying Whatsapp communications. But since they too cannot do much, I would like to ask the lawmakers to bring in a regulation restricting the same message being sent to hundreds of phone numbers. I cannot see any other method to control Whatsapp spam, and I hope some action will be taken against it by the lawmakers. Until then, all you can do is to add the spammer as a contact and then block that contact.

As a WhatsApp user, you too should always be circumspect about which messages you forward. Always check for the veracity of the messages first. This way, you help control WhatsApp spam.

If you have any ideas to deal with Whatsapp spam, please share with us.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN