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For most people, spam appears to be an unpleasant but unavoidable part of everyday life. Even if you have the latest Android model, it’s unlikely to be long before you start to receive unsolicited marketing messages in the form of text, email, phone calls or pop-up ads. These can be mildly annoying at best and downright detrimental to your mental health at worst.

Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer in silence. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll never receive another spam message again, following a few simple tips and tricks can help to greatly reduce the number of unwanted missives you see. Here are a handful of the most effective ways to stop spam on your Android device.

  1. Do not engage

The first rule of thumb when it comes to dealing with spam messages is not to respond to them whatsoever. Even replying with a “STOP” response (or something similar) is highly inadvisable, since it will only serve to alert the sender that your phone number is indeed active. That will encourage them to send you more unwanted spam in the future and potentially share it with others within their network, multiplying the number of messages you receive many times over.

  1. Be careful with your personal data

Haven’t you heard? Data is the new gold. Any time you subscribe to a new site, service or otherwise part with your personal information, there’s a good chance it will be mined and sold to the highest bidder. As such, you should take care when agreeing to privacy policies and data collection agreements. If possible, invent a decoy email address and phone number to avoid your data being compromised.

  1. Opt out from data brokers

It’s all well and good practicing caution with your personal information going forwards, but what about all your private information that is already in the hands of data brokers? Try Googling your name and see how many results come up! Fortunately, it is possible to take back control of this information by contacting data brokers (those who buy and sell your data) to ask them to remove it from their database. Here you can find a list of data broker opt out guides which describe the opt out procedure for most major data brokers in the US.

  1. Use your email filter

Whichever email service provider you favor, they’ll undoubtedly offer a filter feature on your inbox. This will automatically detect messages from suspicious senders and direct them to your Junk folder. What’s more, you can aid the technology in upping its game by flagging spam messages that it misses (or correcting legitimate ones that it has mistaken for spam) within the inbox itself. This will inform the AI behind the filter and ensure it improves its performance going forward.

  1. Block and report text messages

If you continue to receive unwanted missives from a particular number, you can simply block it from reaching you in the future. To do so, navigate to the message and click on the three dots in the top right corner, then select “Block”. There may also be a “Report” option here, depending on the device you own. You should take care not to click on any links in the message itself, however, as this can download malware or spyware to your phone, tablet or laptop.

  1. Tweak your privacy settings

Depending on which apps you have downloaded to your phone, you may unwittingly have allowed them to spy on you as you surf the web, make calls or even just go about your daily business. If an app asks for permission to record your voice, use your camera or track your location – and it has no obvious reason for doing so – it’s likely that its developers plan to sell the information to a data broker. As such, you should deny these permissions as often as is feasible.

  1. Delete problematic apps

As well as adjusting your privacy settings, you can also delete troublesome apps altogether to enhance the security of your data. You can do this manually, or else by enlisting the help of an ad network detector. Although these detectors will not actually delete problematic apps, they will point you in the direction of those causing the problem so that you can make a decision on what to do with them. Be careful when downloading such a detector, however, since some spam generators pose as detectors to hoodwink you into parting with more data even as you try to do the opposite.

Spam has become a far too commonplace part of modern life, far too easily. It’s time to take a stand against annoying adverts, relentless robocalls and unwanted text messages. Though these tips can’t guarantee you an ad-free existence, they can significantly reduce your exposure to undesirable texts, calls, emails and pop-ups in the future.

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