Google introduces verified SMS feature in Android messages

Spam messages have increasingly become a problem in the digital era. A recent report from Truecaller shows that Africa has the three top countries where users receive most spam texts in a month.

In Ethiopia, for example, a mobile phone user receives around 120 spam texts in a month, the highest rate globally. South Africa ranks second while Kenya, unsurprisingly, is at number three.

Google, through its newly introduced spam protection tools, aims to fight the rise of spam texts in the proprietary Android Messages app. One of the new features is the Verified SMS feature. Through this feature, Google will verify any text from a strange number if it’s from a legitimate business or not.

Verified businesses will display a business name, logo, and a verification badge inside the message thread. The company says the verification process is done per-message basis, and it’s done without sending your messages to Google.

SMS texts with no verification, however, doesn’t mean the business is not legit. This is because not all businesses have been registered on Google’s database yet.

Verified SMS is rolling out gradually in few countries (excluding Kenya) for now, but it will also be available in the global markets in the future.

On top of the Verified SMS feature, Google also tipped on its Real-time spam protection tools available on Android Messages.

“With Spam protection for Messages, we warn you of suspected spam and unsafe websites we’ve detected. If you see a suspected spam warning in Messages you can help us improve our spam models by letting us know if it’s spam or not,” Roma Slyusarchuk, Software Engineer of Messages at Google explained.

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Gbenga Ajao
Gbenga Ajao is a journalist. He has garnered experience in print, electronic and new media. He is passionate about mobile and web technology.

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