How to Block SMS Spam on iPhone in iOS 11


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In iOS 10, Apple introduced an API that added Caller ID and spam call blocking functionally to the Phone app. This year, Apple has done something similar for the Messages app. Using a new API, developers can hook into the Messages app and filter messages for you.

Especially in developing countries, SMS is turning into a hotbed of unsolicited spam. It’s similar to what happened with email. Email evolved to include a smart junk folder for spam emails. This new feature adds similar functionality for SMS.

Which SMS Spam Blocker to Use?

Just like the call blocking feature, you’ll need to go into Settings and tell Apple that you want this particular app to filter messages for you. And you can only have one SMS filtering app-enabled at one time.

You’ll find a couple of apps that do this right now. But I’d suggest you start by using VeroSMS. It’s a privacy-first SMS spam blocker. No servers are involved in filtering the SMS and your data is protected.

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Plus, VeroSMS is free as long as you want to add your own keywords for blocking. By upgrading to the premium version for just $0.99 you can enable crowdsourced blacklist and whitelist keywords which are contextual for your region. In a future update, VeroSMS is also going to add machine learning features.

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Another unique thing about VeroSMS is its whitelist feature. You can add a keyword to a whitelist to make sure that important messages or updates don’t get sent to the junk folder.

Download: VeroSMS

How to Enable SMS Spam Blocker

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Once you’ve installed and enabled VeroSMS, go to the Settings app, open the Messages section and select Unknown & Spam. Here, tap on VeroSMS and from the pop-up, select Enable.

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Go back to the app and you’ll see two section – Blocklist and Whitelist. Tap on Add Keyword button in either of the section to add keywords. After you enable the Premium version, you’ll be able to directly integrate crowdsourced keywords.

Where Does the Spam Go?

Once you enable an SMS filtering app, the Messages app will create a whole new tab. Scroll to the top of the conversations screen in Messages and you’ll find an “SMS Junk” section.

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Tap on it and you’ll see the SMS that have been filtered by the app.

Explore Your Call Blocking App

If you’ve already installed a call blocking app like Hiya or Truecaller, you can try their versions of SMS blocking features as well.

What do you think of the new feature? Will you be using an SMS filtering app? Will it be something privacy based like VeroSMS or something more like Truecaller where the only way to use the app is by submitting all your personal details? Share with us in the comments below.

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