Summary: Tired of spam calls and robocalls? Here are 5 steps you can take right now to make sure you never receive those pesky calls again (or at least keep them to a minimum).
Spam calls are one of the biggest nuisances of modern life — and they happen to everyone. According to Fortune and YouMail, Americans receive over 159 million robocalls every day, which comes out to a whopping 1,911 spam calls per second.
It’s mindboggling, but it’s our reality. Robocalls aren’t going away any time soon. However, there are certain steps you can take and tools you can use to help take control of your phone.
Read on to discover our top 5 steps to curbing those annoying, unwanted spam calls.
What to Avoid With Spam Calls
First, let’s review a few things you should — or rather, shouldn’t — do when you get a spam call. According to the Federal Communications Commission, you should never answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize, even if it looks like a local caller. However, if you do pick up, don’t respond to any questions, and don’t volunteer private information, such as Social Security numbers, passwords, or banking information.
Okay, now let’s jump in.
Step 1: Register on the Do Not Call List
To get off telemarketers’ call lists, you can register your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. By doing this, legitimate telemarketers will avoid calling you.
Unfortunately, this step is not 100% effective. There are plenty of spammers and scammers around the world who will ignore this list altogether. While this is a great first step, you should also take the below actions in tandem to get the best results.
Step 2: Block Spam Calls as They Come In
The next step you can take is to block robocalls as they come in. While this may seem time-consuming at first, it will help lessen spam calls over time and teach your phone to reject certain numbers going forward.
To do this on an iPhone, tap the Phone icon to go to your recent calls. Click the icon symbol to the right of the unwanted call. Scroll to the bottom and click on the bright red button, Block this Caller.
The process is similar on Androids. Go to your recent calls, click the number you want to block, and select Block.
You can also do a quick online search to find specific instructions for your phone.
Step 3: Silence Unknown Calls
Even though you’ve blocked a spam number, sometimes spammers will just use another phone number to contact you. To prevent this, you can use the built-in features on both iPhones and Androids to silence unknown calls. This makes it super easy to sift through the noise and ensure that you only receive calls from people in your contact list.
On iPhone, go to your Settings, then select Phone. Scroll down and toggle Silence Unknown Callers to On.
Similarly, for Androids, go to your recent calls. Tap the three dots on the top of your screen, then go to Settings and Block Numbers. Click Block Calls From Unidentified Callers.
Step 4: Work With Your Mobile Carrier
In addition to the above, most mobile carriers offer blocking tools that you can use for additional security on just about any phone.
You can look at your plan details to see if any service is included for free or contact your carrier to ask about apps or programs you can join to access things like personal blocklists, spam reporting, and more. Some Caller IDs are now warning users of potential spam calls from suspicious numbers, so you don’t even need to pick up the phone for some calls.
Step 5: Download a Third-Party App
Based in Seattle, Hiya allows you to chop down all those spam calls for good. They have an extensive database and use machine-learning models to accurately analyze calls.
YouMail employs a clever trick. When a spammer calls you, the app will deploy an “out of service” message. Once they see that your phone number is no longer in service, spammers will remove it from their call list altogether.
RoboKiller lets you have some fun at the spammer’s expense. When a spam call comes through, a RoboKiller “Answer Bot” will pick up and drive the spammer crazy with a never-ending message. It’s like giving spammers a taste of their own medicine.
Now that you’ve read our guide, you’re armed with the knowledge to reduce your spam and robocalls and enjoy a quieter life! And if you’re looking to stay safer online generally, check out our entire cyber safety suite. Pro tip: it pairs perfectly with fiber internet.