Spam, the scourge of almost all forms of communication. Spamming is the sending
of unsolicited junk mail, the term became popular during the first few years of
the internet being used commercially in the 1990’s. People’s inboxes became
flooded with virtual junk mail covering anything from free electrical goods to
cheap Viagra pills. As a result there have been many software companies founded
solely to shield the public from all this junk mail.
Whilst most email clients such as Microsoft’s Live mail and Google Mail are now
able to screen most of the spam from their users the spammers are moving with
the times and have set their sights on their next target: Mobile Phones.
Mobile Phones are seen as easy targets since text messages are the perfect
medium for sending their junk mail to the world and their neighbour. The extent
of this issue is most prevalent in China. In China there are an estimated 555
Million mobile phone users, two hundred million phone users who were surveyed
reported to have been victims of mobile spam. Considering that most users
reported that they received on average 8 spammy messages per week this makes for
a huge problem.
In America and Europe this is also a problem with many of us struggling to find
out how to stop the deluge of junk texts we receive, in this country the
majority of them are in a way self inflicted. Many people, predominantly young
people sign up to ring tone services for the latest tune on their mobile phones
but fail to notice the small print that scrolls across the TV screen that states
that it is a subscription service and you will be charged weekly whether you
like it or not.
The only way to cease this is to find out what magic phrase you need to send to
them in order to break free. Recent legislation ruled that all services must use
the system where by if you send them a text message saying “STOP” then they must
stop pestering you. This was as a result of many angry parents who ended up
footing the bill for their children who have mobile phones, whilst most children
with mobile phones have pay as you go mobile phones there are some parents that
have trusted them with contract phones and so the potential cost is limitless.
Whilst the child having a contract phone means they will always be able to call
home regardless of credit it is advisable that you contact your network operator
to impose spending limits.
It is important that despite all the investigations and news regarding the
matter text spam is not an epidemic and with a little vigilance with regards to
who you give your mobile phone number to, you should remain spam free. Security
firms like Trend Micro and Symantec are even developing portable versions of
their security software to prevent the possibility of future malware or mobile
viruses being spread on mobile phones.