Have you been getting a lot of spam on Signal recently? Don’t worry, it isn’t just you. Online spammers are among some of the most persistent troublemakers on the internet, and they’ve set their sights on a new target.
Where Did Signal Spam Come ?
Signal utilizes your actual mobile number in order to identify you. If you would like to speak to another person on Signal, you can try looking them up by their phone number. On Signal, there is no separate identifier, like a username or manage, which you would associate with a platform such as Twitter or Snapchat.
This means that Signal is open to the very same abuses which you’re most likely already exposed to via SMS messages delivered to your cellular number. If your phone number was targeted by routine text-message spammers in the past, it’s probably already known to individuals who purchase, sell, and distribute databases of valid amounts for spam purposes. (That Facebook data breach is only 1 way that your phone number may have been exposed.)
Many of the users ended up on Signal due to how the instant messenger takes a privacy-focused approach to communication. With a huge influx of consumers, Signal became a far more viable target for spammers and scammers alike.
This was made so much simpler because of the manner that Signal identifies its customers with plain old phone numbers.
What You Need to Know About Signal Spam
When you receive a spam message on Signal, it is going to seem to be a regular telling, as if it came from a known contact or buddy. However, these unsolicited messages are message requests, not standard messages.
This is a fantastic thing because it requires that you engage with the number in order to interact with the message. Most scammers and spammers would like you to click a link. These links may contain malware, point to tech-support scams, use bogus websites in an effort to phish your password, or worse.
Fortunately, you can’t click on a link in a Signal message request until you have accepted the message request. This is an important safeguard since it usually means that most consumers aren’t in danger, as most users just won’t participate with the message.
Spam will look in your Signal conversation list for a message request. Tap on the petition and you’ll be able to Block, Delete, or Accept the request. Accepting the request will discuss your name and display photo and will make it possible that you click any hyperlinks contained in the message.
The safest thing to do is to bar the number completely using the Block button. Most spammers will often change numbers, but by blocking these amounts as they come, you can ensure that you don’t get any more requests from exactly the same source. You could also swipe left in the dialog list to delete the conversation without seeing it.
You shouldn’t worry about blocking legitimate correspondence through Signal. Companies like Amazon and Facebook will not send you important information by means of a third-party messaging program. If you receive a message stating that you’ve been randomly chosen to acquire something, ignore it. If you’ve been advised that a social media account needs confirmation, check for yourself by using the official program or site.
One Option: Delete Your Signal Account
The simplest way to prevent spam on this service would be to delete your Signal account. If you are hooked on the support, then this solution is far from perfect. But if you are a casual person who signed up out of curiosity, it’s an easy fix.
You are able to delete your Signal account by tapping your user icon at the program, followed Account, then Delete Account. As long as you have the same mobile number, you’ll be able to register again and use the service.
The only other solution is exactly the same route you’d take to combat nuisance callers and SMS spammers: altering your mobile number. If you choose this path, you need to be careful who you give your number to so you can avoid end up on a spammer’s database in the future.
Unfortunately, it looks like only a matter of time before most numbers are compromised in this way. Security breaches frequently expose mobile numbers, even when you’re careful about not providing your information to marketing companies.
In all probability, the spam is likely to return , whether it’s via Signal, SMS, or perhaps voice calls. Altering your number might be more hassle than it is worth unless you are receiving an unbearable amount of unsolicited messages.
RELATED: How to Delete Your Signal Account
Avoiding SMS Spam on Signal
On Android–but not on iPhone–Signal can also function as your default SMS app. If this is the case for you, a few of the spam you are viewing in Signal on Android may be normal SMS spam that would otherwise be delivered to a separate SMS app. Consider disabling SMS integration in Signal for Android to stop this.
Signal Spam Is a Difficult Problem to Solve
Aside from not utilizing Signal or regularly modifying up your cellular amount, you won’t find a clear solution for how to take care of Signal spam. Signal is likely already attempting to tackle the matter, but the system’s unique approach to privacy and security makes that difficult.
All Signal communication is end-to-end encrypted, meaning that only the receiver of a Signal message can read it. Even though the message is in transit, it cannot be read by Signal or your internet service provider. When the information were to be intercepted, it wouldn’t be of any use to anyone without the decryption key.
Since Signal cannot scan your messages for hyperlinks, identifying spam can be catchy. Many Signal users on Reddit have requested that the service implement a quality that will block all communication from numbers which are not in your contact list, in addition to a”Report Spam” feature that would help identify problem numbers.
Whether Signal can get along with the spam problem remains to be seen, but for now, just make sure you block suspicious incoming message asks, never click on links in emails, and guard your cellular number as possible.
Signal is private and secure, and may even be used anonymously, but be certain that you understand the way to make your Signal chats as safe as possible.