I had another idea for a blog post today, but this one became necessary. When I turned on my phone this morning, I had a text from a number not in my contacts. It was a notification from telegram. I don’t have a telegram account and didn’t even know what it was until I researched. In case you are like me and have no idea what telegram is according to its website telegraph is “a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s super-fast, simple and free” (https://telegram.org/faq#q-what-is-telegram-what-do-i-do-here). I erased the message but got curious as to how a user on the app got my number.
After eating I did some more research. Suspecting the message was a scam, I started to see if I could figure it out. My research didn’t make me happy. I value my privacy even more now that so much of my life is shared with all of you. Discovering that the text was a scam for a bot to set up an account and get access to my phone if I had clicked on the link got me thinking about what more I can do to protect my privacy.
I want to share the strategies to do just that, so you can protect yourselves and those you love better. They are in no order below.
- block the number on Hiya. Hiya is the call blocking app I use. I use the free version. You can learn about Hiya and download it here: https://www.hiya.com/products/app
- use a text blocker app. These are the free ones I found in the app store. They are SpamHound SMS filter and SMS Filter Spam Junk Messages
- I also recommend having a different password for each social media platform you use and have apps downloaded for on your phone.
- Utilizing a mixture of capitalizations, numbers, letters, and special characters for every password protected account is also helpful
- cleaning the browser history on your phone and other devices regularly also helps protect yourself
- do not answer text messages from unknown numbers
Utilizing these tips is part of the way I show myself care. I hope you find them helpful for you and those you love too.