Google deploys Verified SMS and Spam Protection on Android

Google today announced two updates for Messages, the default SMS app for the Android mobile operating system.

Starting today, Android users in the US and select countries will have access to two new features called Verified SMS and Spam Protection.

SMS verified

As the name of the first feature suggests, Verified SMS works by confirming the identity of the sender of the SMS.

“When a message is verified, which is done without sending your messages to Google, you will see the company name and logo as well as a verification badge in the thread,” said Roma Slyusarchuk, engineer Google software on the Messages app. .

Verified SMS will only be used to verify the authenticity of SMS messages sent by businesses. It will not verify or add verification badge to messages sent by normal users.

Google said it created the feature to help users trust the messages they receive, especially for “things like one-time passwords, account alerts, or appointment confirmations.”

The Android operating system maker didn’t explain how the new feature works, but said it should be able to detect SMS messages sent from random numbers, previously not associated with a business, and by therefore, help prevent some phishing attacks.

Google said it has tested the feature with companies such as 1-800-Flowers, Banco Bradesco, Kayak, Payback, and SoFi, but any business can sign up through its developer portal.

Verified SMS is being rolled out starting today in nine countries: US, India, Mexico, Brazil, UK, France, Philippines, Spain and Canada.

Spam protection

The second feature of the Messages app announced today is called Spam Protection. This feature works by showing a notification bar at the top of the Messages app when the app thinks a newly received message contains the markers of a classic SMS spam text.

Much like the verified SMS feature, Google said spam protection will work without sending the user’s SMS message to Google’s servers, thus keeping conversations private.

Instructions on how to turn on spam protection are available on this Google support page.

Google said the feature is already active in a few countries, but from today it will be widely available to US users as well.

About Sandra A. Powell

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