In the last few years, the number of people using Whatsapp has risen dramatically, with many of us now preferring it to conventional texting. Noticing its rapid growth, Facebook even bought the messaging app for $19 billion in 2014, showing just how popular it has become. When you consider the pros of using Whatsapp (namely the ability to text for free using just an internet signal/WiFi connection), it isn’t difficult to see why so many of us use it.

However, it isn’t all good news. Along with rapid growth, unfortunately, comes the risk of spam. Spam is rife on Whatsapp, with many users reporting receiving strange messages from unknown numbers. These messages are often identified as trying to sell a product, promote a competition, or encourage the recipient to visit a website. One recent scam even directed readers to a fake website offering discount vouchers for big name brands, asking them to give over personal information such as their email address.

If you’re one of the 1 billion people using Whatsapp, follow these tips for protecting yourself against spam.

1. Block any spam messages instantly

Fortunately, Whatsapp are pretty on the ball. When you receive a message from a mobile number not saved to your contact list, they’ll let you know via a banner at the top of the screen. You can then choose to add that number, or to report it as spam. Reporting it as spam will make sure they can’t contact you again, and is a good first step to take if you’ve already received unwanted messages.

2. Protect your number

It is of course better to prevent spam before it can become a problem, which is why keeping your phone number as private as possible is a wise move to make. Don’t give your number out to people or websites that you don’t trust or recognise, and make sure that it isn’t linked to your social media profiles. Unless you have high privacy settings internet hackers can find this information easily, and can use it to contact you without your permission.

3. Don’t become the scammer

This may sound slightly silly, but it’s a lot more common than you would think. Many messages include fake “urgent” information, and ask the recipient to pass the message along to their contact list. For instance, a common technique is to claim that Whatsapp will soon start charging, and to ask the reader to let their friends know. This is an easy way for internet hackers to spread their message to a large group of people. If in doubt, simply give the information a quick internet search to check its validity.

Whether it’s unwanted Whatsapp messages, emails or pop-ups, we understand just how frustrating spam mail can be. We’re specialists in providing anti-spam solutions, and are experts in figuring out the best option for you. If you’re ready to invest in a professional spam filter, contact us at Mailcleaner today.