SMS security has been becoming a bigger and bigger issue with more bad actors looking to either hijack the system or simply use it as a method of delivering phishing attacks. Today Google has rolled out a couple of updates designed to address those very issues.
The first initiative is verified SMS for businesses. Using this new trust platform Google Messages will be able to verify if the SMS you have received is from a known and trusted source. No more receiving a message from an unknown number and hoping it’s your bank.
With Verified SMS participating businesses will have their business name and logo displayed at the top of the messages tab. This will allow you to be confident that any links, information or 2FA codes are legit.
Unfortunately, this only works for participating businesses so when the program rolls out here let’s hope it becomes well adopted. Verified SMS is rolling out gradually on Messages in nine countries, starting in the U.S., India, Mexico, Brazil, the U.K., France, Philippines, Spain and Canada, with more to come.
Real-time spam protection
The second initiative is the wider roll-out of spam warnings in Messages on Android. Spam is a significant threat especially when considering attempted Phishing attacks, the new feature will warn users of suspected spam messages if you confirm they are spam that number will be blocked for SMS going forward.
As this feature has already been in the wild for some time you may have already seen the functionality in Google Messages, but it’s always nice when everything gets safer for everyone. The harder it is to scam people the more it will discourage attempts.