Google will be rolling out an update to Android that will offer users enhanced security for SMS messaging. The update will add features that could verify SMS from registered businesses and add real-time spam detection on Android devices.
This may not sound like a big deal, as most of us have moved on from using traditional SMS messaging. However, it is still an approach that businesses are relying on for sending important messages such as one-time passwords and account alerts.
These SMS messages are usually sent from a random number or from those not identifiable from known telcos, although companies will always identify themselves first in the message itself. However, phishing scams are known to take advantage of this in order to fool unsuspecting customers to give up valuable personal information.
With the new SMS verification system, messages received from a verified business will display the company name, logo, and a verification badge in the SMS’ thread. Businesses are required to sign up for Google’s Verified SMS in order to be filtered as a trusted source for users. With this, it’s highly likely that local businesses such as banks, telcos, and cinemas will have to register to Verified SMS when the update does roll out in Malaysia.
As for real-time spam detection – whenever Google suspects an SMS message may contain phishing motives or just garbage in general, the system will notify the user with a spam warning. From there, users can help improve the feature by reporting if certain messages are from legitimate businesses or are indeed spam.
This update is already available in several countries including the United States, Canada, France, India, Mexico, Philippines, Spain and the UK. A global roll-out is expected to happen gradually.