Few things are more annoying than incessant spam calls, especially when you are in the middle of a meeting or a business trip. But if you have an Android device, Google's Phone app can now filter out calls that it detects as spam, sending them directly to voicemail, the company recently revealed on a Help page.
When you make or receive a call with caller ID and spam protection on, you can see information about callers or businesses that are not in your contacts. You can also see warnings about potential spam callers, according to the page.
SEE: Electronic communication policy (Tech Pro Research)
Caller ID and spam protection are on by default, though users can choose to turn off these features. However, you have to enable the feature that filters suspected spam calls and sends them straight to voicemail. Here's how to do so:
1. Open your device's Phone app.
2. Tap More, then tap Settings, and then Caller ID & spam.
3. Turn on Caller ID & spam.
4. Turn on Filter suspected spam calls.
With this feature, you won't get any missed call or voicemail notifications, Google noted. However, you'll still see the filtered calls in your call history, and will be able to check any voicemail you receive.
Android users can also mark all calls from a specific number as spam and report the spammer, which will stop calls from coming in from that number. Here are the steps to do so:
1. Open the Phone app
2. Go to Recent calls
3. Tap the call you want to report as spam
4. Tap Block / report spam. You'll be asked if you want to block the number.
5. Tap Report call as spam
6. Tap block
You can also unblock a number if you so choose, Google noted.
To use caller ID and spam protection, your phone may need to send information about your calls to Google, the page noted. Some of these features work only on Android 6.0 and up. To check your Android version and update, click here.
- Special report: Cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Scam alert: Identifying and blocking "Google" robocall spam (ZDNet)
- Cheat sheet: How to become a cybersecurity pro (TechRepublic)
- Here's everything you can do to stop robocalls (CNET)
- Why we might see more spam and phishing post-GDPR (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.