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How to block and report messages as spam on Whatsapp

Once upon a time, spam only arrived in our mailbox in the form of coupons, offers, and other unsolicited missives. Then came the email inbox, where spam proliferated. Next came messaging apps, where spam not only became annoying, but malicious. Some bad actor could send you a spam message which includes a malicious link. Click on that link and you could wind up the victim of ransomware.

Because of this, it’s become crucial for you to not only avoid such messages but also to report the senders and block their addresses. By reporting those senders, you very well might prevent others from receiving that same spam. 

Sadly enough, nearly every messaging service is vulnerable to spam, including Whatsapp. If you use this app, you need to start blocking and reporting those bad actors.

Let me show you how.

Requirements

The only thing you’ll need for this is the Whatsapp installed (on either Android or iOS) and a message you suspect to be spam.

Block and report a message 

Before I show you how to do this, you must never click on a link sent to you by a suspicious sender. Ever. Period. If you don’t know the sender, assume it’s spam and avoid tapping links at any/all costs.

1. Open the suspect message

With that said, locate and tap the message in question. 

2. Access the sender’s details

Once you’ve opened the message, tap the contact name or number at the top of the screen (Figure 1).

A message as seen in Whatsapp.

A message on Whatsapp (although this one isn’t actually spam).

Image: Jack Wallen

3. Block and report the sender

At the bottom of the sender details page (Figure 2), tap Block and then tap Report.

The sender details page in Whatsapp.

Blocking and reporting are two different actions on Whatsapp.

Image: Jack Wallen

How to unblock a contact

Let’s say, for example, you accidentally block a user, only to later find out they were legitimate. How do you unblock them? Simple. Here’s how:

  1. Open Whatsapp.

  2. Tap the three-dot menu button and tap Settings.

  3. Tap Account > Privacy.

  4. Scroll down to the bottom and tap Blocked contacts.

  5. Tap the sender to unblock and (when prompted) tap Unblock NUMBER (Where NUMBER is the number associated with the contact – Figure 3).

The Blocked Contacts screen in Whatsapp.

Unblocking a contact in Whatsapp.

Image: Jack Wallen

And that’s all there is to blocking and reporting spam on Whatsapp. Remember, keeping diligent about not tapping on links or replying to messages from unknown contacts is an absolute must these days. Being careless with SMS and other types of incoming messages can land you in a world of trouble, by way of ransomware and other types of attacks. And given how much sensitive data we keep on our mobile devices these days, that extra amount of caution will go a long way to protect you from such attacks.


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