How to Beat Scammers and Spammers at Their Own Game – Do Not Disturb

Okay, I’m about ready to lose my mind with all of the scam/spam/robo calls I’ve suddenly been inundated with. Many of them during the middle of the night.

I’m guessing that one of my recently hacked accounts with some company that supposedly “really values my privacy and takes safety seriously” is the culprit. Does anybody have an account anywhere–business, bank, government, medical, etc.–that hasn’t been hacked yet?  We’ve all gotten so many of these notices, “Sorry to inform you that we had a recent breach…” that nobody even blinks anymore.

I’ve researched many apps like Hiya, Truecaller, Robokiller, etc.  If you are also considering one of these, I strongly encourage you to read the privacy policy for what information they collect. You’re signing your life away with them–really, you might as well just hand them over every piece of information about your life.

Oh, but wait! They already take every little piece and then even more–and then sell it to anybody willing to pay for it. Please, do yourself a favor and read the privacy policies of any of these. Especially Hiya.  This shouldn’t be any more legal than telemarketers.

It doesn’t help to blacklist scam calls because they keep switching numbers. So what can we do to save our sanity?

There’s actually a really simple solution that’s free–and non-privacy sucking. And all cell phones already come with this feature: “Do Not Disturb.” You can block all phone calls, texts, and notifications except for those in your contact list.

Setting up Do Not Disturb is a snap:

  1. Open Settings > Do Not Disturb.
  2. Tap Allow Calls From.
  3. You have several options, but one is All Contacts.

The downside, of course, is that you’re always in DND mode, and you may miss calls and texts from people who you need to hear from but haven’t yet added to contacts, or someone in your list who’s using a new or borrowed number.

Since calls not from your contact list go straight to voicemail, you do have a way of reviewing and getting back to callers you need to.

Maybe not a perfect solution. But one I can definitely live with. Until they figure a way around Do Not Disturb.

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