There’s a Lot of SMS Spam out There — Here’s How Zipwhip Protects You from It

woman commuting to work looking at phone while crowd talks on their phones

There’s a lot of spam out there.

Junk emails, robocalls, smishing attempts … there are always bad actors who want to abuse effective communication.

Zipwhip blocks an incredible amount of spam text messages every day, even before they reach the consumer.

One reason we can keep spam from polluting Texting for Business is because we successfully fought for national consumer-protection policies at the federal level last year.

Texting as an information service

From the start, Zipwhip has taken a proactive approach to filtering and blocking spam texts to keep them from reaching consumers’ phones. We’ve done that through a combination of automated monitoring, real-time filtering and an in-house team of spam and fraud analysts.

We always knew that if Texting for Business was going to be effective, it needed to be protected from spam.

Zipwhip’s decision to filter out spam on a platform level wasn’t based on any regulation at the time. In fact, texting has been relatively unregulated and, until recently, hadn’t been defined as either an information service or a telecommunications service by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Information services, like emails, can be more easily filtered for spam or phishing attempts by the carriers and providers. It’s why a junk folder exists in Gmail or Outlook.

Telecommunication services, like phone calls, have different regulations that make it harder for providers and carriers to monitor and block spam. It’s part of the reason why robocalls still run rampant and unchecked.

When the FCC announced last year that they would rule on the classification of text messages, Zipwhip lobbied for texting to be an information service. Texts are popular and trusted by consumers because they are more protected from spam by carriers and providers like Zipwhip.

The FCC agreed (and even mentioned Zipwhip in the Declaratory Ruling) in December 2018 when it ruled texting would be classified as an information service.

This decision meant Zipwhip could continue monitoring and analyzing spam messages, working with carriers and improving our filters to keep spam text messages from reaching consumers.

How Zipwhip protects consumers from spam

Zipwhip blocks a lot of texts because they’re spam, phishing schemes or fraudulent. Here’s how our systems parse through millions of texts each month and filter out bad content:

Automated monitoring and a dedicated team for analysis

Our automated monitoring system can scan through traffic and flag suspicious content—texts that have common features of a spam or phishing scheme—and then route them to a spam and fraud analyst for review.

This team manages Zipwhip’s sophisticated security platforms that are used to programmatically monitor and block spam texts. They implement the rules for our filters, adjusting in real-time to stay up to date with the latest phishing schemes, spam campaigns and security threats.

Anti-spam and phishing filters

Our anti-spam and phishing filters that help us monitor traffic are augmented by our partnerships with Tier 1 and Tier 2 wireless carriers. Zipwhip also works in tandem with the spam filtering vendors deployed onto carrier networks to keep our advanced modules aligned and up to date with current traffic.

These partnerships give us access to more information on known spam patterns and common threats in the messaging ecosystem, which improves our system and helps our filters catch more spam.

STOP layer

As a final protection, Zipwhip manages the STOP layer for our platform and all toll-free numbers. Zipwhip has made significant investments in curating the toll-free channel and continues to lead the fight against spam with a simple and programmatic opt-out.

This becomes the last failsafe for customers who receive unwanted content or simply want to end communication with a business line. If a consumer does receive a spam text, they should respond with the word “STOP” and nothing else in the conversation. This will automatically trigger the STOP layers within our platform and opt the consumer out of any further communication with that line.

An opt-out keeps the customer in charge of the conversation.

Zipwhip honors consumer opt-outs, disabling further conversation within the chat on the business-side, too, unless the customer decides to opt-in again with an “UNSTOP” text.

Safeguarding a medium

Fending off spam, fraud and bad actors keeps texting a priority medium. That’s why it’s such an effective way to reach customers, and why texting has grown to be the consumer-preferred way to communicate with businesses.

Phone calls today are so overwhelmed with spam that the medium has lost its efficacy – customers just stopped answering.

Zipwhip won’t let the same thing happen to texting.

To learn about how spam has impacted consumers’ perception of phone calls, check out our free e-book: Why Your Customers Don’t Answer the Phone Anymore.

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