Last time I checked, I could not find a way to block spam text messages through my AT&T account. Today, I received another spam text message, so I decided to look around again, and I was delighted to discover that AT&T now provides a way to selectively block text messages. I have no idea when AT&T started providing this option – I never received any kind of announcement of it and I haven’t seen anyone blogging about it, so I think it is a little known, probably recently released, option.
Now you can login to a Messaging Preferences page and set options to block text messages. You’ll have to register your phone number and a password before you can log in (even if you are already logged into your AT&T account). After you register, AT&T will text message a 5 digit registration number to your cell phone and then you can complete your registration and start changing options.
Your choices are to:
- Block text messages sent as email (from email accounts)
- Block all multimedia messages send as email
- Block all messages sent from mobile numbers
- Block messages sent from specific email accounts or domains
- Allow all messages sent from specific email accounts or domains
AT&T also allows you to create a text messaging alias for your wireless number, so in addition to sending text messages to your cellphone number, your friends can also send text messages to an alias. If you use an alias, you can give people your alias instead of your cellphone number. If you create an alias for yourself, you can block any text messages sent to your cellphone number and only receive text messages sent to your alias. Now when I set up an alias for my wireless number and tried to send myself a text message from my cell phone, I received an error message on my cell phone that informed me that the alias was not a legitimate phone number and so the text message could not be sent, so I don’t know how useful having an alias will be.
You can select the screen print below to see a picture of the Blocking Options page where you can select these options.
I’d really like to have some options that allow me to block specific cellphone numbers or to allow specific cellphone numbers, similar to the way I can handle spam on my email account. Oh well! At least this is a step in the right direction!
To learn more about AT&T’s text messagingt options, check out these links: