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Google’s Messages app gains the ability to alert users about spam links within SMS messages

Google is gearing up to introduce a new feature in its messaging app for Android, aiming to enhance security and minimize spam on smartphones. Despite the advantages of the RCS (Rich Communication Services) protocol utilized in the Google Messages app, including improved functionalities over SMS, it still encounters issues such as spam messages containing dubious links. In response to these challenges, Google is reportedly working on a significant update to address the problem.

According to a report from PiunikaWeb, Google is in the process of developing a noteworthy update for the Google Messages app. This update aims to provide users with alerts via pop-ups before they click on any links received from unknown numbers. This initiative from Google is intended to bolster user safety and shield them from potential phishing attempts and scams.

The proposed update will involve users receiving a pop-up message before accessing links from unfamiliar senders. This alert is designed to prompt users to reconsider their actions before opening links from contacts not saved in their address book. The pop-up message, shared by a tipster named AssembleDebug, includes a cautionary caption stating, “Caution: this sender isn’t one of your contacts.” Additionally, a further explanation below the caption warns users that links from unknown sources may lead to unwanted or harmful content.

Upon receiving the pop-up message, users will have two options to interact with it. They can choose to cancel the action if they prefer not to view the link. Alternatively, users can opt to proceed by checking a box acknowledging the potential risks associated with viewing the link before clicking the “continue” button.

Speculation suggests that this feature may also extend to standard SMS messages in addition to RCS messages. The anticipated warning message has been identified in the 20240402_01_RCO0 or newer beta version of Google Messages. It has been manually activated using feature flags and is currently undergoing testing among beta testers before potentially being integrated into the stable version of the app.

This upcoming feature represents an improvement over the existing warning mechanism in Google Messages. Presently, when users click on links from unknown numbers, a dialogue box appears, but users can simply bypass it by tapping “continue.” The new implementation adds an additional step, encouraging users to reconsider their decision before proceeding.

In recent years, Google has been actively promoting the adoption of the RCS standard. However, the rollout faced obstacles in 2022 when concerns were raised about businesses exploiting RCS to inundate users with promotional messages, constituting spam.

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