Google makes it safer to text on Android phones, but end-to-end encryption is still MIA – PCWorld

Google makes it safer to text on Android phones, but end-to-end encryption is still MIA | PCWorld ');consent.ads.queue.push(function(){ try { IDG.GPT.addDisplayedAd("gpt-superstitial", "true"); $('#gpt-superstitial').responsiveAd({screenSize:'971 1115', scriptTags: []}); IDG.GPT.log("Creating ad: gpt-superstitial [971 1115]"); }catch (exception) {console.log("Error with IDG.GPT: " + exception);} }); Verified SMS and spam protection rolling out now.

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As part of its year-end push to bring Android Messages up to speed, Google is rolling out two new features today: Verified SMS and spam protection. Together, they will help make sure your conversations arent taken over by people you dont want to talk to.

Like the phone app, Google wont automatically filter out suspected spam messages, but it will warn you when it suspects one has arrived. Youll be able to let Google know whether it got it right and also report spam texts, all of which will be used to improve the detection engine.

In addition to flagging spam, Google will also verify whether youre indeed chatting with the brand you think youre chatting with. If so, Google will add a verification badge alongside the business name and logo in the conversation. Google says 1-800-Flowers,Banco Bradesco,Kayak,Payback, andSoFiare among the first brands to send messages with Verified SMS, with more being added daily.

While both of these features are certainly excellent additions to Android Messagesespecially on the heels of the recent launch of RCSit also underscores the biggest security safeguard thats still MIA: end-to-end encryption. While messages are indeed encrypted while being sent, theres no guarantee that theyre encrypted by the carrier, which means someone could be reading or intercepting messages along the way. Google promises that it doesnt save messages, but most providers make no such claims, making it difficult to fully trust that your messages are for-your-eyes-only.

But at least youll know that theyre coming from verified sources, which is a step in the right direction. Verified SMS is rolling out in nine countries, , starting in the U.S., India, Mexico, Brazil, the UK, France, Philippines, Spain and Canada, while spam protection is rolling out in the U.S. following a broader launch earlier this year.

Michael Simon covers all things mobile for PCWorld and Macworld. You can usually find him with his nose buried in a screen. The best way to yell at him is on Twitter.

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Google makes it safer to text on Android phones, but end-to-end encryption is still MIA - PCWorld

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