“The new services are designed to help users identify spammers, fake numbers and more such fraudulent businesses”

Google is set to introduce two new features that will help users better protect themselves against spammers, malicious actors and other such threat actors. The new features are called ‘Verified SMS’ and ‘Spam Detection’, and come at a time when threat actors using SMS services to steal identification and financial data are on a steady rise.

With Verified SMS, Google will reportedly verify each and every SMS message sent by a user, on a per-message basis. These users will all be businesses, and not private accounts, at least for now. This leaves room for certain, small scale threat actors to still operate, but given Google’s typical offerings, the service will scale up soon. The number of businesses included in the service is quite limited right now, but it is expected to increase soon. Right now, Verified SMS is available in nine countries, including India, and will help users identify whether a business is genuine in nature, or not.

The second feature, which is rolling out only in the US right now, is called Spam Detection. In this, Google will use its repertoire of information, logs of data, and machine learning algorithms to detect messages that count as spam, and accordingly alert a user by placing a red exclamation mark alert beside the message. This is being done to help users avoid mass phishing efforts, hence preventing malicious URLs from spreading virally and causing a major loss of data.

With these new features, Google will hope to have made messaging a more secure process in the long run. While the initial countries will only serve as a pilot for Google’s endeavours, the feature should expand to other countries soon, should it manage to do as intended.