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Spam messages - new technology war

15 April 2015 [09:15] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews Nigar Orujova/

Every time you look, it is there, this annoying flashing and constant beeping, telling you that you have yet another spam message in your mobile inbox. You cannot block it, you are completely powerless to stop it and yet it is driving you mad.

Azerbaijan has been hit by spammers! Just as email providers have been unable to this day to prevent spammer from sending you unsolicited emails, mobile company face the same difficulties when it comes to spam SMS.

Wherever you look people are complaining about it, looking for ways to counteract it ... and yet before this new technological nuisance there is not much anyone can do - yet at least. And though one could easily decide not to pay attention to such spams, some spammers have actually turned to crime.

Some spammers have been preying on members of the public, looking to embezzle funds and get sensitive information out of people to then use in view of committing crimes.

The mobile sector is highly developed in Azerbaijan, pretty much everybody has a mobile phone. This means, that over nine million people are getting annoyed with SMS spamming every day, especially during the holiday seasons.

Although costumers have complained to their operators, demanding for the nuisance to be dealt with no major changes recorded.

Men for example got messages offering them services for women’s beauty salon, women received messages for men's stores, children were offered to buy a house, and elderly people were asked to sign up for extreme sport. These unsuitable SMSes have angered the public.

As customers’ discontent has increased, the Communications and High Technologies Ministry has proposed to make changes to the telecommunications law to restrict the mailing of unwanted SMS to subscribers. The changes mainly concern the protection of the rights of consumers of mobile operators.

The Ministry proposed to limit SMS-spam by allowing advertising and entertainment-type messages character to be sent only with the express consent of the subscriber.

The issue was even discussed in Parliament, as its members have also been disturbed by spamming.

MP Elmira Akhundova described the situation as shameful. Some 4-5 advertising messages with a criminal content come daily without the permission of the subscriber, she said. “These SMS messages can deceive ordinary citizens.”

To please the customers main mobile operators also promise to save subscribers from numerous text messages with commercial contents.

For instant, Azercell has applied a special SMS filtration for its customers for the first time in Azerbaijan. The filtration enables customer to stop the reception of unwanted SMS by sending a charge free text message with saying “STOP” or an empty one to short number 9005.

Another operator Bakcell reported on the launch of a service protecting subscribers from SMS-spam in the near future. The new service will include the possibility to completely stop receiving any unwanted information and advertising SMS.

Subscribers of Bakcell will be able to create their own “white list” to receive information from only sources they added themselves.

Nar Mobile already has a function to block spam messages. Subscribers of the operator can call 777 to activate Spam Off function.

There are several kinds of SMS advertising messages. Among them are distribution on tariffs and services of mobile operators, content service providers and message of companies, banks and shops.

Rather than blaming operators, subscribers should also be careful. Operators cannot control messages their customers subscribed to. Thus, people should not give their number to third parties when purchasing goods or receiving services.

With all these measures, there is hope that soon enough Azerbaijan's population will be able to secure themselves from worrisome spam messages.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/analytics/139859.html

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