There are some exciting holidays coming up — the First Day of Women’s History Month (March 1) and Texas Independence Day (March 2). And heads up, chemistry enthusiasts, Linus Pauling Day is nigh (Feb. 28). Not to take anything away from the accomplishments of the fairer sex, the Lone Star state’s Declaration of Independence, or the two-time Nobel Prize winner, but there is another celebration that we here at YouMail are particularly looking forward to: National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW; Feb. 28 through March 6).
In this article, we cover:
- Upcoming holidays, including National Consumer Protection Week.
- The rise of robocalls and how easy it is to use a robocall blocker.
- The benefits of a second phone line and international robocall blocking coverage.
During NCPW, the FTC and supporting organizations help people understand their consumer rights and make well-informed decisions about money. It’s a great time to review best practices to protect yourself from fraud, identity theft, and scams. It can also include conversations about the best way to use credit, how to shop for a used car, or maximize your security online. YouMail provides services and tips year-round to prevent fraud and spam, and circumvent those who seek to deceive us on our smart phones.
We’re kicking off NCPW with three easy steps you can take right now to keep all your smartphones secure.
1. Use a robocall blocker
Most consumers have been attacked by a flurry of spam calls the last few years. We know it because it’s happened to us, to practically everyone around us, and we have the data to support it. TV show host John Oliver did a show about it in 2019 that currently has nearly 10 million views while YouTuber Jim Browning has amassed more than 170 million views seeking revenge on those who perpetrate fraudulent scams, though his mostly deals with internet scams and callers. The robocalling scam scourge has grown as phone number spoofing and robocall tools have become easier to access and cheaper to operate from anywhere in the world, throwing laws, jurisdiction, and accountability into paralysis.
So if the authorities have little recourse, what can you possibly do about it?
YouMail provides a free, easy-to-use technology that allows anyone to block spam calls. We’ve built the best call blocking app for Android and iOS. Once downloaded and installed, your phone can automatically detect unwanted calls, prevent the phone from ringing, and play an out-of-service message. That last step is crucial in preventing future attacks. Because time is money, robocalling software will remove your number from its lists under the assumption that your number isn’t a viable target. Voila! Quite ingenious.
And because nearly 50 percent of all calls people receive are unwanted, YouMail helps curtail those incessant rings from unrecognized numbers that you know are probably scams, but you answer anyway because they might be that job offer you need or contact tracers trying to save your life.
2. Get a second phone line
As we’ve slowly transitioned into a remote world (accelerated over the past year by the pandemic and quarantine), so too have the lines separating work and personal life blurred. It has become more critical than ever to re-establish those boundaries, not only to maintain our sanity (something that should not be discounted after months of isolation) but also to protect our work interests from our personal ones. Imagine having your personal information compromised on a device that you also use for work. Could your sensitive work information be at risk too?
By establishing a second phone line (again for free with YouMail), you can more ably manage and wall off potential catastrophe. Attacks can flow the other way too — in 2019, there was a 100 percent increase in business identity theft. As recently as last August, phishing groups were known to be targeting some of the world’s largest corporations. In other words, no one is immune from attack. By separating and managing work and personal calls, particularly if each is protected by YouMail, your chances of survival are far, far greater.
3. Protect yourself everywhere
These problems don’t magically disappear once you land on foreign soil. Spam rates in Spain, the UK, Italy, and France account for the highest in the world. So to address this problem, expand our services, and strengthen our knowledge base, YouMail joined forces with Britain-based Thumbtel late last year. Soon, Thumbtel’s own Hullomail visual voicemail app (on Android and iOS) and Another Number second phone line app (also on Android and iOS) will get outfitted with their own YouMail robocall blocking services. So even if you’re an international jetsetter brokering million-dollar for breakfast, you’ll be covered in more places than ever.
So there you have it, a handful of useful tips to protect yourself during NCPW and beyond. Visit http://www.ftc.gov/ncpw for free consumer education materials and to read the latest from consumer protection experts. Also check the YouMail blog regularly year-round for every update to protect yourself and others from fraud.
And, happy Linus Pauling Day!