Ways to Block Incoming Text Messages

By Valerie Lauer

Blocking incoming text messages is an effective way to avoid harassing messages or filter the content received on your account's the mobile phones. The process you follow to block incoming text messages varies based on the type of messages you are trying to avoid. Incoming text messages can come from other mobile phones, premium text services, websites or email addresses. It is also important to decide what level of block you are interested in, whether you want to block all incoming messages or just those from specific numbers.

Block Incoming Text Messages With Preferences

Your mobile service provider may provide message preference settings that can help you block incoming text messages. AT&T calls this option "Message Preferences," and, with Verizon Wireless, it is called "Safeguards." These settings can be used to block incoming messages from websites, email addresses and specific phone numbers. Preference settings are limited controls and are usually available at no cost to you. Edit your text-message account preferences by logging in to your account on your provider's website. You cannot use these preference settings to block all incoming messages.

Block Incoming Text Messages With Phone Settings

Most mobile phones have internal security settings you can use to block incoming messaging services. This option may be convenient if you are trying to avoid harassing incoming messages but do not have access to a computer. On many mobile phones, such as the Samsung Intensity, you can block incoming messages by launching the phone's main menu, navigating to the "Settings" menu, scrolling to "Security," entering your phone's security code, then editing the "Restrictions" for "Messages." Disabling text messaging with your mobile phone's security settings generally disables all incoming messaging.

Blocking Premium Messaging Services

Premium messages come from short code numbers, usually five or six digits long. Premium messages cost per message or you may elect to have a monthly subscription that covers incoming messages from the service. To block premium messages, you must first unsubscribe from the messaging service. Find a message that came from the service and write down the short code from which it came. Create a new message and put the short code where a mobile number, you are messaging, would normally go. Write the word "stop" or "cancel" in the body of the message, then send it. After you receive a confirmation of cancellation, ask your mobile service provider to add a premium-text block to your line, or add the block yourself by editing your plan features online.

Additional Incoming Text-Message Blocking Services

If you are receiving harassing messages or free blocking options have not provided enough control, you can consider upgrading your incoming text-message blocking service with your mobile service provider. For example, Verizon Wireless has a program called Usage Controls. Usage Controls allows you to block incoming communications from private numbers and increases the amount of numbers from which you can block incoming text messages. Adding enhanced features can increase your monthly plan costs. Usage Controls costs $4.99 a month.