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How to Stop Unwanted Calls By Blocking Them on Your Phone

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How to Stop Unwanted Calls By Blocking Them on Your Phone

Let’s face facts; there are numerous reasons why you would want to block a number on your phone. Unfortunately, almost all of these are unpleasant, whether they pertain to persistent ex-partners, scammers or telemarketers who refuse to take your silence as a hint that they are being obtrusive.

While having to block a number is never nice (especially if it belongs to someone that you know), it is relatively easy to achieve this regardless of which mobile service you use. So, here is a breakdown of how to block numbers across multiple device types and operators.

How to Block a Number on iOS, Android and Windows

Before you seek to block numbers on your smartphone, you can look to impose a general ban by adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry[1]. Ran by the FTC, this registry is updated every 24-hours, while it can lead to the cessation of nuisance calls within a month.

This does not help when looking to block private numbers, however, such as those that relate to former friends, partners or colleagues. This is where the below guide will come in handy, as it will help you to block all unwanted incoming calls to your handset.

iOS

There are various ways to block numbers on Apple’s iOS, whether you are responding directly with a call or browsing your contacts list. You should also note that, when blocking someone from sending texts, making a voice call or selecting FaceTime, the individual in question will automatically be banned from all three channels of communication.

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When responding to a recent all, visit the ‘Phone’ app and select recent. Then locate the number and navigate through the circle next to it. This will bring up a screen with information pertaining to the call (see below), and you need to scroll down before selecting ‘Block this Caller’.

    When blocking an existing contact, you need to navigate through Settings > Phone > Call Blocking & Identification > Block Contact. This will bring up a list of your contacts, enabling you to block one or even multiple numbers as you wish. You can also achieve this goal by clicking through Settings > Messages > Blocked > Add New.

    Android

    When dealing with Android, the course of action that you take will depend on the age of the operating system that you are using (this is not the case with iPhones). So you will need to determine the precise iteration of Android that you are using before blocking numbers, as this will ensure that you make the right choice.

    For Marshmallow or above (Nougat is the most recent version), open Dialer and go to your recent calls list. Then find the offending number and select ‘Block / Report Spam’. You should not that you can block a number without reporting it as spam (when dealing with a person rather than a telemarketing company, for example), but you will need to uncheck the prior to confirming the block.

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    When using Lollipop or below, go to the Phone app and select Call Settings > Call Rejection > Auto Reject List. You then have to manually type in the number and search for it (make a note if it is unknown to you) and then confirm.

    When using Messenger (across all Android operating systems), you will need to directly tap the number that sent you the original message, before selecting Block / Report Slam once again. The same principle applies here as before, so don’t forget to uncheck the box if don’t want to report spam.

    Finally, if you wish to block a number belonging to an existing contact, go directly into Messenger and select Menu > Blocked Contacts > Add a Number. Then enter the number you want to block and confirm, taking care to ensure that you selected the right one of course!

    Windows Phone

    Windows Phones are increasingly popular in the modern age, as along with the Samsung Galaxy S range they provide viable competition for Apple and Android. They also utilise a different operating system, so it is important to recognize this when blocking numbers.

    With Windows Phones, you can block calls and messages from a single number in one fell swoop. Simply head to Settings and navigate through Call > SMS Filter, before accepting the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and switching Blocks Calls to On.

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    Then visit the Phone app, hold down the number that you want to block and select Block Number to confirm. This will prevent all forms of communication with the chosen number, helping you to avoid any unwanted correspondence.

    A Look at the Best Apps for Blocking Numbers

    Of course, we also live in an age where apps can be used to block numbers. The benefit of using these apps is that they tend to work across all iterations of specific operating systems, meaning that users can become familiar with them over time while they also provide a comprehensive and one-stop blocking service. Here are some of the best apps:

    The Hiya App (for iOS): Available to iOS 10 users, Hiya is the single most advanced phone spam protection engine in the mobile market. This not only intuitively detects and blocks robocalls and telemarketers, but it also highlights potential fraudsters who are seeking your personal data. It also provides a personalized block list, helping you to manage your contacts more seamlessly.

    Sync. ME (for iOS) : Apple have clearly made a concerted effort to enhance its call blocking features in iOS 10, and the free app Sync. ME is a prominent example of this. It includes numerous features for blocking unwanted calls, including the identification of unknown numbers (which can prevent you from blocking numbers that may ultimately add value), alerts you to spam communications and adds caller photo’s to your social contacts on Twitter, Facebook and Google +.

    The Safest Call Blocker (for Android): This is Android’s supported call blocker, and one that comes with a premium (paid) version that removes ads. It is quick to access and easy to use, while it also helps you to establish automated settings for blocking calls and managing contacts in real-time.

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    Mr. Number (for Android) : This is an initially free app that immediately offers 20 free caller look-ups, at which point every subsequent look-up is paid. It has a tool that automatically blocks spam messages, however, without the need for you to blacklist specific numbers. This can save time and help you to block numbers more seamlessly.

      Calls Blacklist (for Android) : Then we have Android’s Calls Blacklist, which will ban both voice calls and SMS messages from an offending number in one-feel swoop. This is so long as you use the default SMS app on Android 4.4 or above, however, as otherwise you will need to block communications separately. Regardless, the call blocking feature is fast and efficient, while it also allows you to select suspicious starting digits and intuitively block all related numbers going forward.

      So there you have it; a selection of the best ways to block numbers regardless of whether you use an iOS, Android and Windows device. The modern range of apps also makes this process easier than ever, so look out for the best tools online.

      Reference

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      Last Updated on November 25, 2021

      How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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      How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

      There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

      Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

        What Does Private Browsing Do?

        When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

        For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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        The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

        The Terminal Archive

        While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

        Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

        dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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        Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

        Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

        However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

        Clearing Your Tracks

        Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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        dscacheutil -flushcache

        As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

        Other Browsers and Private Browsing

        Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

        If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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        As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

        Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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