Life is hard enough without negative energy. You pick up your smartphone and go online to learn about the world. You don’t want to encounter hostile elements seeking to bring you down. Yes, online trolls are an everyday part of the internet. Similarly, you don’t want your phone conversations interrupted by spam callers. It’s just more negativity. Here are five ways to combat spam and trolls.
Just Ignore Them
One of the most popular phrases on the internet is, “Please don’t feed the troll.” People say this because they understand the underlying human behavior. Trolling is a base behavior that hearkens back to a person’s youth. Some kids never learn to distinguish between positive and negative attention. They view any situation that turns the focus to them as positive. As they grow older and become internet users, they may seek the limelight in a new way by trying to disrupt the lives of well-adjusted people like you.
Oddly, the science suggests that only a small proportion of trolls admit what they are doing or acknowledge that they like it. That’s why you need to develop the will power to ignore them. Someone who doesn’t realize that they’re trolling will automatically stop when they fail to elicit the desired response. But for ones who do it intentionally, ignoring them works best. This strategy is easy to attempt but takes a lot of inner strength to master.
Monitor Your Calls
When someone calls your phone, you have more power than you realize. Most major smartphones include caller identification, so that you’ll know immediately who’s calling. Get in the habit of ignoring any calls from phone numbers you don’t recognize. If the call is important, the person will leave a voicemail. On the other hand, anyone registered as Unknown Caller or something intentionally vague like Call Services is likely to be a spammer, and they probably won’t leave a voicemail.
Block the Caller
You also have the ability to block callers. Plenty of apps exist in both the Apple Store and Google Play Store that can perform this process automatically. Call Filter is one app that will prevent anyone designated as an Unknown Caller from ringing your phone. T-Mobile, along with most other smartphone service providers, also lets you block your own number when you make outgoing calls. That way, you add a measure of privacy to your phone number.
Report Them to the Site
A part of human nature is that people associate reporting someone as tattling. You shouldn’t think this way. On the contrary, if a person harassed you on the street, you would take such abuse as an act of aggression. If your assailant continued to threaten you, you’d call the police. That’s not tattling, but is instead an act of self-preservation. The same philosophy should translate to the internet.
Should you make the right decision and report abusers, you have several options. One is to report them to the site where the abuse occurs. Since owners of websites have legal liabilities, they should take such matters seriously. The best online communities are more concerned about the social contract anyway, so they want to protect their users.
When you notify the site about the troll, specify the ways that the person has misbehaved. Stress how their mistreatment has lessened your desire to visit the site. If an online community has a choice between losing a valued member and a troll, they’ll take the decent person every time.
Report Them to Their ISP or on Social Media
The strongest step in reporting abuse is to contact the troll’s ISP. Many internet users don’t realize that their IP address identifies their ISP. This can act as a tracking system for abusers. If the business that owns the ISP learns of abuse by a customer, it is within its rights to shut down that person’s internet. This is a threat that even the cruelest trolls take seriously. You can also bust someone abusing you on social media by reporting their account. Contact lists for these situations are readily available.
You don’t have to take abuse from strangers, and you don’t have to talk to spammers. Simply follow the suggestions above to remove some of the daily aggravations of internet and phone usage.