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How To Block (And Unblock) People On Your iPhone

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The Settings app usually works best if you already have the person’s contact details in your Contact book. There are a few different ways to go about blocking someone from calling and/or texting your on iPhone. Below, we take a look at them all…

How To Block Contacts Using The FaceTime App In iOS

Apple’s FaceTime allows you to receive audio and video calls. If you don’t fancy that stranger instigating lewd video chats, here’s what you need to do to block him.

  1. Launch the FaceTime app on the Home screen of your iPhone. It’s green with a white video camera logo.
  2. There will be two tabs–Audio and Video–select the tab that contains the caller you want to block.
  3. You’ll see a list of audio or video calls you’ve received and made. Find the contact you want to block (this could be a name or just a phone number) and tap on the blue Info button next to their phone number or name. The blue info button is an “i” in a circle.
  4. On the info screen scroll to the bottom and tap on Block this Caller.
  5. A popup confirmation will appear. Tap on the Block Contact button to block them. This will block that contact from contacting you in the FaceTime app, the Phone app, and the Messages app.

How To Block Contacts Using The Messages App In iOS

Unlike phone and FaceTime calls, iOS uses one app–Messages–to send and receive plain old text messages and iMessages. From this one app, you can block both.

  1. Launch the Messages app on the Home screen of your iPhone. It’s green with a white chat bubble logo.
  2. On the Messages screen, you’ll see a list of texts and iMessages you’ve received and made. Find the contact you want to block (this could be a name or just a phone number) and tap on the message thread.
  3. In the message, thread tap the blue Details button in the top right of the screen.
  4. On the Details, screen tap the contact’s name or number at the top of the screen.
  5. On the next screen scroll to the bottom and tap on Block this Caller.
  6. A popup confirmation will appear. Tap on the Block Contact button to block them. This will block that contact from contacting you in the Messages app, the Phone app, and the FaceTime app.

How To Block Every Type Of Call And Text In iOS

The above steps allow you to block one number at a time from calling, texting, iMessaging, and FaceTiming you. This is usually enough to block sales calls or spam texts. But if you have a stalker who has multiple phone numbers or IDs they use to call or FaceTime, you may want to try this nuclear option to block them all at once.

This option allows you to block a Contact–and all their communication methods–in one fell swoop. Note that to use this method you MUST already have their contact info in your Contacts app. So if you don’t have a contact card for them, you’ll need to create one.

In creating it be sure to put every bit of contact info you have for them: all their phone numbers, Apple IDs, usernames. Everything. Once you’ve done that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on the Home screen of your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down the list of settings until you see Phone. Tap on it.
  3. On the next screen, scroll down and tap on Call Blocking & Identification.
  4. On the Call Blocking & Identification screen, you’ll see a list of any existing blocked contacts. To add a new one tap on Block Contact…
  5. A list of all your contacts will slide up the screen. Find the contact you want to block and tap on their name. All the contact information (Apple IDs for FaceTime, phone numbers, etc) will be added to the Blocked list.

What Happens When You Block A Number on iPhone?  

We all have people we wish would stop calling and texting us. Maybe it’s a bill collector or an ex who just can’t let go. In years past the only way to ensure these people couldn’t get a hold of us on our mobiles would be to change our phone number and have brief relief until they got a hold of our new one.

Now, however, iPhone users can simply tell their iPhone do block calls, texts, emails, and FaceTime requests from a person and/or company, simply by using the above-listed methods. Once you’ve blocked someone on iPhone, this is what happens – according to Apple:

“When you block a phone number or contact, they can still leave a voicemail, but you won’t get a notification. Messages that are sent or received won’t be delivered. Also, the contact won’t get a notification that the call or message was blocked.”

The main reason you need to be able to know how to do this, however, is to protect yourself from scammers, as well as stalkers, ex-partners, and annoying friends.

Protect Yourself From Phishing Scams

In the age of text-based marketing, whereby companies get access to your phone number, either by permission or through third-party means, having the ability to block certain callers and contacts on your iPhone has never been more important.

MORE: For Added Online Security, Use A VPN – These Are The Best Ones

You also need to worry about phishing scams. These are particularly hard to spot if you don’t know what to look for. Scammers tend to target the non-tech-savvy and olde people, praying on their naivety when it comes to phones and computers.

phishing scam statistics
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How a phishing scam works is simple: you get a text or an email instructing you to do something. The scammer will usually pretend to be from your bank or a utility company, for example. The goal is to get you to click a link and enter your personal details. Once the scammer has these, they can pretty much do anything they like. Make no mistake: text and email spam phishing attacks are BIG BUSINESS.

And these kinds of scams are on the rise. According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigation, over 30% of phishing messages are opened by the targeted user. For this reason, you HAVE to be vigilant when it comes to random people contacting you. GDPR won’t save you from hackers. You have to be proactive.

And the easiest way to do that is to ALWAYS block numbers that you don’t recognize.

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