May 29, 2020

Summer Safety: Online Harassment Prevention

The coronavirus outbreak has brought many unexpected changes to life as we know it, including a summer with more time spent inside and online. It is more important now than ever before to make sure you know how to keep yourself safe online. Luckily, many apps and online platforms have guards in place to help prevent various forms of harassment or abuse, including TextNow.

Monitoring Messages

Our service is listed as a social media app, for the simple fact that it allows for online connections to be made. However, that is where the comparisons stop. Unlike most social media platforms, your profile cannot be found or shared through the app or any other online search function. Meaning, someone you don’t know can’t simply head into the app and search for your name or number. Only contacts you have given your TextNow phone number to would be able to contact you, just like a typical phone service.If you are a parent, our app also has a multiple device capability that will allow you to monitor your child’s use of the app. This includes the ability to log into their account (on your own phone, or perhaps desktop) and review their conversations without interruption to their daily use.

Blocking Unwanted Contacts

If it does happen that you receive a message that is abusive, harassing, or simply undesired, there are several steps you can take.

  1. Report the number. Whether you are using our desktop app, Android, or iOS, whenever you receive a message from an unknown number, you will see the option under the text message to "Report Junk". Confirming this will also then automatically block the number.

  2. If you are receiving harassing messages from a number you do already know, you can also block it by either sending it a message with the text #STOP, or by choosing the "block" option within the conversation's menu.

Reporting to the Authorities

If you wish to go further and get the authorities involved, there are resources available for that as well. We currently have an abuse team fully dedicated to answering to customer requests and cooperating with law enforcement who may contact us for more information on any of our users. We have also outlined all the necessary information needed (and available forms) for any authorities to submit a request to us easily and without much delay. All of that information can be found right here.

If you're interested to learn more about our standards and practices, please take a look at our privacy policy and terms of use.