Smash texting scams: How to avoid smishing attacks (Mashable)

Mashable: Smash texting scams: How to avoid smishing attacks. “If you’ve recently received a bunch of suspicious texts from unknown numbers claiming to be USPS, your bank, or another major company asking you to resolve some sort of urgent issue, you’re not alone. Hopefully these bizarre missives tripped your shadiness alarms and you kept your link-clicking fingers at bay, because those texts aren’t legit…. But since even the savviest among us have off days or unfocused moments when a smishing scam could slip by undetected, we’ve put together a primer on how to spot and avoid them.”

Washington Post: Secret Service’s ‘ludicrous’ deletion of Jan. 6 phone data baffles experts

Washington Post: Secret Service’s ‘ludicrous’ deletion of Jan. 6 phone data baffles experts. “Experts are divided over whether the disappearance of phone data from around the time of the insurrection is a sign of incompetence, an intentional coverup, or some murkier middle ground. But the failure has raised suspicions about the disposition of records that could provide intimate details about what happened on that chaotic day, and whose preservation was mandated by federal law.”

New York Times: Text Your Friends. It Matters More Than You Think

New York Times: Text Your Friends. It Matters More Than You Think . “Calling, texting or emailing a friend just to say ‘hello’ might seem like an insignificant gesture — a chore, even, that isn’t worth the effort. Or maybe you worry an unexpected check-in wouldn’t be welcome, as busy as we all tend to be. But new research suggests that casually reaching out to people in our social circles means more than we realize.”

The Conversation: Charities are contributing to growing mistrust of mental-health text support — here’s why

The Conversation: Charities are contributing to growing mistrust of mental-health text support — here’s why. “Like many areas of society, mental healthcare has changed drastically as a result of the pandemic. Forced to adapt to a growing demand for counselling and crisis services, mental health charities have had to quickly increase their digital services to meet the needs of their users…. Recently, two charities faced a public backlash as a result of how they used machine learning and handled data from users who contacted their mental health support services at a point of crisis.”

NiemanLab: The Equal Info Text Line is bridging information gaps in Philadelphia through action items via SMS

NiemanLab: The Equal Info Text Line is bridging information gaps in Philadelphia through action items via SMS. “Just 84% of Philadelphia households are connected to the internet at all, a lower rate than that of other large U.S. cities. And adults over the age of 65 are less likely to have access, one survey found. So it isn’t surprising that so many of the subscribers to the Equal Info Text Line are senior citizens. The Equal Info Text Line was borne out of the need for information and resources at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and grew as information needs around the 2020 presidential election became more apparent.”

CNN: Why WhatsApp wants to convince Americans to stop sending text messages

CNN: Why WhatsApp wants to convince Americans to stop sending text messages. “Data shared with CNN Business by research firm eMarketer indicates WhatsApp had less than 63 million users in the United States as of last year, or around 19% of the country’s population. That’s far behind its audience in countries such as India, Brazil and Indonesia where it is among the most popular modes of communication. India alone has nearly 500 million WhatsApp users according to eMarketer, which is more than a third of its population and over half its internet user base.”

New York Times: Americans Can’t Quit SMS

New York Times: Americans Can’t Quit SMS. “The continued prevalence of SMS in the U.S. is a reminder that the most resilient technologies aren’t necessarily the best ones. It’s also another way that America’s smartphone habits are unlike the rest of the world’s in ways that can be helpful but can also hold us back. I know that many Americans use whatever text app is on their phone and don’t think too hard about it. Fine! But let me explain why we should reflect a bit on this communications technology.”

Michigan Daily: Texts from the void

Michigan Daily: Texts from the void. “I collect text messages. I’ve done this for as long as I’ve had a smartphone. I know I will probably never look at many of these little screenshots of contextless conversations again. However, I still feel a responsibility to memorialize conversations that could easily be forgotten in our fast-paced, digitally evolving world. When I look back on these conversations, they bring me more joy or make me laugh harder than most in-person conversations. More often than not, though, I do not look back on these conversations at all. They end up in the ever-growing but hardly checked ‘screenshots’ folder of my phone, to be forgotten.”

WCSH: Maine DHHS launches text notifications to people testing positive for COVID-19

WCSH: Maine DHHS launches text notifications to people testing positive for COVID-19. “The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Wednesday the launch of a new text messaging service to alert Maine people who test positive for COVID-19 of steps to take to protect their health and limit the spread of the virus, as part of a comprehensive plan to adapt Maine’s response to the pandemic.”

Digital Inspiration: How to Send SMS Messages with Google Sheets and your Android Phone

Digital Inspiration: How to Send SMS Messages with Google Sheets and your Android Phone. “There are services, Twilio and Vonage for example, that let you send text messages programmatically to any phone number in the world. You can either build an SMS solution on top of these messaging APIs or you can take a simpler and less expensive route – build your own text sending app with Google Sheets and MIT’s App Inventor.”

The Verge: Over 300 million Chinese private messages were left exposed online

The Verge: Over 300 million Chinese private messages were left exposed online. “Over 300 million private messages from Chinese users on popular messaging apps were sitting exposed on the internet on Saturday, according to security researcher Victor Gevers, who works for the nonprofit organization GDI. The database of 364 million records left users’ personal identities searchable to anyone who found the IP address, as reported by the Financial Times.”

Engadget: FBI investigates fake texts sent to House Republicans

Engadget: FBI investigates fake texts sent to House Republicans. “Law enforcement is looking into one of the stranger digital attacks against US politicians in recent memory. The Wall Street Journal has learned that the FBI is investigating fake text messages sent to ‘several’ Republicans in the House of Representatives, including Illinois’ Adam Kinzinger. The currently mysterious perpetrator posed as VP Mike Pence’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, and asked representatives for both their availability for meetings and the whereabouts of other politicians.”