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How can I read my text messages online tmobile? An Efficient way to Retrieve Deleted T-Mobile Text Messages. Whether you're an iOS or Android. Pay‑as‑you‑go Phone Number pricing Programmatically retrieve the latest pricing for voice and SMS using Twilio's Pricing API. All MMS-enabled Short Codes. The good news is you can send SMS and use your phone just like at home, While roaming, you can have direct access to our customer care from abroad by.

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Check Text Messages Tmobile Online


Read the contents of all incoming and outgoing SMS messages.

Wifes phone died. How can she get to her text messages ?

Spyera captures all E-mails and sent to your web account, even if user delete them you will have a copy on your web account. If the e-mail address is in the phones address book, the contact name will also be available. The Alert Wizard lets you specify criteria that will result in notification being generated for you on the dashboard, or sent to you by e-mail.

View call history and get the name of the contact from the address book. The time, duration and number. T mobile read text messages online For other carriers, use data cable or their application loaders. Smart watches and wrist bands have not caught up with smartphones as a t mobile read text messages online product but Shea says he enjoys using his Jawbone, which tracks his sleep and walking patterns to help him adapt his schedule and personal health.

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Checking text messages online

Please get more people on this and hone it in. Improved stability, iOS 9. Similar Threads How can you check number of text messages? For third-party content, click Third-party purchases. Please contact DigitsTech t-mobile. Android Apps and Games. Having a synchronized platform to chevy tahoe wheel lock key location my carrier texts, at the very least, across all platforms would be enough for me to be completely content regardless of the other features it contains. The ability to add multiple numbers to my account also makes sense for Check Text Messages Tmobile Online who have a separate line for work, removing the need to carry several phones. How to check if your Android phone is powerful enough to run Fortnite Mobile August 7, Improved sync performance and stability. Improved stability and performance. Instant messaging is not just about text and pictures anymore. Record phone conversation as hidden sound file. Check Text Messages Tmobile Online to developer 2: This tool uses JavaScript and much of it will not work correctly without it enabled.

Spy Software for Cell Phones and Tablets. For web usage, click Data.

T-Mobile Text Message

I've looked all over and can't find out how to do this. Does t-mobile access t mobile text messages online a way to received texts online or know how to setup via 3rd party app?. Many of our customers like to have hard copies of their phone records, If you have access to a computer and printer, postpaid accounts can access and print up to one year of phone records through My T-Mobile. For messages, click Messaging. TERMS & CONDITIONS · Terms of Use · Accessibility · Open Internet.

For purchases directly through T-Mobile, click T-Mobile purchases. For third-party content, click Third-party purchases. By jodeci78 in forum Fido. Can I get the monthly text message plan without paying by credit card, etc? Bookmarks Bookmarks Digg del.

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How Do I Check My Text Messages With T-Mobile On The Internet?

Appealing and well organized interface. The system is able to retrieve from the database a list of the latest text messages assigned to the phone number, including: In building a native application for the blackberry 10 platform, whatsapp has been able to provide a fantastic user experience that leverages the true multi-tasking capabilities of blackberry Serving annapolis, baltimore and the eastern shore.

Conversely, if the led3x is used for n-s tracking the band is oriented e-w. I absolutely love this app, the concept is brilliant in my opinion and an extraordinary idea that just affirms me that T-Mobile was the right network for me. I know that I have a strong wireless Internet connection when doing so, so it's frustrating that it doesn't work most of the time. Inevitably, I end up having to uninstall and then reinstall, which is frustrating and extremely inconvenient for obvious reasons.

If the developers were able to fix the bugs in this app, I would rate it five stars in a heartbeat because it is an extremely innovative idea for any wireless provider to come out with, and comes in handy immensely! Unfortunately, it's more work than what it's worth more often than not in its functionality, as of right now anyway. Having a synchronized platform to manage my carrier texts, at the very least, across all platforms would be enough for me to be completely content regardless of the other features it contains.

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Unfortunately this app will not satisfy that desire. I remember it used to work so that if I answered a call from my iPad, I would have audio through my iPad. Same for other devices.


How To Set Up T-Mobile Parental Controls

If you’re a T-Mobile customer and want to set up parental controls, it’s important to note that you must be the Primary Account Holder to add Family Allowances to your account. For T-Mobile One customers with two or more lines, this service is included free. If not, you may be required to pay a monthly fee for the service.

By default, the Parent Line is the Primary Account Holder, but after you add Family Allowances, you can designate a Parent Line. Both the Parent Line and Primary Account Holder can manage allowances for all lines on the account. Your children’s lines (“managed lines”) can view their individual allowances, but they cannot make changes to the settings.

A note for families looking to use T-Mobile FamilyMode with Bark: If you want to use Bark’s Parental Controls, you may not be able to use some of T-Mobile’s parental controls at the same time. Both parental controls use a How to set up td ameritrade thinkorswim to protect your child’s device, and mobile devices only allow one VPN at a time. In addition, if you are looking to monitor the texts, photos, web browsing, etc. of your child’s iOS device, you may run into issues with content monitoring when using T-Mobile FamilyMode. Please reach out to us if you believe that to be the case so we can help you decide what will work best for you and your family.

Parental Control Settings With T-Mobile

  • Set the number of allowed “Whenever Minutes.”
  • Set the number of text messages the line can send and receive during a billing cycle.
  • Set a current allowance if you want to specify an amount of money your child is allowed to spend on any downloads.
    • Note: Billing purchases to your T-Mobile account are blocked while Family Allowances is active, though you can still use a credit card or prepaid card for purchases from the Google Play Store or the iPhone App Store
  • Schedule the allowed or blocked time when your children are allowed to use their devices during the pre-defined time periods.
    • Set time limits.
    • Set BedTime.
  • Set the Allowed and Not Allowed Numbers. Each line can have a maximum of 10 numbers for each list. 411, 611, and 911 do not count toward that maximum.
  •  The child’s line can always send and receive calls and messages to and from any Always Allowed numbers, even after allowances are reached, or during blocked times.
  • Always Credit one platinum visa extra numbers will always allow calls and messages from these specific numbers, regardless of restrictions or allowance limitations. Remember to add the voicemail retrieval number to this list so your child can always check their voicemail.
  • Never Allowed numbers will always block calls and messages from any number on that list.

You can manage these settings for all the lines on the account.

Parental Controls With Family Allowances

You can also manage Family Allowances from within the T-Mobile app on your device with these instructions:

  1. Open your T-Mobile App and log in as either the parent or Primary Account Holder.
  2. Select Profile.
  3. Click Family Controls on the left.
  4. In Family Allowances, which is only an option if you’re subscribed to the service, tap Manage.
  5. Select the name or the line to view current settings.
  6. Set or change allowances for the selected line.
  7. Tap Save on the top right of the page.

Remember, Family Allowance settings don’t work on Wi-Fi or with Wi-Fi calling.

Control Screen Time With FamilyMode

FamilyMode is an optional T-Mobile service, available for $10/month. The system allows parents to control children’s internet access on smartphones and tablets wherever they are. The Home Base device also allows parents more control over the range of devices in their home.

Once you’ve added the FamilyMode service to your account, you’ll need the FamilyMode app installed on your phone. You might also consider getting the Home Base device, which offers additional control over other devices in your home. After installing the app on your phone, connect to the Home Base using either an ethernet cable ugi central penn gas bill pay by pairing it over your home Wi-Fi network.

To set up FamilyMode

  1. Open the FamilyMode app. Press Get Started.
  2. Agree to the User Agreement.
  3. Choose Set up parent app. Log in with your T-Mobile ID.
  4. Create profiles for each family member.

Add a new family member

  1. Tapping the Menu icon in the top left of the home screen in the FamilyMode app.
  2. Tap Add Profile.
  3. Enter the family member’s name and add an optional photo.
  4. Set filter levels.
    1. High: Works for children between the ages of 6 and 12. Educational and kid-safe experiences are available by default.
    2. Medium: Designed for teens 13-17. Most options are available. Any platforms, sites, or apps that are 18+ are blocked, and inappropriate categories are filtered and invisible.
    3. Low: Appropriate for 18+. This provides access to most all platforms, categories, and apps, but explicit and mature content is filtered by default.
    4. None: This is for profiles you want FamilyMode to ignore. This is also the option to choose if you just want to be able to set BedTimes for the profile. Time limits, filtering, and usage are not available for platforms with this filter level.

To add another parent

  1. Download the FamilyMode app to the parent’s device.
  2. Open the app.
  3. Tap Get Started on the welcome screen.
  4. Agree to the user agreement.
  5. Tap Set up Parent app.
  6. Tap Continue at the T-Mobile Primary Account Holder screen.
  7. Log in with the T-Mobile Primary Account Holder’s information.
  8. Tap Menu.
  9. Tap Add Profile.
  10. Enter Parent’s name and photo.
  11. Set the filter settings on the device. Tap Save.
  12. Enable or disable BedTime. Tap Save.
  13. Select the other parent’s device to add it to their profile. Tap Done.



Text messaging service component

For other uses, see SMS (disambiguation).

E.161, a common mobile keypad alphabet layout

SMS (Short Message Service) is a text messaging service component of most telephone, Internet, and mobile device systems. It uses standardized communication protocols that let mobile devices exchange short text messages. An intermediary service can facilitate a text-to-voice conversion to be sent to landlines.[1]

SMS, as used on modern devices, originated from radio telegraphy in radio memo pagers that used standardized phone protocols. These were defined in 1986 as part of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) series of standards.[2] The first test SMS message was sent on December 3, 1992, when Neil Papworth, a test engineer for Sema Group, used a personal computer to send "Merry Christmas" to the phone of colleague Richard Jarvis.[3] SMS rolled out commercially on many cellular networks that decade and became hugely popular worldwide as a method of text communication.[4] By the end of 2010, SMS was the most widely used data application, with an estimated 3.5 billion active users, or about 80% of all mobile phone subscribers.

The mobile woodforest online banking allows users to send and receive messages of up to 160 characters (when entirely alpha-numeric) to and from GSM mobiles. Although most SMS messages are sent from one mobile phone to another, support for the service has expanded to include other mobile technologies, such as ANSI CDMA networks and Digital AMPS.[5]

Mobile marketing, a type of direct marketing, uses SMS.[6] According to a 2018 market research report, the global SMS messaging business was estimated to be worth over US$100 billion, accounting for almost 50 percent of all revenue generated by mobile messaging.[7]


Initial concept[edit]

Adding text messaging functionality to mobile devices began in the early 1980s. The first action plan of the CEPT Group GSM was approved in December 1982, requesting that "The services and facilities offered in the public switched telephone networks and public data networks . should be available in the mobile system."[8] This plan included the exchange of text messages either directly between mobile stations, or transmitted via message handling systems in use at that time.[9]

The SMS concept was developed in the Franco-German GSM cooperation in 1984 by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert.[10] The GSM is optimized for telephony, since this was identified as its main application. The key idea for SMS was to use this telephone-optimized system, and to transport messages on the signalling paths needed to control the telephone traffic during periods when no signalling traffic existed. In this way, unused resources in the system could be used to transport messages at minimal cost. However, it was necessary to limit the length of the messages to 128 bytes (later improved to 160 seven-bit characters) so that the messages could fit into the existing signalling formats. Based on his personal observations and on analysis of the typical lengths of postcard and Telex messages, Hillebrand argued that 160 characters was sufficient for most brief communications.[11]

SMS could be implemented in every mobile station by updating its software. Hence, a large base of SMS-capable terminals and networks existed when people began to use SMS.[12] A new network element required was a specialized short message service centre, and enhancements were required to the radio capacity and network transport infrastructure to accommodate growing SMS traffic.[citation needed]

Early development[edit]

The technical development of SMS was a multinational collaboration supporting the framework of standards bodies. Through these organizations the technology was made freely available to the whole world.[13]

The first proposal which initiated the development of SMS was made by a contribution of Germany and France in the GSM group meeting in February 1985 in Oslo.[14] This proposal was further elaborated in GSM subgroup WP1 Services (Chairman Martine Alvernhe, France Telecom) based on a contribution from Germany. There were also initial discussions in the subgroup WP3 network aspects chaired by Jan Audestad (Telenor). The result was approved by the main GSM group in a June 1985 document which was distributed to industry.[15] The input documents on SMS had been prepared by Friedhelm Hillebrand of Deutsche Telekom, with contributions from Bernard Ghillebaert of France Télécom. The definition that Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert brought into GSM called for the provision of a message transmission service of alphanumeric messages to mobile users "with acknowledgement capabilities". The last three words transformed SMS into something much more useful than the electronic paging services used at the time that some in GSM might have had in mind.[16]

SMS was considered in the main GSM group as a possible service for the new digital cellular system. In GSM document "Services and Facilities to be provided in the GSM System,"[2] both mobile-originated and mobile-terminated short messages appear on the table of GSM teleservices.[citation needed]

The discussions on the GSM services were concluded in the recommendation GSM 02.03 "TeleServices supported by a GSM PLMN."[17] Here a rudimentary description of the three services was given:

  1. Short message mobile-terminated (SMS-MT)/ Point-to-Point: the ability of a network to transmit a Short Message to a mobile phone. The message can be sent by phone or by a software application.
  2. Short message mobile-originated (SMS-MO)/ Point-to-Point: the ability of a network to transmit a Short Message sent by a mobile phone. The message can be sent to a phone or to a software application.
  3. Short message cell broadcast.[citation needed]

The material elaborated in GSM and its WP1 subgroup was handed over in Spring 1987 to a new GSM body called IDEG (the Implementation of Data and Telematic Services Experts Group), which had its kickoff in May 1987 under the chairmanship of Friedhelm Hillebrand (German Telecom). The technical standard known today was largely created by IDEG (later WP4) as the two recommendations GSM 03.40 (the two point-to-point services merged) and GSM 03.41 (cell broadcast).[citation needed]

WP4 created a Drafting Group Message Handling (DGMH), which was responsible for the specification of SMS. Finn Trosby of Telenor chaired the draft group through its first 3 years, in which the design of SMS was established. DGMH had five to eight participants, and Finn Trosby mentions as major contributors Kevin Holley, Eija Altonen, Didier Luizard and Alan Cox. The first action plan[18] mentions for the first time the Technical Specification 03.40 "Technical Realisation of the Short Message Service". Responsible editor was Finn Trosby. The first and very rudimentary draft of the technical specification was completed in November 1987.[19] However, drafts useful for the manufacturers followed at a later stage in the period. A comprehensive description of the work in this period is given in.[20]

The work on the draft specification continued in the following few years, where Kevin Holley of Cellnet (now Telefónica O2 UK) played a leading role. Besides the completion of the main specification GSM 03.40, the detailed protocol specifications on the system interfaces also needed to be completed.[citation needed]

Support in other architectures[edit]

The Mobile Application Part (MAP) of the SS7 protocol included support for the transport of Short Messages through the Core Network from its inception.[21] MAP Phase 2 expanded support for SMS by introducing a separate operation code for Mobile Terminated Short Message transport.[22] Since Phase 2, there have been no changes to the Short Message operation packages in MAP, although other operation packages have been enhanced to support CAMEL SMS control.[citation needed]

From 3GPP Releases 99 and 4 onwards, CAMEL Phase 3 introduced the ability for the Intelligent Network (IN) to control aspects of the Mobile Originated Short Message Service,[23] while CAMEL Phase 4, as part of 3GPP Release 5 and onwards, provides the IN with the ability to control the Mobile Terminated service.[24] CAMEL allows the gsmSCP to block the submission (MO) or delivery (MT) of Short Messages, route messages to destinations other than that specified by the user, and perform real-time billing for the use of the service. Prior to standardized CAMEL control of the Short Message Service, IN control relied on switch vendor specific extensions to the Intelligent Network Application Part (INAP) of SS7.[citation needed]

Early implementations[edit]

The first SMS message[3] was sent over the Vodafone GSM network in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1992, from Neil Papworth of Sema Group (now Mavenir Systems) using a personal computer to Richard Jarvis of Vodafone using an Orbitel 901 handset. The text of the message was "Merry Christmas."[25]

The first commercial deployment of a short message service center (SMSC) was by Aldiscon part of Logica (now part of CGI) with Telia (now TeliaSonera) in Sweden in 1993,[26] followed by Fleet Call (now Nextel)[27] in the US, Telenor in Norway[28] and BT Cellnet (now O2 UK)[29] later in 1993. All first installations of SMS gateways were for network notifications sent to mobile phones, usually to inform of voice mail messages.[citation needed]

The first commercially sold SMS service was offered to consumers, as a person-to-person text messaging service by Radiolinja (now part of Elisa) in Finland in 1993. Most early GSM mobile phone handsets did not support the ability to send SMS text messages, and Nokia was the only handset manufacturer whose total GSM phone line in 1993 supported user-sending of SMS text messages. According to Matti Makkonen, an engineer at Nokia at the time, the Nokia 2010, which was released in January 1994, was the first mobile phone to support composing SMSes easily.[30]

Initial growth was slow, with customers access t mobile text messages online 1995 sending on average only 0.4 messages per GSM customer per month.[31] One factor in the slow takeup of SMS was that operators were slow to set up charging systems, especially for prepaid subscribers, and eliminate billing fraud which was possible by changing SMSC settings on individual handsets to use the SMSCs of other operators.[citation needed] Initially, networks in the UK only allowed customers to send messages to other users on the same network, limiting the usefulness of the service. This restriction was lifted in 1999.[3]

Over time, this issue was eliminated by switch billing instead of billing at the SMSC and by new features within SMSCs to allow blocking of foreign mobile users sending messages through it. By the end of 2000, the average number of messages reached 35 per user per month,[31] and on Christmas Day 2006, over 205 million messages were sent in the UK alone.[32]


SMS was originally designed as part of GSM, but is now available on a wide range of networks, including 3G networks. However, not all text messaging systems use SMS, and some notable alternative implementations of the windstream bill pay sign in include J-Phone's SkyMail and NTT Docomo's Short Mail, both in Japan. Email messaging from phones, as popularized by NTT Docomo's i-mode and the RIMBlackBerry, also typically uses standard mail protocols such as SMTP over TCP/IP.[citation needed]

SMS today[edit]

SMS messages sent monthly in the USA from 2001 to 2008 (in billions)

In 2010[update], 6.1 trillion (6.1 × 1012) SMS text messages were sent,[33] which is an average of 193,000 SMS per second. SMS has become a large commercial industry, earning $114.6 billion globally in 2010.[34] The global average price for an SMS message is US$0.11, while mobile networks charge each other interconnect fees of at least US$0.04 when connecting between different phone networks.[citation needed]

In 2015, the actual cost of sending an SMS in Australia was found to be $0.00016 per SMS.[35]

In 2014, Caktus Group[36] developed the world's first SMS-based voter registration system in Libya. So far,[when?] more than 1.5 million people have registered using that system, providing Libyan voters with unprecedented access to the democratic process.[37]

While SMS is still a growing market, it is being increasingly challenged by Internet Protocol-based messaging services such as Apple's iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat (in China) and Line (in Japan), available on smart phones with data connections.[38] It has been reported that over 97% of smart phone owners use alternative messaging services at least once a day.[39] However, in the U.S. these Internet-based services have access t mobile text messages online caught on as much,[timeframe?] and SMS continues to be highly popular there.

SMS Enablement[edit]

SMS enablement allows individuals to send an SMS message to a business phone number (traditional landline) and receive a SMS in return. Providing customers with the ability to text to a phone number allows organizations to offer new services that deliver value. Examples include chat bots, and text enabled customer service and call centers.[citation needed]

Technical details[edit]


Main article: Short message service technical realisation (GSM)

The Short Message Service—Point to Point (SMS-PP)—was originally defined in GSM recommendation 03.40, which is now maintained in 3GPP as TS 23.040.[40][41] GSM 03.41 (now 3GPP TS 23.041) defines the Short Message Service—Cell Broadcast (SMS-CB), which allows messages (advertising, public information, etc.) to be broadcast to all mobile users in a specified geographical area.[42][43]

Messages are sent to a short message service center (SMSC), which provides a "store and forward" mechanism. It attempts to send messages to the SMSC's recipients. If a recipient is not reachable, the SMSC queues the message for later retry.[44] Some SMSCs also provide a "forward and forget" option where transmission is tried only once. Both mobile terminated (MT, for messages sent to a mobile handset) and mobile originating (MO, for those sent from the mobile handset) operations are supported. Message delivery is "best effort", so there are no guarantees that a message will actually be delivered to its recipient, but delay or complete loss of a message is uncommon, typically affecting less than 5 percent of messages.[45] Some providers allow users to request delivery reports, either via the SMS settings of most modern phones, or by prefixing each message with *0#[46] or *N#. However, the exact meaning of confirmations varies from reaching the network, to being queued for sending, to being sent, to receiving a confirmation of receipt from the target device, and users are often not informed of the specific type of success being reported.[citation needed]

SMS is a stateless communication protocol in which every SMS message is considered entirely independent of other messages. Enterprise applications using SMS as a communication channel for stateful dialogue (where an MO reply message is paired to a specific MT message) requires that session management be maintained external to the protocol.[citation needed]

Message size[edit]

Transmission of short messages between the SMSC and the handset is done whenever using the Mobile Application Part (MAP) of the SS7 protocol.[47] Messages are sent with the MAP MO- and MT-ForwardSM operations, whose payload length is limited by the constraints of the signaling protocol to precisely 140 bytes (140 bytes * 8 bits / byte = 1120 bits).

Short messages can be encoded using a variety of alphabets: the default GSM 7-bit alphabet, the 8-bit data alphabet, and the 16-bit UCS-2 alphabet.[48] Depending on which alphabet the subscriber has configured in the handset, this leads to the maximum individual short message sizes of 160 7-bit characters, 140 8-bit characters, or 70 16-bit characters. GSM 7-bit alphabet support is mandatory for GSM handsets and network elements,[48] but characters in languages such as Hindi, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Cyrillic alphabet languages (e.g., Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, etc.) must be encoded using the 16-bit UCS-2character encoding (see Unicode). Routing data and other metadata is additional to the payload size.[citation needed]

Larger content (concatenated SMS, multipart or segmented SMS, or "long SMS") can be sent using multiple messages, in which case each message will start with a User Data Header (UDH) containing segmentation information. Since UDH is part of the payload, the number of available characters per segment is lower: 153 for 7-bit encoding, 134 for 8-bit encoding and 67 for 16-bit encoding. The receiving handset is then responsible for reassembling the message and presenting it to the user as one long message. While the standard theoretically permits up to 255 segments,[49] 10 segments is the practical maximum with some carriers,[50] and long messages are often billed as equivalent to multiple SMS messages. In some cases 127 segments are supported,[51] but software limitations in out of the box Android apps do not allow to send such a message without converting to MMS first, one can use QKSMS app to send such a long SMS. Some providers have offered length-oriented pricing schemes for messages, although that type of pricing structure is rapidly disappearing.[citation needed]

Gateway providers[edit]

SMS gateway providers facilitate SMS traffic between businesses and mobile subscribers, including SMS for enterprises, content delivery, and entertainment services involving SMS, e.g. TV voting. Considering SMS messaging performance and cost, as well as the level of messaging services, SMS gateway providers wilson mortuary salem mo be classified as aggregators or SS7 providers.[citation needed]

The aggregator model is based on multiple agreements with mobile carriers to exchange two-way SMS traffic into and out of the operator's SMSC, also known as "local termination model". Aggregators lack direct access into the SS7 protocol, which is the protocol where the SMS messages are exchanged. SMS messages are delivered to the operator's SMSC, but not the subscriber's handset; the SMSC takes care of further handling of the message through the SS7 network.[citation needed]

Another type of SMS gateway provider is based on SS7 connectivity to route SMS messages, also known as "international termination model". The advantage of this model is the ability to route data directly through SS7, which gives the provider total control and visibility of the complete path during SMS routing. This means SMS messages can be sent directly to and from recipients without having to go through the SMSCs of other mobile operators. Therefore, it is possible to avoid delays and message losses, offering full delivery guarantees access t mobile text messages online messages and optimized routing. This model is particularly efficient when used in mission-critical messaging and SMS used in corporate communications. Moreover, these SMS gateway providers are providing branded SMS services with masking but after misuse of these gateways most countries's Governments have taken serious steps to block these gateways.[citation needed]

Interconnectivity with other networks[edit]

Message Service Centers communicate with the Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) or PSTN via Interworking and Gateway MSCs.[citation needed]

Subscriber-originated messages are transported from a handset to a service center, and may be destined for mobile users, subscribers on a fixed network, or Value-Added Service Providers (VASPs), also known as application-terminated. Subscriber-terminated messages are transported from the service center to the destination handset, and may originate from mobile users, from fixed network subscribers, or from other sources such as VASPs.[citation needed]

On some carriers nonsubscribers can send messages to a subscriber's phone using an Email-to-SMS gateway. Additionally, many carriers, including AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA,[52]Sprint,[53] and Verizon Wireless,[54] offer the ability to do this through their respective web sites.[citation needed]

For example, an AT&T subscriber whose phone number was 555-555-5555 would receive e-mails addressed to [email protected] as text messages. Subscribers can easily reply to these SMS messages, and the SMS reply is sent back to the original email address. Sending email to SMS is free for the sender, but the recipient is subject to the standard delivery charges. Only the first 160 characters of an email message can be delivered to a phone, and only 160 characters can be sent from a phone. However, longer messages may be broken up into multiple texts, depending upon the telephone service provider.[55][56]

Text-enabled fixed-line handsets are required to receive messages in text format. However, messages can be delivered to nonenabled phones using text-to-speech conversion.[57]

Short messages can send binary content such as ringtones or logos, as well as Over-the-air programming (OTA) or configuration data. Such uses are a vendor-specific extension of the GSM specification and there are multiple competing standards, although Nokia's Smart Messaging is common. An alternative way for sending such binary content is EMS messaging, which is standardized and not dependent on vendors.[citation needed]

SMS is used for M2M (Machine to Machine) communication. For instance, there is an LED display machine controlled by SMS, and some vehicle tracking companies use SMS for their data transport or telemetry needs. SMS usage for these purposes is slowly being superseded by GPRS services owing to their lower overall cost.[citation needed] GPRS is offered by smaller telco players as a route of sending SMS text to reduce the cost of SMS texting internationally.[58]

AT commands[edit]

Many mobile and satellite transceiver units support the sending and receiving of SMS using an extended version of the Hayes command set. The extensions were standardised as part of the GSM Standards and extended as part of the 3GPP standards process.[59]

The connection between the terminal equipment and the transceiver can be realized with a serial cable (e.g., USB), a Bluetooth link, an infrared link, etc. Common AT commands include AT+CMGS (send message), AT+CMSS (send message from storage), AT+CMGL (list messages) and AT+CMGR (read message).[60]

However, not all modern devices support receiving of messages if the message storage (for instance the device's internal memory) is not accessible using AT commands.[citation needed]

Premium-rated short messages[edit]

See also: Reverse SMS billing and Short code

Short messages may be used normally to provide premium rate services to subscribers of a telephone network.[citation needed]

Mobile-terminated short messages can be used to deliver digital content such as news alerts, financial information, logos, and ring tones. The first premium-rate media content delivered via the SMS system was the world's first paid downloadable ringing tones, as commercially launched by Saunalahti (later Jippii Group, now part of Elisa Group), in 1998. Initially, only Nokia branded phones could handle them. By 2002 the ringtone business globally had exceeded $1 billion of service revenues, and nearly US$5 billion by 2008.[citation needed] Today, they are also used to pay smaller payments online—for example, for file-sharing services, in mobile application stores, or VIP section entrance. Outside the online world, one can buy a bus ticket or beverages from ATM, pay a parking ticket, order a store catalog or some goods (e.g., discount movie DVDs), make a donation to charity, and much more.[citation needed]

Premium-rated messages are also used in Donors Message Service to collect money for charities and foundations. DMS was first launched at April 1, 2004, and is very popular in the Czech Republic.[61] For example, the Czech people sent over 1.5 million messages to help South Asia recover from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.[62]

The Value-added service provider (VASP) providing the content submits the message to the mobile operator's SMSC(s) using a TCP/IP protocol such as the short message peer-to-peer protocol (SMPP) or the External Machine Interface (EMI). The SMSC delivers the text using the normal Mobile Terminated delivery procedure. The subscribers are charged extra for receiving this premium content; the revenue is typically divided between the mobile network operator and the VASP either through revenue share or a fixed transport fee. Submission to the SMSC is usually handled by a third party.[citation needed]

Mobile-originated short messages may also be used in a premium-rated manner for services such as televoting. In this case, the VASP providing the service obtains a short code from the telephone network operator, and subscribers send texts to that number. The payouts to the carriers vary by carrier; percentages paid are access t mobile text messages online on the lowest-priced premium SMS services. Most information providers should expect to pay about 45 percent of the cost of the premium SMS up front to the carrier. The submission of the text to the SMSC is identical to a standard MO Short Message submission, but once the text is at the SMSC, the Service Center (SC) identifies the Short Code as a premium service. The SC will then direct the content of the text message to the VASP, typically using an IP protocol such as SMPP or EMI. Subscribers are charged a premium for the sending of such messages, with the revenue typically shared between the network operator and the VASP. Short codes only work within one country, they are not international.[citation needed]

An alternative to inbound SMS is based on long numbers (international number format, such as "+44 762 480 5000"), which can be used in place of short codes for SMS reception in several applications, such as TV voting, product promotions and campaigns. Long numbers work internationally, allow businesses to use their own numbers, rather than short codes, which are usually shared across many brands. Additionally, long numbers are nonpremium inbound numbers.[citation needed]

Threaded SMS[edit]

Threaded SMS is a visual styling orientation of SMS message history that arranges messages to and from a contact in chronological order on a single screen.

It was first invented by a developer working to implement the SMS client for the BlackBerry, who was looking to make use of the blank screen left below the message on a device with a larger screen capable of displaying far more than the usual 160 characters, and was inspired by threaded Reply conversations in email.[63]

Visually, this style of representation provides a back-and-forth chat-like history for each individual contact.[64] Hierarchical-threading at the conversation-level (as typical in blogs and on-line messaging boards) is not widely supported by SMS messaging clients. This limitation is due to the fact that there spirit airlines phone number usa no session identifier or subject-line passed back and forth between sent and received messages in the header data (as specified by SMS protocol) from which the client device can properly thread an incoming message to a specific dialogue, or even to a specific message within a dialogue.

Most smart phone text-messaging-clients are able to create some contextual threading of "group messages" which narrows the context of the thread around the common interests shared by group members. On the other hand, advanced enterprise messaging applications which push messages from a remote server often display a dynamically changing reply number (multiple numbers used by the same sender), which is used along with the sender's phone number to create session-tracking capabilities analogous to the functionality that cookies provide for web-browsing.[citation needed] As one pervasive example, this technique is used to extend the functionality of many Instant Messenger (IM) applications such that they are able to communicate over two-way dialogues with the much larger SMS user-base.[65] In cases where multiple reply numbers are used by the enterprise server to maintain the dialogue, the visual conversation threading on the client may be separated into multiple threads.[citation needed]

Application-to-person (A2P) SMS[edit]

While SMS reached its popularity as a person-to-person messaging, another type of SMS is growing fast: application-to-person (A2P) messaging. A2P is a type of SMS sent from a subscriber to an application or sent from an application to a subscriber. It is commonly used by businesses, such as banks, e-gaming, logistic companies, e-commerce, to send SMS messages from their systems to their customers.[66]

In the US, carriers have traditionally preferred that A2P messages must be sent using a short code rather than a standard long code.[67] However, recently multiple US carriers, including Verizon have announced plans to officially support A2P messages over long codes.[68] In the United Kingdom A2P messages can be sent with a dynamic 11 character sender ID; however, short codes are used for OPTOUT commands. There are specialist companies such as MMG Mobile Marketing Group which provide these services to businesses and enterprises.

Satellite phone networks[edit]

All commercial satellite phone networks except ACeS and OptusSat support SMS.[citation needed] While early Iridium handsets only support incoming SMS, later models can also send messages. The price per message varies for different networks. Unlike some mobile phone networks, there is no extra charge for sending international SMS or to send one to a different satellite phone network. SMS can sometimes be sent from areas where the signal is too poor to make a voice call.

Satellite phone networks usually have web-based or email-based SMS portals where one can send free SMS to phones on that particular network.


Unlike dedicated texting systems like the Simple Network Paging Protocol and Motorola's ReFLEX protocol,[69] SMS message delivery is not guaranteed, and many implementations provide no mechanism through which a sender can determine whether an SMS message has been delivered in a timely manner.[70] SMS messages are generally treated as lower-priority traffic than voice, and various studies have shown that around 1% to 5% of messages are lost entirely, even during normal operation conditions,[71] and others may not be delivered until long after their relevance has passed.[72] The use of SMS as an emergency notification service in particular has been questioned.[73]


An example of a phishingattack through SMS, showing a fake message and URL claiming to be from Apple

See also: Mobile security § Attack based on SMS and MMS

The Global Service for Mobile communications (GSM), with the greatest worldwide number of users, succumbs to several security vulnerabilities. In the GSM, only the airway traffic between the Mobile Station (MS) and the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) is optionally encrypted with a weak and broken stream cipher (A5/1 or A5/2). The authentication is unilateral and also vulnerable. There are also many other security vulnerabilities and shortcomings.[74] Such vulnerabilities are inherent to SMS as one of the superior and well-tried services with a global availability in the GSM networks. SMS messaging has some extra security vulnerabilities due to its store-and-forward feature, and the problem of fake SMS that can be conducted via the Internet. When a user is roaming, SMS content passes through different networks, perhaps including the Internet, and is exposed to various vulnerabilities and attacks. Another concern arises when an adversary gets access to a phone and reads the previous unprotected messages.[75]

In October 2005, researchers from Pennsylvania State University published an analysis of vulnerabilities in SMS-capable cellular networks. The researchers speculated that attackers might exploit the open functionality of these networks to disrupt them or cause them to fail, possibly on a nationwide scale.[76]

SMS spoofing[edit]

Main article: SMS spoofing

The GSM industry has identified a number of potential fraud attacks on mobile operators that can be delivered via abuse of SMS messaging services. The most serious threat is SMS Spoofing, which occurs when a fraudster manipulates address information in order to impersonate a user that has roamed onto a foreign network and is submitting messages to the home network. Frequently, these messages are addressed to destinations outside the home network—with the home SMSC essentially being "hijacked" to send messages into other networks.[citation needed]

The only sure way of detecting and blocking spoofed messages is to screen incoming mobile-originated messages to verify that the sender is a valid subscriber and that the message is coming from a valid and correct location. This can be implemented by adding an intelligent routing function to the network that can query originating subscriber details from the home location register (HLR) before the message is submitted for delivery. This kind of intelligent routing function is beyond the capabilities of legacy messaging infrastructure.[77]


In an effort to limit telemarketers who had taken to bombarding users with hordes of unsolicited messages, India introduced new regulations in September 2011, including a cap of 3,000 SMS messages per subscriber per month, or an average of 100 per subscriber per day.[78] Due to representations received from some of the service providers and consumers, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has raised this limit to 200 SMS messages per SIM per day in case of prepaid services, and up to 6,000 SMS messages per SIM per month in case of postpaid services with effect from 1 November 2011.[79] However, it was ruled unconstitutional by the Delhi high court, but there are some limitations.[80]

Flash SMS[edit]

A Flash SMS is a type of SMS that appears directly on the main screen without user interaction and is not automatically stored in the inbox.[81] It can be useful in emergencies, such as a fire alarm or cases of confidentiality, as in delivering one-time passwords.[82]

Silent SMS[edit]

In 2010 Germany, almost half a million "silent SMS" messages were sent by the federal police, customs and the secret service "Verfassungsschutz" (offices for protection of the constitution).[83] These silent messages, also known as "silent TMS", "stealth SMS", "stealth ping" or "Short Message Type 0",[84] are used to locate a person and thus to create a complete movement profile. They do not show up on a display, nor trigger any acoustical signal when received. Their primary purpose was to deliver special services of the network operator to any cell phone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^Kelly, Heather (December 3, 2012). "OMG, The Text Message Turns 20. But has SMS peaked?". CNN.
  2. ^ abGSM Doc 28/85 "Services and Facilities to be provided in the GSM System" rev2, June 1985
  3. ^ abcHppy bthdy txt! December 2002, BBC News.
  4. ^How SMS Changed the World
  5. ^"When First SMS Was Sent". Play GK Quiz. Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  6. ^Black, Ken (September 13, 2016). "What is SMS Marketing?". wiseGEEK. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  7. ^Portio Research. "Mobile Messaging Futures 2014-20148". Archived south florida state college panther central the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  8. ^see GSM document 02/82 available the ETSI archive
  9. ^These Message Handling Systems had been standardized in the ITU, see specifications X.400 series
  10. ^See the book Hillebrand, Trosby, Holley, Harris: SMS the creation of Personal Global Text Messaging, Wiley 2010
  11. ^"Technology". 2009-05-03. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  12. ^See GSM document 28/85rev.2 June 85 and GSM WP1 document 66/86 available in the ETSI archive
  13. ^See also Friedhelm Hillebrand "GSM and UMTS, the creation of Global Mobile Communication", Wiley 2002, chapters 10 and 16, ISBN 0-470-84322-5
  14. ^GSM document 19/85, available in the ETSI archive
  15. ^GSM document 28/85r2, available in the ETSI archive
  16. ^"So who really did create SMS?". Stephen Temple. 2013-02-24. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  17. ^GSM TS 02.03, Teleservices Supported by a GSM Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN).
  18. ^Document GSM IDEG 79/87r3, available in the ETSI archive
  19. ^GSM 03.40, WP4 document 152/87, available in the ETSI archive
  20. ^Finn Trosby, "the strange duckling of GSM SMS"Archived 2007-09-25 at the Wayback Machine, Telektronikk Vol.3 2004.
  21. ^MAP phase 1 specification, available from the 3GPP web site.
  22. ^MAP phase 2 specification, available from the 3GPP web site.
  23. ^CAMEL Phase 3 specification, available from the 3GPP web site.
  24. ^CAMEL Phase 4 specification, also available from the 3GPP specification page.
  25. ^UK hails 10th birthday of SMS, December 2002, The Times of India.
  26. ^"First commercial deployment of Text Messaging (SMS)". Archived from the original on March 16, 2008. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  27. ^US Department of Homeland Security. "Cellular Technologies"(PDF). Electronic Frontier Foundation). Archived from the original(PDF) on 2012-05-24.
  28. ^"Norwegian History". Telenor Group. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  29. ^"BT unveils new mobile brand". BBC News Online. 3 September 2001. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  30. ^Nael, Contra costa co superior court (2015-06-30). "Suri tekstisõnumite looja Matti Makkonen" [Creator of text messages Matti Makkonen died]. (in Estonian). Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
  31. ^ abGSM World press releaseArchived 2002-02-15 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^Crystal, David (2008-07-05). "2b or not 2b?". Guardian Unlimited. London, UK. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  33. ^"The World Today – The rise of 3G"(PDF).
  34. ^Matthews, Charles H. (Economist) (2015). Innovation and entrepreneurship : a competency framework. Brueggemann, Ralph. (First ed.). New York. ISBN . OCLC 893453493.
  35. ^Han, Esther (6 May 2015). "Cheaper mobile calls and text as ACCC moves to slash wholesale fees" – via The Age.
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  39. ^GSM 03.40 Technical realization of the Short Message Service (SMS).
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  41. ^GSM 03.41, Technical Realization of Short Message Service Cell Broadcast (SMSCB).
  42. ^"3GPP specification: 23.041". Retrieved 14 June 2015.
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    Whether your thumbs are working overtime or your eyes are fighting to focus on a tiny screen, you have the option to take a break from your phone and text from a computer instead. In this blog post, learn how to text from a computer for free along with an affordable option for businesses.

    Choosing the right computer texting option

    A majority of the following computer texting options work well if you’re texting friends and family, but if you’re a business interested in texting customers, consider using business texting software instead.

    There are plenty of hacks and tools to text from a computer for free (and they can be convenient for the occasional text), but if you’re trying to scale, it will be difficult to manage multiple conversations from customers without a centralized platform or the right texting features.

    Business texting software lets you text from a computer with a desktop or web app with access to features like scheduled messages, auto-reply texts, text templates, group messaging and keywords.

    Start texting on your computer today with a free trial of Zipwhip business texting software

    Learn more about using a business texting platform later on in this post.

    7 Computer Texting Options for Mac and PC Users

    1. How to send a text message from email

    You can use your email address to send text messages from a computer to a phone. It’s free and doesn’t require a cell phone plan.

    This is a nice computer texting option when you’re in a pinch or just want to send a few texts, but it’s not foolproof. I tested a few email clients (Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo), and I was able to send text messages without a problem, but I didn’t receive every reply I sent from my phone, and one reply was delayed by several hours. The images I sent from my email sometimes didn’t go through either.

    Send text from a computer

    And example of a text from your computer to a mobile phone.

    Another downside is that replies can go to your email inbox’s junk folder (one of mine did), so you might not see the response right away if you’re not actively checking that folder.
    Follow these steps to send a text through email:

    Step 1. Identify the recipient’s mobile carrier. If you don’t know your recipient’s carrier, go to a carrier lookup site like or and enter the phone number.

    Step 2. Open a new email and fill in the “To” line with the phone number and SMS gateway address. Enter the recipient’s 10-digit phone number in the “To” line (without the dashes) and add the carrier domain after the phone number. You can reference the table below for the top carriers.

    Use the SMS column for regular texts without media attachments, and use the MMS access t mobile text messages online for messages with media attachments. Some wireless carriers use the same address for both SMS and MMS text messages. The entire email address should follow this format: [email protected]
    Text from a computer using these SMS and MMS gateways

    Step 3. Fill out the subject line(optional).

    Step 4.Type your message in the body of the email. 

    Step 5.Send the email. Any replies will be sent to your email inbox. You can reply to the text from the same email.

    Send a text through email

    Here’s what a text reply will look like in your email inbox.

    2. How to text from a computer: Mac to iMessage

    This computer texting best military discount car insurance is the easiest to use if you’re an iPhone user and have a Mac computer. You can send messages to both iPhone and Android phone users if you have a Wi-Fi connection.

    Step 1. Set up Text Message Forwarding. Follow the step-by-step instructions here.

    Step 2. Open the iMessage app on your computer. (To search for the app, use the shortcut Command-F)

    Step 3. When prompted, enter your Apple ID and Password. Click Next.

    Step 4. To compose a message, click on access t mobile text messages online icon next to the search bar in the left column.

    Step 5. Enter your recipient’s phone number.

    Step 6. Enter your text in the field at the bottom of the window.

    Step 7. To send, hit Return on your keyboard or click on the blue, upright arrow to the right of the message

    3. How to text from your computer to an Android phone

    If you’re an Android user, you can send a text message from a PC with the Android Messages web app, known as Messages for web. The web version offers a lot of the same services as Android Messages for mobile, like emojis, GIFs, photos and videos, but you won’t have the ability to use some of the more advanced features, such as Google Pay, file attachments or predictive text.

    To get started, you’ll need to set Android Messages as the default texting app on your phone and ensure that you have the latest version installed.
    A few tips to keep in mind before using Messages for web for computer texting.

    • Before scanning the QR code on the Messages web page, toggle on “Remember this Computer.” Christmas tree in the park san jose, you’ll need to pair your devices every time you use the service. If you forget to do this, go to Settings and toggle on “Remember this device” after you log in.
    • Keep your phone on when using the web app. If your phone is shut off or the battery dies, you won’t be able to text from your browser. Your phone should have service and your laptop or computer should have access to Wi-Fi.
    • Use a compatible web browser. Messages for web is available to use with Chrome, Mozilla, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge.

    When you have unread messages, you’ll see a red notification and the number of unread texts in the Messages icon in your browser tab.

    4. Computer texting with Google Voice

    You can also text from a computer using Google Voice, whether you have a PC or Mac. Google Voice is a cloud-based service that provides you with a free phone number for calls, voicemail and texts. You can access Google Voice from any computer via a web browser or you can download the app.

    Google Voice currently only allows text messaging within the U.S. and Canada, and if you’re looking for a group texting feature, you’ll only be able to text up to eight people at once.

    5. Computer texting using your carrier’s online portal

    Not all carriers offer this service, but you may be able to text from your computer by signing into your carrier account online. Log into your account to see if the option is available to you.

    If you’re a T-Mobile customer, you have the option to text from your computer with the DIGITS web client or desktop app. DIGITS is free to use and lets you access your phone number on multiple devices or multiple numbers on one device. The web client is available to postpaid and prepaid legacy customers who have unlimited talk and text plans.

    You can also download the DIGITS app from the App Store or Google Play store for your mobile phone.

    Computer texting is available to Verizon customers through their MyVerizon account. Follow these step-by-step instructions to sign in and compose a text to other Verizon users.

    6. Send texts through a free SMS website

    There are plenty of free webpage options to send an SMS from a computer to a mobile phone, like SendSMSNow and TextEm.

    Text from your computer with a free SMS website

    Free SMS websites like TextEm give you the option to text from the web for free.

    This computer texting method is is the fedex open today if you want to send international texts or if you’ve lost your phone and need to get in touch with someone, but there are drawbacks to using these types of free services.

    The interfaces can be clunky, you might not be able to see replies on the site itself (some send responses to your email), messages might not always go through, and there’s potential to get spammed with advertisements and unsolicited texts. Be cautious when providing your information to these services; they might sell any phone number you provide to third parties.

    7. Text customers from a computer using business texting software

    If your business is interested in how to text customers from a computer, the above options don’t offer the smoothest customer experience. Apps like iMessage and Android Messages don’t have text message features that truly leverage the power of texting for business. And sending texts from your email can be unreliable and confusing to customers—they may see an unrecognizable phone number and mistaken it as spam. Instead, try business texting software.

    Free download: The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers

    Business texting citibank branch locations near me like Zipwhip lets you conveniently text from a computer with a desktop or web app using your existing landline, VoIP or toll-free phone number, meaning your customers can text you on the same number they recognize and already know to call. It’s a lot less confusing than giving them two separate phone numbers to reach you.

    How to text customers from your computer with business texting software

    Zipwhip’s business texting software lets you text customers from your computer using your existing business phone number.

    And texting software can be be valuable to nearly all areas of your business, including customer service and support, alerts and reminders, marketing and promotions and sales. You’ll be able to send and receive text messages from your computer (and mobile devices) to individuals or to groups with an organized, scalable workflow.

    Learn how Zipwhip works here or try us out for free. Plans start at $25 a month.

    How does text messaging fit into the business landscape in 2021? Dive into texting trends, habits and preferences of more than 2,000 businesses and consumers across the country with our in-depth annual report The State of Texting. There’s valuable insight for businesses both large and small.


    Smash it, shred it, wipe it: the Tom Brady guide to destroying text messages

    Tom Brady’s four-game suspension has angered many Patriots fans, who’ve since questioned the decision. The 20-page ruling by the NFL revealed that the quarterback had his cellphone destroyed, the very cellphone NFL investigators wanted to look at to see if Brady had ordered the footballs deflated.

    Which raises the question: what are the best ways to destroy text messages forever?

    Ben Levitan, an engineer who specializes in the design of cellphone networks, said: “Tom Brady should have come to me first.” Levitan outlined some tips on the best ways to delete text messages for good, should you ever need to.

    Use a magnet

    It’s simple, quick and could potentially be claimed as an accident. Just like how a credit card can be wiped when you put a magnet to it, a phone has a similar reaction. Put a strong magnet on your phone and “it will just completely destroy the memory of your phone”, said Levitan.

    Use a text message shredder

    To effectively get rid of text messages, one has to overwrite them in the memory space. “It physically writes garbage into every single memory space on your phone so it can’t be recovered,” Levitan said.

    Good old-fashioned smashing

    If you destroy the chip, the memory will be lost. But this option is tricky. You have to be thorough in your smashing so that the chip is completely destroyed. “If you’re just destroying the keyboard and battery that’s not going to be sufficient,” Levitan said. Smashing one’s phone is also the most conspicuous of the options.

    It’s important to note that the above options are only effective if they are used on both the sender’s and the recipient(s)’ phones. The text messages are stored in both locations.

    Some phone companies also keep records of sent text messages. They sit on the company’s server for anywhere from three days to three months, depending on the company’s policy. Verizon holds texts for up to five days and Virgin Mobile keeps them for 90 days. AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint do not keep the contents of text messages. Once that time period has expired, the company deletes the content of the messages but holds on to the time and date of the text and who it was sent to.

    To avoid this problem, you can make use of iMessage, a form of communication between two iPhones. iMessages are not stored on phone companies’ servers.

    Things not to do

    Do not simply delete text messages from your phone. Text messages will be stored even after that. Your phone has limited space but it can still store approximately 1,000 text messages. It completely deletes old text messages after some time, but for the infrequent texter, messages from years and years ago could still be stored away.

    Do not throw your phone in water. Generally, it doesn’t delete all of the information from your phone. When a phone hits water, it usually shorts out the battery and kills the power. But if someone were to dry it out for a couple of days and pop in a new battery, it could work again just fine.


    What to Do If You're Concerned About the T-Mobile Data Breach

    There’s no easy way to prevent a thief from using your Social Security number or your driver’s license number, but there are things you can do to limit the impact of having such personal info exposed to criminals.

    Freeze your credit. That makes it difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. It requires contacting each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

    Because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the bureaus are offering free weekly credit reports through April 20, 2022. Before the pandemic, each offered a single free report annually and charged $20 for additional reports.

    You’ll need to lift the freeze temporarily when you want to give a company access to your credit information—say, if you’re applying for a credit card or a car loan, or you want to rent an apartment.

    Beef up your password game. While password information doesn’t seem to have been affected by the T-Mobile breach, the company is suggesting that customers change their passwords by logging in to their accounts or calling customer service by dialing 611 on their cell phones, although as of the morning of Friday, Aug. 20, the wait to talk to a representative was 45 minutes.

    While using a different password for each account is one of the basic principles of digital security, if you sometimes recycle passwords, you should also change the passwords on other accounts that have the same credentials used on your T-Mobile account.

    This might also be a good incentive to start using a password manager, a service that helps you create and store unique, complex passwords for each of your accounts.

    Use multifactor authentication. In addition to using strong, unique passwords for every online account, it’s also smart to set up multifactor authentication, often called two-factor authentication.

    When you turn on MFA, which is available for financial sites, social media sites, and many others, you need your password plus a second form of ID to log in. That way, if thieves get your password, they still won’t be able to access your account. The most common way to use MFA is probably to have the site send you a text message with a code that you enter into a pop-up box, but security experts say it’s better to use a smartphone app or physical security key. 

    Delete unused accounts. Any data breach can serve as a reminder that the more digital accounts you have, the greater the risk of your data being misused or stolen. You obviously can’t delete your cellular account, but you can take some time to locate other accounts that you haven’t used in years. Begin by typing your usernames, old and new, into a search engine and looking for combinations of your name and email address. You can also look for phrases such as “welcome to” or “new account” in your inbox, or look for saved log-ins in your search engines.

    For more information on enhancing your digital security, use the CR Security Planner, a free tool that can help you create and save a personalized to-do list.

    Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with information about services T-Mobile is offering customers affected by the data breach. The article was originally published Aug. 16, 2021.

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