Tuesday Tip: How to block a phone number

How to block a phone number

Scammers, telemarketers, robocalls. There are a lot of different reasons why you might want to block certain numbers. Luckily, there are ways to do it on Android and iOS phones. They take a bit of tapping, but it’s worth a few minutes’ trouble to block those annoying calls.

Do not call list
If you’re not already on the National Do Not Call Registry, this is the first step you should take to cut down on unwanted calls. Registrations on the registry don’t expire, so if you’ve registered already, no need to do it again. If you don’t remember whether you’ve registered or not, go to the registry site and you can check to see if you have. You’ll be asked to give an email address to confirm your registration, or you can call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want to register.

Your phone number will be added to the registry in 24 hours, but it will take up to 31 days for all sales calls to stop. If calls keep coming after 31 days, you can file a complaint. Even if your number is registered, some organizations may still call you, including charities, political organizations and phone surveyors. For a list of who may still call you, read the registry FAQs.

The method for blocking calls will vary according to your device and the version of Android you’re running. Some versions of Android Lollipop and older Android versions don’t include the call-blocking feature. But stock Android devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and subsequent operating systems do let you block numbers from within the Dialer or Phone app.

(Don’t know your phone’s operating system? Open Settings, tap About Phone or About Device, then tap Android Version to display your phone’s version.)

If you’re running Marshmallow or Nougat, open the Dialer, go to your recent calls, find the number you want to block and select Block/Report Spam. (If you don’t want to report the number as spam, you can uncheck that box.) Then tap Block.

If you’re running Lollipop, open the Phone app and select Call Settings > Call Rejection > Auto Reject List. Type in the number or search for it, select it and you’re finished.

If you use Messenger for messaging, tap the name or number that sent you the message on your message list and select Block/Report Spam. To block numbers within Contacts, open Messenger, select Menu > Blocked Contacts > Add a Number and enter the number you want to block.

When you block a number from sending you texts, FaceTime or voice calls, that number will be automatically blocked from doing all three.

To block a number that called you, open the Phone app and select Recent. Find the number you want to block and click the I in the circle next to it. You’ll then see information about the call and actions you can take. Scroll down and select Block this Caller.

If you’re blocking a number in your Contacts list, go to Settings > Phone > Call Blocking & Identification > Block Contact. This will bring up the list. Scroll through and select the numbers you want to block. You can also block a number via Settings > Messages > Blocked > Add New.

If you’re getting texts from a number not in your Contacts list, iOS requires that you add the number to your Contacts list before you can block it. Tap the number/image at the top of the screen, then Create New Contact and follow the steps above. If you have an older version of iOS, tap the I in the circle at the upper right of the screen, then tap Block this Caller > Block Contact.

To block people on FaceTime, open the app, find the most recent FaceTime call you had, then tap the I in the circle next to it. You’ll see information about the call and actions to take. Scroll down to Block this Caller. If it’s a person already in your Contacts, go to Settings > FaceTime > Blocked > Add New and select the name you want to block.

Phone blocking
Many manufacturers include an option to block numbers that is integrated into the phone. Here are brief instructions for several popular manufacturers. These will work with most but not all phones made by these manufacturers.

Open the Phone app and then open the Log. Select the number you want to block, then More > Block. You can select Call Block and Message Block. If the number is in your contacts, open the Phone app, select More > Settings > Call Blocking and add the number to be blocked.

Open the Phone app, select Call History, choose the number, then select Block Contact or Block Caller.

Open the Phone app, select Menu > Settings > Call Reject > Reject Calls From and add the number.

If you prefer video instructions for call blocking, there are many YouTube videos that will show you how. Just search your operating system or your phone model.

Tuesday Tip: What is 4G LTE (and why you should care)

4G LTE. You’ve seen the billboards and the TV commercials and the ads on the side of the bus. But you might not know exactly what it means—and how it can make a difference in your daily life. If you have a moment, we’ll explain.

For you, personally, 4G LTE means a much faster phone. It means watching movies anytime and video chatting on the go. Fewer frozen videos, failed text messages and garbled calls.

OK, that’s the fun way to describe it. Here’s the geeky version. Technically, 4G LTE means two things:

4G means the fourth generation of technology for cellular networks, after 3G, which is what we used in the old days, back before 2010.

LTE means Long Term Evolution, which is a complicated process for delivering high-speed data to phones and other mobile devices.

Together, they make 4G LTE, which opens the door for you to do what you need to do in a faster, more efficient, more enjoyable way, in your business and personal life.

Resisting Trump’s racist war on Dreamers

If there’s one singular issue that solidified Donald Trump’s core racist base during his campaign — and now his occupation of the White House — it’s his blind hatred of immigrants. From his absurd proposal to build a wall on our southern border to his dangerous attempts to ban Muslims and refugees from entering the country, Trump’s continued hatred for immigrants and people of color is a constant and real threat to tens of millions of people in our country.

Trump’s latest cruel and heartless attack on immigrants is his recent order to rescind the program known as DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of immigrant children and young adults who were brought to the country by their parents, known as Dreamers, the ability to obtain driver’s licenses and work permits and live safely in the only country many of them have ever known.

Trump’s cowardly and wildly unpopular decision to end DACA has put more than 800,000 immigrants at risk of deportation and proves how deep-rooted his racism really is. Going after immigrant children and young adults is just another way to advance his white supremacist agenda and terrorize immigrant communities.

But CREDO and our members are resisting Trump’s dangerous attacks on immigrants and Dreamers. Dreamers embody the spirit of the United States in a way that small-minded xenophobic Republicans like Trump will never understand, and CREDO is standing up against the Trump administration’s racist campaign to deport hundreds of thousand of young undocumented immigrants.

Here are some of the ways we are fighting back:

  • More than 175,000 CREDO members recently called on Congress to restore and expand DACA by passing clean legislation without any poison pills from extreme right wingers.
  • More than 125,000 CREDO members have signed a petition calling on Senate Democrats to “block all legislation that would criminalize immigrants and ramp-up deportations.”
  • Since Trump took office, CREDO has been fighting for immigrant rights at the state and local level and run grassroots campaigns in support of stronger protections for immigrant communities in California, New York, Texas, Los Angeles and Chicago.
  • Through CREDO’s monthly donations program, CREDO members have donated more than $700,000 to leading immigrant rights groups.

Restoring DACA will not protect all immigrants from Trump’s hate, but it would bring us one step closer to reaching that goal.

VICTORY: California enacts landmark legislation to protect immigrants

Gov. Brown stands with immigrants and signs the California Values Act

We just threw a huge wrench in Donald Trump’s deportation agenda.
Thanks to the relentless activism of our friends at the ICE Out of California Coalition and tens of thousands of CREDO members, Gov. Brown signed the California Values Act (S.B. 54) into law last week.

S.B. 54 is the strongest statewide policy to protect immigrants from deportation in the country. It makes clear that Californians will not be bullied into scapegoating and criminalizing our immigrant neighbors, friends and family members.

Activism works, and it’s important that we celebrate this win and let everyone within our social networks know that our resistance to Trump’s xenophobic administration is getting real results. Help us strengthen our movement by spreading the good news on social media:

Click here to spread the news of our victory by sharing this graphic on Facebook.

Click here to retweet this news on Twitter.

Click here to like the graphic on Instagram.

You can also just forward this email to your friends and family.

The strongest version of the California Values Act would have cut off data sharing between the state and federal immigration enforcement, but California leaders caved to pressure from law enforcement and took that provision out at the 11th hour. Together, we forced state lawmakers to hold the line and stopped them from watering down the bill even more.

The version of S.B. 54 that Gov. Brown signed still significantly improves immigrant protections in the state. It restricts the collaboration between local police and immigration agents and serves as model legislation for other states resisting Trump’s anti-immigrant regime.

California is leading the way because people like you are stepping up. More than 63,000 CREDO members joined you in signing our petition and nearly 5,000 called the governor, key legislators and law enforcement officials to get the California Values Act over the finish line.

Thank you for speaking out to protect immigrants. When we show up for each other, we are unstoppable.

Activism works: CREDO members helped to defeat Trumpcare again

Progressive grassroots activists, including hundreds of thousands of dedicated CREDO members, saved health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans – yet again.

Despite right-wing extremist Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s best efforts, some Senate Republicans realized that the latest version of Trumpcare – the so-called Graham-Cassidy legislation to strip health care and critical protections from millions – was too cruel to support.

This victory would not have been possible without the massive resistance of CREDO activists and our friends in the progressive movement across the country who signed petitions, made phone calls, attended rallies, planned events and took part in acts of civil disobedience to ensure Trumpcare remains stalled in Congress.

In just the last few months, the opposition to Trumpcare by CREDO and its members has been incredible:

  • CREDO members made more than 80,000 phone calls and generated more than 800,000 petition signatures.
  • Dozens of CREDO members in key states created short video testimonials urging their Republican senators to oppose Trumpcare.
  • CREDO’s series of anti-Trumpcare videos featuring progressive champions have been viewed more than 20 million times and shared on Facebook more than 400,000 times.
  • CREDO placed billboards in strategic locations in key states to pressure senators to oppose Trumpcare.
  • CREDO covered the Washington and state offices of key senators with Snapchat geofilters calling on the senators to block Trumpcare.

Unfortunately, we know that right-wing Republican extremists will never give up on their cynical efforts to steal our health care. We will stay vigilant to ensure that any future effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is met again with unwavering grassroots resistance.

Tuesday Tip: How to text from your computer

How to Text From Your Computer

There are times when it’s quite useful to send a text from your computer to a cell phone. Maybe you’ve lost your own phone, you’re over your text limit for the month or you’re at some exotic island that has internet but no cell service.

One option is to use one of the many websites out there that offer this service. But these tend to require registration, ask you for your email address and sell your information. Instead, try one of these three simple methods.

1. Use your email
You can send a text message straight from your email account. All you need is the phone number of the recipient and the name of their mobile carrier. Don’t know the carrier? If you know the phone number, you can find the carrier at CarrierLookup.com.

Type out your text as you would a normal email. Then, in the address bar, put the phone number, followed by the carrier’s domain. For example, @vtext.com (Verizon) or @messaging.sprintpcs.com (Sprint).

So say you’re sending a text to a friend whose phone number is 123-456-7890 and carrier is Verizon. In the address bar, you’d put [email protected] T-Mobile numbers require a 1 in front of the phone number.

When your friend replies, the message will arrive in your email inbox. You can send the same text to multiple people by adding multiple recipients in the address bar.

We’ve compiled a list of carrier domains below. Take note: there are different domains for regular texts (SMS) and texts that include photos (MMS). Also take note: If you send a text longer than 160 characters, it will arrive as an MMS, and you’ll need to use the MMS domain to send it, not the SMS domain.

Carrier domain list

2. Use MightyText or Pushbullet
These are free apps that let you send and receive Android SMS and MMS messages from your computer screen. They’re intended less for the occasional PC-to-phone texter and more for the serious multitasker who has no time for distractions.

With these apps, whenever you get a text or notification, it appears in a window on your desktop at the same time as your phone. So if you’re working at your computer and your phone dings, you can read the text and reply without even looking up. There are many other features as well.

You can download the apps from Google Play or from their respective websites. Here’s MightyText. And here’s Pushbullet.

Free versions of the apps come with a cap on the number of texts you can send per month. Pro versions of the apps cost around $5 a month.

3. Use iMessage (iOS and MacOS)
Later versions of Apple’s operating system include an option designed for forwarding SMS messages directly to your Mac or other iOS device. Once you’ve set it up, you can also send messages from your Apple computer to any phone number using the Messages app on your desktop – without ever picking up your phone.

First, go to the main Settings menu and tap Messages. Then toggle on iMessage and make sure you’re logged into the same iCloud account as all other devices using Messages. Make sure all your devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Then tap Text Message Forwarding and toggle the switch directly to the right of the Apple device to which you want to send SMS messages. Enter the 6-digit confirmation code displayed on the device. This will confirm that you want to send and receive messages on your Mac and confirm that you own the machine.

The message limit is 160 characters. You can send messages to other iOS and MacOS users for free, as long as they’re also using Messages.

Update: CREDO fights for your privacy in the face of government intrusion

CREDO fights for your privacy
Protecting privacy is a core value for CREDO and a hallmark of our promise to our customers. We value your privacy, and we will fight to defend it.

Last year, after we successfully fought a federal government gag order, we were able to let you know about CREDO’s involvement in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of National Security Letters (NSLs). NSLs are tools the federal government can use to secretly demand information about our customers. The lawsuit involves one NSL we received from the FBI in 2011 and two NSLs we received in 2013. When we received the NSLs, the government prevented us from notifying our customers or the public of the letters’ existence. In fact, even after we won the right to talk about the 2013 NSLs and our participation in the case, we still weren’t allowed to disclose that CREDO had received the 2011 NSL until earlier this year.

In 2013, when our participation in the case was still secret, we received a groundbreaking decision in the district court for the Northern District of California declaring that NSLs and their gag orders violated the First Amendment. But this July, after many procedural twists and turns in our case, as well as a congressional amendment to NSL law, the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco upheld the revised version of the NSL statute against our First Amendment challenge.

So, earlier this month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who is representing CREDO and our co-challenger, Cloudflare, in this lawsuit, petitioned to have the larger en banc Ninth Circuit rehear the case.

According to EFF, the circuit court ruling was flawed and should be reconsidered:

The court ruled that the FBI is entitled to significant deference in its decision to issue NSLs and gag electronic service providers like our clients from telling anyone about these requests for customer records.

Notably, the court’s opinion made little effort to fit the NSL statute into the body of First Amendment law regarding prior restraints—government gag orders that prevent speech in advance. As our petition explains, the decision “departs from previously undisputed Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court precedent on a doctrine of fundamental constitutional importance: the First Amendment’s near-total prohibition on prior restraints.”

You can read more about the lawsuit on EFF’s website.

As CREDO fights for civil rights, AT&T stands with Trump’s bigotry

Recently, in response to Donald Trump’s vile and racist comments about professional athletes, hundreds of National Football League (NFL) players kneeled and linked arms during the national anthem in a tremendous show of unity with their fellow players who are protesting inequality and police violence against people of color. We at CREDO roundly praised these players’ continued demonstrations for civil rights.

When we found out that AT&T, the parent company of DirecTV, was reportedly offering refunds of its NFL Sunday Ticket package to right-wing customers who were offended by black and brown football players protesting inequality and exercising their first amendment rights, we were disgusted.

But we weren’t surprised.

AT&T has a long history of funding Donald Trump’s dangerous agenda. AT&T was among one of the largest contributors to Trump’s inaugural committee slush fund, donating more than $2 million in cash and more than $80,000 in equipment and software.

The company has spent millions to lobby the Trump administration and Washington lawmakers and has donated heavily to Republicans to win favor for a dangerous mega-merger with Time Warner. More than 200,000 CREDO members have signed petitions to staunchly oppose this merger.

Now, AT&T is aligning itself with the racists and bigots fueling Trump’s hate by offering refunds to customers who presumably agree with Trump’s statements that any black NFL player who protests inequality during the anthem is a “son of a bitch” who should be fired.

Normally, NFL Sunday Ticket customers are not allowed to get their money back after canceling, yet AT&T is going out of its way, in a craven political business decision, to placate the most deplorable of its customer base. In fact, the only time we can recall AT&T offering customers a refund was when the Federal Trade Commission forced the company to rebate customers $88 million in illegal charges.

For more than 30 years, CREDO has been fighting for civil rights – through our activism, our progressive values, our business model and the causes we fund. Last year, we spoke up early in support of Colin Kaepernick, the first NFL player to sit out the national anthem to protest police violence, and urged our members to join us in a show of solidarity in the face of an ugly public backlash. And we’ve called on the NFL Players Association to speak out against NFL team owners who continue to blackball Colin Kaepernick because they disagree with his public and patriotic display of resistance.

So when we say we’re “the carrier with a conscience,” we’re not just paying lip service with a tag line, we actually walk the walk — and in this case, we #TakeAKnee.

5 Tips to Save Your Mobile Data

By Claire Rosenfeld

Most of us now use our smartphones to do stuff online: Check our email, read the news, or watch a video. And whenever we do, we’re using data—sometimes, a lot of it. How much? Here are a few common activities and the estimated amount of data each uses. Keep in mind that 1024 bytes = 1KB, 1024KB = 1MB and 1024MB = 1GB.

  • Refreshing your Facebook feed: 50KB
  • Sending 10–20 emails a day (no attachments): 20MB per month
  • Streaming music or podcasts for two hours a day: 3.5GB per month
  • Watching 60 minutes of standard-definition video a day: 8GB per month

Read More

Our September grantees thank you for your support

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three amazing organizations. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund the fight to protect immigrant families, support campaigns to end racism and promote peace in the Middle East. Just last month, over 58,000 CREDO members voted to distribute our funds to America’s Voice, Color Of Change and J Street.

These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our September grant recipients thank you.

America’s Voice
“On behalf of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, we thank CREDO members for enabling us to rally support with and for families facing deportation so that they may have a chance to be free and stay together in the country they call home.” To learn more, visit americasvoice.org.

Color Of Change
“We appreciate your continued support and partnership! CREDO members like you help Color Of Change empower our members to take action in the most crucial moments and on the most crucial issues that impact their lives and communities. Together, we help translate voices into power, and power into meaningful change.” To learn more, visit colorofchange.org. Read More