Combating spam in email messaging is a normal task for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) across its Gmail application and Google Apps suite, but who knew it could be useful for shedding unwanted calls?
Google has added global spam filtering for its Google Voice phone management application, which lets users route all their landline, work phone and cell phone calls to one special number. The service also transcribes voicemail messages and has several other perks.
Google Voice users can now redirect spam from any of the numbers in Google's database directly into their spam folders. The service is primarily aimed at helping users punt annoying calls from telemarketers.
Google Voice already has a "report spam" button. For this new filter, Google has used thousands of Google Voice spam reports from users, as well as its own spam identification tools, to redirect calls, texts and voicemails to spam folders.
This proactive spam filtering happens on the fly before the calls hit users' landline, work or cell phones. Google said this works the same way spam filtering does for its Gmail application.
Users can enable this spam-stopping feature on the Calls tab of Google Voice settings by checking the box next to Global Spam filtering.
Google said that should a number be incorrectly marked as spam, users can unblock it by selecting the message and clicking the Not Spam button in the Google Voice spam folder.
Google acquired one of the premier anti-spam fighters for the cloud in Postini for $625 million in 2007.
The company then used Postini Message Security technology to thwart spam in its Gmail application, as well as across its Google Apps suite.