Google has started to roll out a beta update for Google Messages that will enable Verified SMS feature for users. The feature only works for businesses contacts and with the ones which are specifically registered with Google. According to Google, one will find the Verified SMS option under a new toggle in Settings in the Messages app. While the option is on by default, a user can opt to turn it off. The feature, according to the search-engine giant, becomes functional only when an SMS is sent by a verified business. It added that Google will verify each SMS one receives by using authenticity codes and alert the user of any wrong content. It thus saves the user from clicking on malicious links or giving away sensitive information erroneously.
This is done through the verification through a unique hash which is created based on the user’s phone number, business and message’s content. It further said that every unique hash is created on the user’s device before it is sent to Google, which compares it with the one it received from the verified business. Accordingly, if the hashes match, Messages goes on to reveal information about the business which includes the logo of the business with a ‘verified’ icon. Also, if the codes do not match, Messages goes on to show “Messages could not be verified”.
Furthermore, a weak data connection may see Messages pointing it, “Verifying sender”, until the process is complete and if there is no detectable data connection, Messages will say, “Waiting for connection to verify sender”. According to Google, it does not recommend replying with sensitive information unless one is sure that it is a verified source.