How to iPhone Text

Are you new to the world of mobile devices, or just got your first iPhone and looking to learn more about text messaging and how it works on your new device? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll be giving you an introduction to iPhone text messaging and telling you a bit about how texting works, both in general and specifically on iPhones.

Let’s start out with the basics. What exactly is text messaging and why should you use it?

What is text messaging?

Text messaging is a mode of communication that allows you to send a message from your mobile device to another mobile device. Using your mobile carrier network, you can send and receive text messages to/from any mobile device on any network. Your monthly cell phone plan likely includes text messaging.

New iMessage conversation

Get in touch with your personal mobile carrier for more information about pricing and plans for text messaging. However, due to advancements in Internet-based communication, text messaging is usually standard on any phone plan, and is often, unlimited.

How does text messaging work?

Text messaging works by allowing you to send messages over your cell phone network to one of your friends or family members on their mobile device. The message sends from your device to your carrier, and then transfers the message on to the intended recipient, viewable on their mobile device.

SMS (short message service) text messaging has been around since 1992, and MMS (multimedia message service) since 2002. These messaging services are available on pretty much every type of mobile device. In 2012, Apple introduced their own messaging system called iMessage, exclusive to their range of devices. It’s similar to SMS and MMS text messaging, but has some differences that make it unique.

That’s a general introduction to text messaging. Now, let’s get into some details specific to iPhone text messages.

What is iMessage?

iMessage is Apple’s own messaging system that allows users to send messages from their Apple device (iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer) to other people who also have Apple devices. This system is different from text messaging as it uses an Internet connection to send messages rather than your mobile network.

If you’re using an iPhone, your regular text message conversations will appear with green message bubbles, and iMessage conversations will have blue speech bubbles. iMessages can only be sent to contacts who have an Apple device with iMessage enabled. Your device will automatically detect whether the person you are messaging can receive iMessages or normal SMS text messages.

If you’d like to learn more about it, check out our free iMessage course.

Why is text messaging so popular?

Text messaging or “texting” is popular because of its convenience. People like to be able to communicate as quickly and efficiently as possible, and don’t want to spend a lot of time having long, drawn-out conversations on the phone or over e-mail. Texting allows you to get the message across faster.

Pros and cons of text messaging

People love text messaging for many reasons:

  • It’s a quick and easy way to communicate with your friends and family
  • It can save you time spent talking on the phone
  • It can save you money by allowing you to avoid long distance phone call fees
  • Text messaging is available on all kinds of mobile devices and with any mobile carrier, so unlike iMessage, you don’t have to have a certain device to send or receive SMS or MMS text messages

On the other hand, some people may still prefer to have a conversation on the phone rather than texting. In addition:

  • If you want to have a long conversation or need to say a lot, texting may not be the right way to get your message across
  • Texting also doesn’t allow you to hear someone’s tone of voice or see their facial expression as you would in normal conversation, so you may not be able to get as good of a sense of their feelings or emotions
  • With the rise in use of mobile devices, many people have become somewhat addicted to their phones, and texting just adds on to this


That’s it for our introduction to text messaging and how it works on iPhones. Be sure to read through the rest of the articles in our iPhone texting course to learn more.

Dangers of the Internet

Like crimes in real life, dangers that threaten your Internet security come in several different forms.  Some have rather immediate and apparent consequences, while others work more subtly, without you catching on until it’s too late.  We’ll be going into detail about specific types of Internet dangers in later courses and tutorials, but for now, we’ll outline some of the general Internet security threats that you should be aware of.



These are some of the most common Internet dangers, and have been around even before the Internet became available to the public.  They usually come from downloading the files they’re attached to, but some can come from simply visiting the wrong website.  They all copy themselves when they work; what they do beyond that varies.  They may simply copy themselves to slow a computer down or take up memory space, or they may include other code that instructs them to replace or otherwise erase other data on a computer.  Some viruses may even create openings in a computer’s security system so that other viruses (or people) can get in and steal or destroy information.

There are three common types of virus-like programs: your basic computer virus, a Trojan horse, or a computer worm.

  • A basic computer virus usually hides itself inside another program, perhaps one that someone uses every day.  When the other program runs, the virus runs as well, copying itself to other programs, and then copying itself again when those programs are run.  This slows down a person’s computer, and may cause other damage.
  • A Trojan horse is an advanced type of computer virus that hides itself inside another computer program that is advertised to a person as normal or useful for helping their computer work.  This tricks the person into installing it and/or running it, which releases the virus inside.  The virus then proceeds to copy itself, and perhaps cause damage.  A common version hides inside fake anti-virus software that is advertised to a person when they supposedly have a virus on their computer, when in reality they do not (this is often known as “scareware”).
  • A computer worm is a type of computer virus that isn’t hidden inside another computer program and, as such, does not require a program to run in order to copy itself.  Instead, part of its own code causes it to actively seek out ways to copy itself over available computer networks.  Again, like a basic computer virus, a computer worm may simply copy itself and slow networks down, or it may also perform other destructive acts.  Computer worms are among some of the most dangerous computer viruses because they can act somewhat independently (when compared to basic computer viruses and Trojan horses), but they are relatively rare.

Adware and Spyware

Some bad computer programs don’t copy themselves and cause damage like viruses do.  Instead, they collect information about what you do on your computer, often without your consent or knowledge.  Some simply monitor the different websites you visit, and use those to display specific advertisements to you in your web browser, based on what they think you like.  These programs are known as adware, and most of them are relatively harmless (besides being a little privacy-invasive and irritating).  However, there are some that perform this function excessively in an attempt to slow down your computer, often by repeatedly opening pop-up windows.

Some very extreme forms of adware perform illegal surveillance, tracking things like passwords or personal and/or financial details when you type them into web pages or other computer programs.  They often do so, and then transmit what they find to their creator, without your consent or knowledge.  These kinds of programs are commonly referred to as spyware.

Spam and Phishing

As we pointed out in our Advantages and Disadvantages of the Internet article, these threats are an unfortunate consequence of how easy it is to put information — or misinformation — on the Internet.  As a result, they usually occur in email clients or on Internet message boards, or on websites where comments are allowed.  They may occur on certain other websites, though.

  • Spam refers to the practice of placing (fake) advertisements, fake warnings about new computer threats, or other trivial or useless information within emails or Internet comments.  These emails or messages are then distributed or published en masse.  The idea behind it — if not simply an irritating strategy to direct more people to a certain person’s website — is to disrupt a conversation or fill up a person’s email inbox, thereby slowing the conversation or email service (and Internet connection) down.  Many modern websites and email clients have measures to counteract this type of threat, but it is still seen in some places on some occasions.

    See our How to Stop Spam Email tutorial for more information.

  • Phishing is a more dangerous (and, often, more targeted) type of spam where a person intentionally misrepresents their information in an email or chat room.  Often, the information they provide looks like it comes from a legitimate source, such as a bank, retail store, or a popular brand or website (or an employee of one of these).  The impersonator will then often tell their victim something like they’ve won a prize or there’s a problem with one of their accounts.  The impersonator will then say that, in order to claim the prize or fix the problem, the person has to provide confidential personal or financial information, or click a link to go to a certain website.

    The goal of phishing is to get the victim to give out information that can be used to steal their identity and/or money.  If the victim is told to visit a website, that website will often forcefully download spyware onto the victim’s computer, which will then steal the victim’s personal or financial information (or otherwise download a general virus to wreck the victim’s computer).

    See our Phishing Scams and Advance-Fee Fraud tutorials for more information.

Hacking and other dangers

There are other nasty tricks that cyber-criminals will use to wreck people’s computers, steal their information, or just otherwise annoy them.  Here are some examples:

  • Mousetrapping refers to an attempt to make it impossible for a person to leave a website.  This may be accomplished through an extreme form of adware that continuously re-opens advertisements — or copies of the website itself — in new pop-up windows.  It may also take advantage of tricks or other security flaws in a web browser to disable the browser’s functions, especially ones that deal with navigating to different web pages or closing the browser.
  • Browser hijacking refers to when a cyber-criminal takes advantage of tricks or security flaws in a web browser (or perhaps uses a type of spyware) to forcefully switch a person’s home page to a certain website, and prevent it from being changed.  This artificially increases the number of visitors to that website, which may be useful for advertising purposes.  It’s also annoying for the victim, and it may also result in viruses or more spyware being forcefully downloaded to their computer.
  • Clickjacking is a technique that often goes hand-in-hand with phishing.  It involves displaying a website or email to the victim that appears to be legitimate, and includes what appears to be a hyperlink to a legitimate web page.  Meanwhile, there is an invisible hyperlink placed on top of the fake hyperlink, and clicking it takes the victim to a malicious web page, usually to forcefully download a virus or spyware.  A way to avoid this is to have a look in one of the bottom corners of a browser; usually, when you move your mouse cursor over a hyperlink, it will display in one of these places.  That way, you can see where you’re really being taken.
  • Hacking (or cracking) is when cyber-criminals take matters into their own hands, personally disabling computer security systems by exploiting their weaknesses.  However, this is usually a tedious process that is reserved for specific targets and specific purposes, such as substantial personal gain or to make a significant political statement.  It rarely happens to average people.


Well, now that you know about some of the different ways that people can be attacked over the Internet, let’s discuss some easy ways that you can keep yourself from falling prey to a cyber-attack.