Whether you’re new to iOS, or just want to pick up some useful tips and tricks, we’re here to help. This is iOS Advice.

Alerts and notifications are very useful in most situations, but sometimes they can become a bit annoying. If you’re constantly receiving messages from unknown numbers or email addresses, you may want to take advantage of this tip.

There’s an option available in iOS 6 that allows you to block iMessage notifications and alerts from people outside of your contacts. If you receive a message from a random number or email address, iOS will only update your message badge count. It’s a great way to ignore unwanted messages while keeping alerts active for people you know.

If you’d like to customize your iMessage alerts, watch the video or follow the steps below:

Step 1: Go into the Settings app on your device and tap on Notifications.

Step 2: Next, tap on Messages and scroll to the bottom of the screen.

Step 3: Under the “Show iMessage Alerts From” section, you have the option to choose either “Everyone” or “My Contacts Only.”

If you select “My Contacts Only,” iOS will only notify you when someone from your contacts sends you an iMessage or SMS. Alternatively, selecting “Everyone” will keep all iMessage alerts enabled.

Now that you’ve learned how to block unknown message alerts, if there’s something else you’d like to see on iOS Advice, please let us know. Send us an email with your question or comment and we might feature your suggestion in a future article. If you need a little more advice, check out our other helpful tutorials.