Numerous PlayStation 4 owners on Reddit and across social media platforms are warning of a message containing a string of characters that are reportedly crashing the PlayStation 4.
Once the message is sent, the console gets so confused and mixed up from the glitch that users are performing a factory reset on hardware to get it working normally again. Which nukes any data you might have stored on your console's drives. If these reports are true, Sony will likely act quickly to roll out new system firmware that can eliminate the issue. After all, Sony loves issuing updates that improve system performance and stability.
To avoid any of this happening to your PlayStation 4, below are some steps that can be taken to protect your console against crashing or receiving the message at question from your multiple opponents and other strangers.
If you do receive the message, delete it from Sony's PlayStation Messages app for Android and iOS instead of opening it on your console.
There are reports that deleting the message with Sony's smartphone app before powering on your console and signing into the PlayStation Network is enough to avoid problems. Sony's PS4 messaging app is a free download and available on both Android and iOS.
How to receive only messages from friends on PlayStation 4:
From the PS4 console, go to Settings —> Account Management —> Privacy Settings. Choose "Personal Info | Messages" and then select Messages. From here, you can choose anyone, friends only, or no one. Until Sony fixes this bug, you should choose one of the latter two options.
How to rebuild the PS4 system database:
If you're affected and find your PS4 acting funky even after getting rid of the message, you might want to boot the console in safe mode and rebuild the database. This process shouldn't impact any of your saved data. Here's what Sony says it does:
"Scans the drive and creates a new database of all content on the system. This operation may take a long time depending on the type and number of data items.
This option is useful for cleaning up the data on your PS4 as it reorganises everything on the hard drive. Select this option if you are experiencing issues such as game freezes or frame rate drops."
Doing this definitely sounds like a good step to get everything straightened back out if some jerk hits you with spam messages.