Protect Your Organization from Threats - Change Your Voicemail Password

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued an advisory!

Author: Julie Wills - MarCom/Wednesday, August 3, 2016/Categories: Business VoIP

Simple passwords like 1111 can be easily hacked, and you might have valuable minutes being taken away from your plan, or charged for long distance. The sad part is, you realize it only much later, after the damage has been done.

The way hackers operate is, they change the recorded announcement to something like “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. I accept the charges.” They then make collect calls to your phone. Since there is often a pre-defined script asking the called party a set of questions before connecting a collect call, the operator hears the pre-recorded announcement and assumes it to be a real person. Most of the time, these calls originate from foreign countries where a lack of experience and potentially poor call quality means that the operators may not be able to reliably distinguish between a recorded message and a real voice and you will get billed as a result. Because the hackers have toll numbers, they then profit off of this scam by making calls to your phone and collecting on the calls.

If you haven’t changed the default password on your phone yet, now would be a good time to do so.

  • Ensure it is at least six digits or more: This makes it harder for hackers to hack your password.
  • Don’t have birthdays, anniversaries or addresses as your password: These might be the easiest to remember, but also the easiest for any hacker to guess.
  • Don’t have any successive or repeating numbers as your password: Your password shouldn’t be 123456 or 000000.
  • Change your password frequently: Ideally, you need to do this every month. But because people have varying degrees of memory, see if you can change it at least every two, three or six months – whichever suits you best.

Most of the time the frequency of this type of scam spikes during or just before the start of the holiday season. This is because most people are on vacation at the time and away from their homes and offices, leaving their property and data more vulnerable to attack as a result; a fact that criminals have been exploiting for many years. The most prudent course of action would be to remotely check your pre-recorded announcements while you're away to make sure your voicemail has not been compromised. To minimize the risk of a breach you could consider changing your password just before going on vacation.


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