The number you’ve reached has been hacked.

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With information security breaches a regular thing, hopefully you’ve done th basics to protect your business, Have you installed a powerful firewall to hold off web based attacks? Nice start. You’ve instituted a routine and mandatory email password reset system for employees? Excellent second step. Backed up, and encrypted your website? Smart. Your staff has been educated on common email phishing practices, including never opening attachments from external emails? Now your cooking. What about protecting your voicemail systems? Before you ask, voicemail hacking is a thing.

Is there valuable information in your, or your employees, voicemail inboxes? Sure, but rarely is that what voicemail hackers are looking for. The real moneymaker is hijacking a voicemail account and tricking calling services into connecting collect calls running up a hefty tab on the hijacked business account. This is a real threat that could end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Thankfully there are a few preventive measures to consider to protect yourself from the most unexpected of security breaches. To begin with the reason voicemails get hacked is the common four-digit passcode scheme. Countless users setup their voicemail with an easy to get passcode. Think four of the same number, four sequential numbers, the street address of the business, or their birthday. Even worse, with texting and email so popular some voicemails are never setup and simply sitting in default mode waiting to be hacked.

Now a few of these lazy, unoriginal, or formulaic tendencies of the modern professional can be handled on tech end by asking your voicemail provider to prohibit certain passcode combinations; however the hard work will be in reset your workforces brains. See this hack isn’t really about technology, but human beings in what is known as social engineering. Once a hacker discovers who works for you it takes a little bit of online snooping to discover their home address, phone numbers, past phone numbers, birthdates, family birthdates, graduation class year, and any zip code wherein they’ve ever lived. These numerical datasets are the fuel hackers need to crack open your system. You need to institutionalize the necessity of random or significant passcode combinations.

If that doesn’t work you could go the expensive route and integrate a random number generating device that supplies users with a unique passcode every access attempt. So if you have money to spare, there is quick route to take; otherwise, hold a few staff meetings and impress upon your staff how their voicemail laziness is putting the entire operation at stake.

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb


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