Over the past few years VoIP has become increasingly popular as a means of staying in touch and appears as if it could be the future of communication. But do you know how to stay safe when talking over the internet?
Like any new technology, hackers will always try to find and exploit weaknesses in VoIP’s services. From vishing (the VoIP equivalent of phishing emails) to identity theft, there are countless scams on the go to try and gain access to your VoIP accounts and devices.
And VoIP is only set to become more prevalent in the next few years. It is estimated that one billion people will be using the service by 2017, with iPhone instant messagingandFaceTime just two of the features powering the huge growth in users.
With VoIP set to become an increasingly important part of life, it’s never been more important to be secure. Read on to discover our top 10 tips below.
1. Pick a strong password†
One of the easiest ways for hackers to access the calls and messages you send over the internet is by cracking your password. Make sure you select one that contains both numbers and letters – upper and lower case where possible – and regularly change it. Your password should also be different from any others you use for online accounts.
2. Protect your VoIP device from viruses†
Whether you’re using your laptop or mobile phone for VoIP, a virus on either device will leave your account vulnerable. Make sure that you’re always running regularly updated anti-virus software to guarantee you have maximum protection against malware and spyware. If you do have a virus, hackers could steal all of your account information and make expensive calls in your name.
3. Only use safe connections to chat†
When buying a device to use VoIP on, you can guarantee your security by choosing one which adheres to the most current wireless security standards. Users should select equipment that operates on Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), WPA2, and IEEE 802.11i whilst avoiding out-of-date standards such as Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP).
4. Set up separate networks where possible†
Establishing a second network, separate from your primary data network, is another way you can isolate you VoIP account from hackers. Whilst this will cancel out any converged administration advantages, creating a separate LANwill expose the network to fewer threats by creating a smaller attack area.
Even creating a digital separation by using a virtual local area network (VLAN) distinction will help increase your VoIP security.
Users should regularly check their provider’s website to see if there have been any updates or security patches released. These official releases will correct any problems identified by the company and remove any vulnerabilities from your system.
6. Avoid strangers†
Most VoIP providers allow you to automatically block people you don’t know, allowing only friends and family members you have added as a contact to call or message you.
When selecting a VoIP provider you should choose one that offers encrypted end-to-end software. This means that malicious parties will not be able to decode your messages even if they manage to gain access to them.
Users can now install a special VoIP firewall to help protect their accounts. This software will detect unusual calling patterns or any signs of an attack on your account and block or report them.
VoIP users can also find the vulnerabilities on their own account before hackers do by using certain software. Tools such as SiVuS allow users to scan and root out problems to ensure their accounts are as secure as possible.
10. Stay aware†
An important part of using any VoIP account is staying aware of the activities occurring on your account and the legitimacy of them. Remaining vigilant and familiarising yourself with the techniques attackers use should prevent you from falling foul of any malicious scams.
Author Bio: Liam McClure is an online digital consultant and blogger. He blogs about social media, technology and Iphone instant messaging. He enjoys watching the digital world develop and evolve and is constantly fascinated by where it will head next.