But don’t tell anyone…

It seems like everywhere we turn in our digital lives, we’re being prompted to “log in” with a username and password. Whether it’s a browser, an app, a program, or a specific website.

In many cases, we can set our browser to “remember” our login and password. Or when forced to enter it, we use something that’s easy to remember and universal for other sites.

But… Cyber-criminals are lurking – everywhere! And using “weak” passwords can carry a significant price for you and your company, especially if you become the next victim.

For this post, we will focus on password security for your phone system through voice mail.

 

And since this includes YOU, I strongly suggest taking 2 minutes to read on…

Although voice communication has evolved to what we now refer to as unified communications, voice mail continues to be a point of entry for cyber-thieves.

30 years ago, when a phone system was hacked (usually through a weak voice mail password), the damage was minimal at best. Unless it went unnoticed for a while. But in most cases, it would rear its ugly head on next month’s phone bill with hundreds to sometimes thousands of dollars of extra “unauthorized” charges.

Fast-forward to today…

Cyber-criminals are still hacking into phone systems, but it’s happening more frequently and at a significantly higher cost.

Consider this, one weak voice mail password can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Are you willing to take that chance? Didn’t think so.

So, what can you do to protect yourself, and your company?

That’s easy – use longer voice mail passwords!

Everyone knows this, but not everyone follows through on it. Mainly because it’s inconvenient. And because users believe they’ll never be hacked. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

As a result of increased cyber activity, we have started a policy of using 6-digit voice mail passwords (or PINs) at a minimum; but we prefer using and recommend going to 8-digits. All in an attempt to thwart unauthorized access that would lead to a costly security breach with other potential unforeseen damage.

Cyber-criminals and the programs they write to find vulnerabilities and access systems are looking for easy targets. And maintaining a weak, 4-digit voice mail password makes you an easy target.

What are some examples of weak, 4-digit voice mail passwords?

  • 0000
  • 1234
  • 1111
  • 1212
  • Your extension number
  • Your birthday

You can make a difference today, and we can help if you need it.

If your system currently accepts 4-digit passwords, that’s a minimum, and there is nothing stopping you from updating your password to 8 digits immediately by going to “Personal Options” and changing your password.

But this is only a “voluntary” change. We suggest working together with us to make a “permanent” change to your system that requires a minimum of 8 digits. This way, it’s mandatory. And we coordinate it with your staff, so they know what to do the next time they access their voice mail.

This may also be a good time to update your habit for checking voice messages. What do I mean?

Let’s look at how you can access messages and not ‘have to’ enter that pesky new 8-digit password.

You can:

  1. Access your “visual voice mail” application on your desktop.
  2. Access your “visual voice mail” application on your smartphone.
  3. Enable email notification and listen to the attached message.

You may discover this new habit makes it easier and faster to check messages while keeping you protected and safe.

I encourage you to give it a try. And please let us know how we can further assist and work together to keep you safe. There’s no guarantee, but your chance of avoiding an unauthorized attack will increase significantly by making it harder to access your system. And 8-digit passwords make it much harder.

Contact your IDeACOM representative for more details.

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