How to Protect Your Phone System from Fraud and Hackers

Computer hacking has been widely publicized in the media, but phone system hacking is more common than most people realize. Hackers can gain access to your phone lines and quickly rack up thousands of International long distance minutes without your knowledge. Before you know it, you have a hefty bill from your phone line or long distance provider and unfortunately you are responsible to pay it.

There are multiple ways that anyone can fraudulently use your phone lines. The old fashion approach was referred to wiretapping, whereby someone physically connected to your phone lines. In recent years, hackers have become more sophisticated by using automated internet robots to exploit phone system security vulnerabilities.

Phone companies have been warning customers about criminal activity targeting phone systems of all brands for fraudulent usage. Many new PBX phone systems have built-in security features that prevent unauthorized access. However, often the problem relates to systems without security passwords or the use simple passwords.

10 Steps on How to Protect Your Phone System from Fraud
This is a list of recommendations and best practices that you can use to ensure maximum security for your VoIP PBX phone system and phone lines.

1- Ensure that you use passwords on your entire phone system including administrative access to the system, voicemail boxes, etc.
2- Do not use simple passwords such as 1111, 2222 or 1234. Create passwords with at least 6 digits or 8, if possible.
3- Never start passwords with a 0 or 1 and never use your own phone number or extension.
4- Always, change factory pre-set passwords, system passwords are available on the internet.
5- Change your password regularly. Every 3 months is good practice.
6- Restrict international calls if possible or contact your phone provider and request for long distance access codes.
7- Password protect call back or call bridge phone system features with complex 8 digit passwords
8- Disable unused extensions and voicemail boxes, if possible
9- If you’re using softphones, ensure that a complex unique 8 digit password is used
10- Phone systems are just like computers, ensure that you have the latest software and firmware updates.

There may be other steps you’ll need to take to ensure maximum security of your phone system. Contact your provider for more information on how to conduct a phone system security audit.

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