Many of us think of the Internet when we think of cybercrime. If you’re cautious, you’ve done what’s necessary to protect yourself when it comes to any online transactions, including banking, shopping, etc. But, did you know your phone system can also be accessed by hackers who can make long distance calls without your knowledge or permission? And even worse, you’ll be on the hook for all the charges!
This is known as toll fraud. It’s a multi-billion dollar problem and any business, large or small, is a target.
How Is Your Phone System Hacked?
Hackers typically gain access to phone systems through voice mail menus that are protected only by simple passwords such as 1111, 1234, 2222, etc. Unchanged factory default passwords also present a risk.
Once the hacker is inside your phone system, he or she uses system commands to gain the dial tone and place calls. To your service provider, these calls appear no different than previous calls placed from your business. If these fraudulent calls are also bypassing your call logging, they are invisible to you.
How Can You Protect Your Phone System From Hackers?
1. The first thing to do is ensure you have an excellent password management policy in place. Don’t use an easy four-digit password. It should be at least six-digits, and changed monthly.
2. Next, add additional layers of protection:
- Change default codes after installing new equipment
- Restrict access to specific times (during business hours) and limit calling ranges
- Block all toll calls at night, on the weekends and on holidays
- Eliminate call forwarding
- Implement access codes for overseas calls
- Block, limit access or require attendant assistance to overseas calls
- Establish policies on accepting collect calls and providing access to outside lines
With some telecom providers, you will need to request overseas restrictions.
Remember, the best preventative measure is simple–protect your business with a password that is longer than four digits and change it monthly.
Knowledge of Toll Fraud is Your Best Defense
At Sunco, when we perform the initial setup for a client, educating the business on how to protect itself is always part of what we offer. We are proud to provide friendly, local, in-person support. With Sunco, you will never have to wait on-hold with large, impersonal call centres or deal with remote support staff.
Interested in a new or upgraded Phone System? Let our team provide you with the personal, local and knowledgeable advice you need to protect your business from Toll Fraud.