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Voip > Articles > Secure your voip today!

Secure your voip today!

By Ferenc Veres, Staff Writer voip.com

Published:January 15, 2007

If you go online looking for information about voip security, you're likely to come across a ton of advice that's geared toward large, enterprise-level businesses, not a residential voip user. The information tends to be overly technical and often doesn't translate well for average voip customers. At voip.com, we sifted through the mountain of extraneous information to bring you the top five ways you can help make your voip system more secure.

  1. Change your equipment's default passwords and login settings. Most voip equipment comes pre-set with a generic user name and password. This includes any voip phones, your voip internet phone adapter, or even a wireless router. Anyone who knows what those default values are can gain access to your system and it isn't hard to guess what they are since manufacturers tend to use singularly uninventive names like "admin" when plugging in those pre-programmed user names. Check your user's manual or the manufacturer's website for information on how to make those changes.
  2. Keep your software up-to-date with manufacturer patches. This includes your computer's OS patches. Virus makers and identity thieves are continually coming up with new ways to exploit previously unknown software vulnerabilities. If you use a voip SoftPhone, make sure it gets regularly updated as well.
  3. Make sure your network is secure. You wouldn't believe how many home networks are open, meaning there is no password or key required to access the network. It's like an open invitation for strangers to use your network resources. You should also make sure that you have a firewall in place and turned on. This is important, because some computers are sold with firewalls built into the OS but not enabled. Virus protection is another good idea. Get it and make sure it checks daily for updates.
  4. Disable remote access features. Your OS likely shipped with remote access turned on. This means another computer can more easily gain control of your system. By turning this feature off, you effectively close off this pathway of control. Should you ever need to grant someone else remote control of your computer (troubleshooting problems with customer service, for instance), you can always enable remote access for just that instance.
  5. Think about encryption. Zfone is a third-party software program that works in conjunction with your current voip internet phone service provider's software to keep your conversations secure.

It doesn't take long to implement these security measures and you'll be glad you did, in the long run. As voip continues to grow in popularity, voip users become more attractive targets for hackers. Make sure you're ready when they come.