Skype, Phone, Video and Internet Calls

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Inexpensive and convenient, but internet calls still come with risks

 

Internet calls such as Skype and mobile phone video calls are all very convenient and inexpensive for modern businesses. VoIP phones are becoming the standard phone system across businesses. This stands for Voice over IP. However, as we all know, using the internet has risks that can have big consequences on businesses.

 

Three types of internet calls

  1. Basic – This is more ideal for smaller businesses. The handset headset, microphone and speakers are all plugged in to a wireless hub that has been set up for VoIP
  2. Managed– This is ideal for medium to large businesses. An external company, such as an IT provider, provides a local phone number for you to make and receive calls over the internet. This company would also manually set up the equipment required. Read more about our Managed VoIP here
  3. Skype– This can be used in both business and for personal use. Users can invite contacts to connect with, allowing them to message, call and video call. You create a profile and you can even share documents and files

Risks

 

  • Conference calls using VoIP are usually pre-arranged and all the access details are normally set up and provided to the relevant members. If the wrong person gets hold of these details, they could access the call without permission
  • Any calls over the internet can be intercepted, especially on public WiFi, meaning your conversation may not be as confidential as you first thought. However, the risk is still lower than the eavesdropping potential on landlines
  • Cybercriminals could request you as a contact on something like Skype. If you accept, they can then send you messages with malicious links to download files infected with Malware. They can also send you inappropriate and offensive content. Some cybercriminals even stalk your profile and later on use the information to commit identity theft

Take Action

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Things to watch out for

  • Make sure details for any internet calls and conference calls are kept confidential and don’t end up in the wrong hands
  • If you are requested to connect from an unknown contact, don’t accept. You have no reason to contact this stranger and they most likely have no legitimate reason to contact you
  • Watch out for unexpected links sent from your contacts that seem ‘out of character’ as their account may have been hacked
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Protect yourself and your business

    • When setting up Skype, phone, video or internet calls accounts, ensure you use strong passwords and never share them with anyone or write them down
    • Ensure your business has the latest antivirus and a firewall
    • Once you have finished using the accounts online, make sure you log out as just closing the browser doesn’t always automatically log you out, allowing those who are unauthorised to access the information and settings
    • Only accept people you know
    • Remember your profile is public, don’t post any confidential information on there
    • Check your software and ensure it is regularly up to date
    • VoIP phones are over the internet and do not work without power, meaning during a power cut, you would not be able to make any calls. Have an emergency landline installed

Report it!

  • If someone sends you offensive, inappropriate or malicious content, report them to the service provider and block their account so they can no longer contact you
  • If you do end up making a payment through clicking a link, contact your bank or card issuer immediately and alert them of this transaction that you believe may be illicit
  • Phone us straight away on 0800 680 00 88 and report it to Action Fraud