Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Avoid Default and Simple Passwords!

You frequently see news items regarding internet and electronic security. The most advanced security features won’t do much good if you rely on default or simple passwords.

Most of you reading this are familiar with voice-over-internet-phone (VOIP) by now, which is a more cost-effective way for a company or institution to launch a phone network system and make phone calls. A recent news item from the BBC revealed that VOIP phone were being hacked when default passwords weren’t changed.

The hackers were able to use the phones to eavesdrop on phone calls where sensitive information was exchanged, putting personal and operational information into hands that can misuse it. Additionally, hackers were using the phones to call premium-toll numbers with expensive per-minute rates that benefitted themselves.

The hack that allowed access to the VOIP phones was made up of a few simple lines of code imbedded in a website visited by a computer on the same network as the phone system. The hackers had access to factory default settings, easily allowing access.

For better security, always change default passwords to something new, and avoid really simple passwords like “password” or “1234.” Even maiden names and home towns are readily-accessible information for would-be invaders to obtain. One of the best ways to ensure password security is to use a password generator like this one.

A few more password safety tips:

  • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts
  • Include at least 16 characters, and utilize numbers, upper- and lower-case letters, and symbols
  • Don’t use names of relatives, pets, children, favorite musicians, or anything else that’s readily known
  • Don’t let your web browser store or “remember” your passwords
  • Change you passwords often, about every 10 weeks

If you’re interested in the advantages of VOIP services, contact Access Technologies. We’ll show you the time and money you can save with a VOIP system while avoiding the security pitfalls of others.

Network Engineering Department

Access Technologies provides full spectrum IT + network monitoring, alerting and reporting services through NED - our exclusive management system.

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