Monday, 11 January 2016

Be safe and sound this New Year

With the New Year upon us, it's good to take stock and think about all those tasks that you didn't actually get round to doing last year.
We really want you to stay safe and secure at all times and thought it might be a great idea to remind you to think about the impact that cunning fraudsters could have on your business AND tell you what you can do now to help prevent nasties like toll fraud.

Toll fraud is theft.  It's where fraudsters hijack a phone service and make long distance calls with your account. 

Now we certainly don't want to be alarmist, but it does happen. 
Whilst are sure that your service provider will be monitoring their systems constantly and lock everything down as far as they can and are able, (Merlin certainly do!)  there are some precautions that you MUST take at your end, to make sure you are as safe as can be.

So here is our common sense telecoms consumer check list:-
  • Make sure your passwords and access codes are changed regularly and if possible, be alpha/numeric and have as many digits and special characters as the system allows.  Please DON'T use 123456, "Password", or 0000000. These are a hackers dream!
  • Delete/change passwords for ex employees immediately
  • Consider limiting call types by extension, so if an extension user has no requirement to ring international or premium rate numbers then bar the phone from doing so. 
  • Regular reviews of calls should be carried out to cover analysis of billed calls by extension, to identify any unexpected traffic or irregular usage
  • Ensure you really understand your systems functionality and capabilities and restrict access to the services you don't use
  • Block access to unallocated mailboxes on the system and change the default PIN on unused mailboxes 
  • Be vigilant for hacking - the inability to get an outbound line is an indicator of high volumes of traffic through your system.  Check for calls outside your office hours.
  • Assess security of all your peripherals e.g. handset, router and evaluate the security of any remote management utility you use for possible holes. 
So, a little bit of savvy security will hopefully let you sleep at night and keep those fraudsters at bay!  

Wishing you all a very Happy (and safe) New Year from
The Merlin Team

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at 

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