We’ve all heard about the News of the World voicemail hackings in Britain, where several celebrities had their privacy violated. The same technology that was used to target Sean Connery and Hugh Grant could just as easily be used to violate the privacy of Long Islanders.
Think you’re safe? Check out this video to learn how easy it is to hack a voicemail. In fact, it’s so easy a 54 year-old Congressman can do it.
The trick is this simple: By visiting one of the many phone number “spoofing” websites a perpetrator can call the voicemail service and access a victim’s messages without having to type a password.
Most people don’t have secrets of interest to the tabloids, but many people do have delicate financial or personal information that they assume is private stored on their voicemail. This is exactly why every cell phone user should have their voicemail protected by a password – and every wireless carrier should make password-protected voicemail a standard feature in their products and contracts. Some may think this added safety step is a waste of time, but they’re wrong. Your privacy depends on it.
That’s why I have sent a letter to the FCC asking that they work with wireless carriers to make password-protected voicemail standard for all mobile phones and contracts. The chairman of the FCC has already publicly admitted that vulnerabilities in voicemail privacy need to be addressed; now is the time to make sure that we take steps to protect consumers.
For more information on my work protecting Long Island consumers, please visit http://israel.house.gov.