How to Create a Secure Environment for VoIP Use
What do you use when you want to stay connected to anywhere in the world, but don’t want to the added cost and permanence of a landline? You may be familiar with the low cost alternative VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP technology has been around since the mid-1990s.
The setup is relatively stress-free. You use it by directly connecting your VoIP unit to your computer with a USB cable or to a wireless router connected to Wi-Fi. Your VoIP system can be up and running within minutes. Of course, the ease of setup and connecting with others all over the world does bring up security concerns.
Make Sure that your VoIP Service is Secure
Like most information traveling over the internet waves, your calls have the potential to be tapped into and listened to by hackers trolling for information. Because most VoIP traffic over the internet is unencrypted, anyone with network access can listen in on conversations. One of the most common issues with using a VoIP environment is the threat of someone eavesdropping on your conversation.
When it comes to security, you want to research “call encryption.” The most robust call encryption method is known as 256 bit AES encryption. This encryption technology is available with a few major VoIP service providers such as Skype.
Skype developers report that from the initial logging on process, there is no intermediate computer managing the communication between the sender and receiver. This makes Skype relatively secure compared to other forms of telephone communication. As proprietary software, Skype has built-in encryption. It also uses encrypted communication between coworkers, which makes it not only secure, but hard for random eavesdroppers or law-enforcement agencies to monitor.
Third party companies exist to provide members with the means to make encrypted calls. Companies like Silent Circle offer plans to its subscribers that allow them to make phone calls or video chats with other Silent Circle members. These communications are encrypted and the calls are secure.
What to Do if Concerned About Security
Firstly, you want to make sure that your computer is secure given it is the starting point for all VoIP communication. Therefore, if it is not secure, your transmission probably won’t be either. If your computer is open to infection or you’re using an unsecure network, you will be leaving room for hackers to come in and take over. No matter what call encryption software you use, it means nothing if your computer is not secure and virus-free.
The best remedy is to install call encryption software. Call encryption software will ensure that the “data packets” transmitted over the Wi-Fi signals are encrypted. A data packet is the basic unit of communication over a digital network. Data packets are also known as segments or blocks and measure the transmission of data. When data has to be transmitted, it is broken down into segments or packets before transmission, called packets, which are reassembled to the original data chunk once they reach their destination. Your call encryption software will ensure that these individual packets are not intercepted and hacked into.