Using a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system is a great way for small businesses to keep operations running smoothly while saving on communication costs. But what would happen if that system was hacked? Suddenly, all of your private calls and confidential data could be heard by criminals.
You need to be aware of the signs that your system is being compromised so you can take action before it's too late. Familiarize yourself with the following five warning signs and you'll be better equipped to protect your business.
High phone bills
VoIP systems are known for being more affordable than traditional phone systems, so it's a red flag if you see a sudden spike in your phone bills. This could be a sign that someone is making calls on your system without your knowledge. Most of the time, hackers hijack VoIP systems to make long-distance or international calls, racking up big charges without having to pay for these calls themselves.
Irregular call histories
Your call histories aren't just good for reference; they can also be helpful in spotting suspicious activity. If you review your call histories and see calls to numbers you don't recognize, or calls being made at odd hours, it's possible that your system has been hacked. Hackers often use VoIP systems to make calls to numbers they've acquired through other illegal means and avoid being traced. Notify your VoIP provider right away if you notice any irregular call activity on your system.
Sudden website redirections
You may sometimes need to visit a website while you're on a call, but if you find yourself being redirected to a strange or unfamiliar site, it's a sign that something is wrong. Hackers may have installed malware on your system that's designed to redirect your internet traffic to websites that they control. They can then use those sites to steal your login credentials or infect your system with more malware.
If you start seeing unexpected website redirections, run a malware scan on your system and change your VoIP passwords immediately.
Fake antivirus pop-ups
While using your VoIP system, you may get a pop-up that looks like it's from a legitimate antivirus program. The message will likely say that your system is infected with malware and offer to clean it up for you, but if you click the “clean” button, you'll actually be installing malware on your system.
Hackers use scareware like this to trick people into infecting their own systems. So if you randomly encounter one of these pop-ups, close it immediately and run a real malware scan on your system. You should also inform your IT staff or managed IT services provider about the fake antivirus messages so they can investigate further.
Automatic microphone or webcam activation
In some cases, hackers may be able to remotely activate your system's microphone and webcam. This allows them to eavesdrop on your conversations or spy on you without your knowledge.
If you notice that your microphone or webcam is turned on without your input, it's a sign that your system has been compromised. Immediately change your VoIP password and notify your provider or IT staff. They'll need to investigate the situation further and take steps to secure your system.
Related reading: VoIP eavesdropping: How your SMB can prevent it
By keeping your eye out for these warning signs, you can quickly detect if your VoIP system has been hacked. And by taking action immediately, you can protect your business from further damage.
However, it's important to remember that hackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit systems. So even if you're not seeing any of these red flags, it's still a good idea to keep your system up to date and secure. Regularly changing your passwords and running malware scans can help you stay one step ahead of the hackers.
Finally, partner with a reputable VoIP provider that takes security seriously. We at Kortek Solutions understand the importance of keeping our customers' systems secure and offer a variety of features to help them do just that. Contact us today to get started.