Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pocket Dialing - A Serious Security Consideration

You might think this is a joke, but it is absolutely NOT.

I recently put out three phone numbers so people could call into the SMB Community Podcast and leave messages. We tie them all together and create a podcast by/for YOU. See www.greatlittlepodcast.com.

All good. We got lots of input.

Many people obviously added us to their speed dials. I'm honored.

. . . And alarmed!

Over the course of the last two weeks we have received dozens of pocket dials. People dialed in and didn't even know it. Most of this stuff was essentially nothing. But a few items were quite juicy.

I listen in on sales meetings and client meetings. Yeah, there was lots of typing. But there were a few VERY interesting comments about clients and vendors that I'm sure people do not want broadcast.

Most are from "Unknown phone number." But not all. A few were from people on my contact list and a lot were from listed phone numbers. Yes, I called these people and let them know.

Question: Are you (or your employees) leaving private company information on someone's voicemail?

This is serious stuff.

Your phone policy should include a warning to people that their speed dials should be used cautiously. And if you've discovered that your cell phone has accidently dialed someone, consider either 1) Removing them from speed dial, or 2) Make a habit of locking your phone when not in use.

There is essentially no limit to the kind of information that can leak out of your company, affecting your reputation. And since almost every phone number now has voicemail, your accidental speed dialing will likely leave a trace somewhere.

Consider this item, verified by Snopes: Criminals Unintentionally Turned Themselves In by Dialing 911.

That's great if you're catching bad guys. But who's going to put out a press release that they accidentally dial a phone number and recorded a conversation about their client's sales strategy?

I'm not saying this is a huge problem, but it's a serious concern and you should keep it in mind.

Thus ends my cautionary tale.


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1 comment:

  1. For Windows Mobile at least, S2U2(Slide2Unlock2, you can google it) has stopped this happening to me.

    Locks the phone as soon as it is powered off, or after a set period.



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