11. Voicemail Security and Phone Hacking

We have heard much in recent months about 'phone hacking’ that it is now becoming common knowledge how easy it can be for hackers to access a person's voicemail. Since voicemail can be accessed remotely, it is necessary to take appropriate measures to keep voicemail secure and private.

With this in mind, Telecoms is instituting a stronger security setting for retrieving voicemail messages. All voicemail boxes will require a PIN for a user to retrieve messages or make any changes to their voicemail settings.

All PINs will be as strong as we can easily enforce without causing too much disruption. A PIN is six numeric characters but we will have a simple validation technique to attempt to block users from setting what we would deem as a weak PIN.

Examples of weak PINs are:

  • All one single digit like 444444
  • Consecutive digits forward or backwards like 123456, 3456789, 098765
  • Including the mailbox number itself will not be allowed like 288661 (extn 88661) or 273205 (extn 73205) or 886612 or 732051

These settings will be applied in stages throughout January 2012. A message will be sent out to you beforehand to alert you to the change to your voicemail box as an announcement and reminder.

You will still be able to access your voicemail box in the normal way but if you either do not have a PIN or it is deemed to be insufficiently secure, then the system will ask you to create/change to a stronger PIN.

Please contact the Telecoms Helpdesk (88888 or telecommunications@oucs.ox.ac.uk) for assistance.

Up: Contents Previous: 10. A Free Personal Response System: WebLearn Polls via Mobile Oxford Next: 12. OUCS/OeRC Staff in THE Digital Humanities Article