While cyber security is important for protecting your business from a cyber attack, there’s another, more traditional form of spam that’s on the rise. If you feel like robocalls are increasing in the Rochester area and your business is at risk from spammers, you’re right.
The New York Times recently found that 3.4 billion automated calls were made to landlines and cell phones in the first half of 2018, representing a year-over-year increase of 900 million calls. A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized auto dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message; they are often associated with political and telemarketing phone campaigns, but can also be disguised as a large company like the IRS, tech companies, credit card companies, student debt lenders or foreign governments. And these spam calls are costing consumers and businesses money. Earlier this year, Chinese-Americans were targeted by scammers pretending to be from the Chinese consulate; $2.5 million was stolen from 21 people who fell for the scam.
Scammers can attack your business with a variety of strategies. They can route their calls through different carriers and networks, often local numbers, making it difficult for you to determine exactly where they originate from. Scammers can also spoof an existing number, tricking people into thinking a trusted business is calling them.
Top tips to keep your business’s information safe from spam calls
1. Ignore numbers you don't recognize
The most straightforward way to avoid robocalls is not answering in the first place, especially when it comes to calls received on your cell phone. If you get a call from an unfamiliar number, let it go to voicemail; if it’s somebody important, they’ll leave a message. This advice aligns nicely with our number-one rule for preventing ransomware, which is not to click links or open attachments from unfamiliar email addresses.
2. Don’t engage the caller.
If you do find yourself on the phone with a potential spammer, don’t press a number to opt out. That will let the hackers know your number is working. The best bet in most instances is to hang up once you know the call is unwanted, and then report the call to your IT consultant.
3. Be careful what you say
Spammers can ask a variety of questions like “Can you hear me?” If you answer “Yes,” that voice signature can be used at a later date to authorize fraudulent charges via telephone. In addition, don’t yell at or accuse a live caller. In many instances, this can result in more calls to your number, or the hackers spoofing your number and trying to take advantage of your trusted network of contacts.
4. Report spammers to the National Do Not Call Registry
Once your number has been listed on the Registry for a month, you can start reporting unwanted calls to the Federal Trade Commission. Consider this one aspect of a multi-layered defense, though, not a surefire way to stop all calls.
5. Look into technological fixes
A variety of these exist, from call blocking options on your cell phone to apps that block calls from known spam numbers and services that deliver a message to robocallers alerting them that your number is out of service.
Working with a trusted IT consultant is key; you wouldn’t implement firewalls or network security defenses on your own, and you shouldn’t try manipulating your phone systems alone, either.
Keep Your Business Safe with Our Managed IT Services
At CMIT Solutions, we understand the complexities of today’s digital world, and we know that threats now extend beyond computers and networks to our phone systems. Our goal is to keep your business, your data, and your employees safe with top-flight proactive IT services, cyber security, backup and disaster recovery, business continuity, data encryption, email archiving, and many other services critical to your day-to-day business operation and protection. With a trusted IT consultant by your side, you can survive (and thrive) in today’s complicated IT world.
Want to find out more about our team of technicians located throughout the Rochester NY area? Contact us for a free quote or call (585) 206-8846 so we can prepare you for success.