A friend of mine just got a VoIP phone, and my parents were looking into getting one for themselves a few months ago. The cost benefits of VoIP phones are pretty sweet. Because your phone call is basically taking the same path a request to view a web page would take, you can call anywhere in the world for really, really cheap. But security and privacy are still an issue with the new technology.

Although we’d like to assume most companies implement some form of security in how they transfer your phone calls over the internet, there’s no standard for security on VoIP as of yet. So it’s better to call your VoIP provider to get a sense of how conscious they are about security. Sadly, some of them might not know how you answer your questions, in which case it’s better to not use your phone at all for calls where you’ll be sharing private information.

“For now, however, users of VoIP products and services that do not fall under the Telecommunications Act will be required to make their own enquiries as to the privacy standards and practices of their VoIP service providers if they wish to be assured of the protection of their personal information and the confidentiality of their communications.” from iLaw based in Australia

“The good news is that VoIP threats are still a largely theoretical issue. So far, few enterprise VoIP networks have experienced anything close to a serious hacker attack. But complacency shouldn’t lull enterprise VoIP adopters into a false sense of security.” from voipnews

Some conversations to avoid on your voip phone:

  • Any conversation with your banks, credit cards, or lenders
  • Any automated system that asks you to enter a pin
  • Phone calls you might make on behalf of your work from home