How to keep people from listening to your VoIP calls

By Sheila Shanker
Updated: August 11, 2011

Are you concerned that your VoIP phone connections are not secure? You may be surprised to learn that it’s quite easy to eavesdrop on these types of conversations. Someone with the right equipment and some technical knowledge about VoIP technology can tap into your phone calls easily. However, there are ways you can protect yourself against these potential eavesdroppers—the key is: ENCRYPTION. Below are some ideas:

Internal Encription – Check with your VoIP provider if this feature is available with your service. Skype has included this function in its software, and you’re likely to have this security function well.

Zfone – This option works very well if all callers and receivers have this encryption software. Phil Zimmermann, the developer of “Pretty Good Privacy,” the most-used email encryption software, also created this program that promises to be a good tool in avoiding eavesdropping.

IP Security and Transport Layer Security – These programs are quite difficult, if not impossible to be manipulated by anybody external to the communication process. Both systems encrypt information with the Transport Layer Security working between two applications, and the IP security handling both devices and applications encryption.

Secure Real-Time Transfer Protocol (SRTP) – The main features of this software are: it uses a unique encryption key for each call, and it has a minimal effect on call quality. It’s highly recommended for day-to-day and very confidential phone calls.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) – When available, this service can be used to secure gateway-to-gateway conversations; however, if you call outside your LAN, you need more security.

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