Prevention of Phone Hacking

Due to the “Phone Hacking Scandal” making headlines, it became immediately apparent how many phone users do not implement the protection required to prevent the hacking techniques used in this illegal activity.

The method employed to access the data was by simply accessing the unprotected voicemail of the victims from a third party phone handset.

By default there is either no pin or a simple default pin (0000 or 1234) associated to the voicemail account, this allowed for the unauthorised access.

Set out below are the required methods for activating the personalised PIN protection for the voicemail:

Orange implements security measures which include text alerts to let you know when a voicemail PIN has been set up or changed.
Remote access to voicemail is switched off by default so you’ll need a verified PIN to get into it from the offset.

In order to change your Orange PIN code, you’ll need to follow these steps:

1. Press and hold 1 to access your Answer Phone menu.
2. Press 3 for settings and features.
3. Press 3 to set your PIN. This needs to be between four and ten digits long and you’ll be prevented from entering obvious codes like 1111 or 1234.

O2 requires a personalised PIN code from the offset.

In order to change your O2 PIN code you’ll need to do the following:

1. Dial 901
2. Press * for greetings and mailbox settings and then 4
3. Follow the prompts

In order to set to set or change your Vodafone voicemail PIN you’ll need to do the following:

1. Call 121 SEND and wait for the main menu:
2. Press 4 then 2 to access the security settings
3. You’ll then be offered a range of options to change the security settings including the security level and changing your current PIN. Security codes can be any four-digit number, but repeated or sequential numbers (such as 1111, 1234 or 4321) won’t be accepted.

Three’s voicemail can’t be accessed using a default passcode and the brand highlights the importance of choosing a PIN that isn’t too easy to guess.

In order to change your Three PIN, follow these steps:

1. Dial 123 on your Three phone to access your voicemail
2. Select option 4 to change your mail settings
3. Select option 2 to manage your log-in options
4. Select option 1 to change your PIN
5. Enter your new PIN followed by #. Your PIN code must be between four and eight characters long and different from your previous PIN.

To set up or change your PIN code for your T-Mobile voicemail, you’ll need to:

1. Access your voicemail as normal
2. Select option 2 then 1
3. Enter a four-digit PIN of your choice, then press #.

Tesco Mobile
According to the Tesco Mobile website, the network’s voicemail service has a default PIN code of 8705.

To change your Tesco Mobile PIN, here’s what you need to do:

1. Call 905 from your mobile
2. Press the * key
3. Select option four from the main menu options4. Follow the prompts.

Virgin Mobile
For Virgin Mobile, the process for setting your PIN number varies depending on the handset. There is a default code, although it’s only given to customers who require it.

In order to change your PIN, Virgin Mobile told us that you should:

1. Dial 222 from handset to set up voicemail
2. If already set up, hold down 1 on handset to enter voicemail
3. Enter current PIN
4. Follow voice prompts to change settings (including PIN)