24 Replies Latest reply: Mar 22, 2013 10:23 PM by phoenixtommy RSS

I need to require a voicemail password

1 Bar

Hi,

 

The latest update seems to disable my voicemail password (PIN). I still have a password, but it no longer requires me to enter it from my handset.

 

This is against my company's security policies and I need the option to force a password to be entered. Is there a way to do this?

  • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
    mr_speedlight 2 Bar

    I need the same option that Barons needs. I need a way to require a password to access voicemail from my cell phone. I hope a solution will be coming soon.

     

    Dave

     

    I'm using a DEFY XT557D


    ---

     

    [ I need to add that I can neither get the phone to my ear nor press the speaker phone button fast enough to hear the message telling me if I have voicemail or not. This is really poorly implemented besides being unwelcome. ]

     

    Message was edited by: David Hartman

  • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
    rajivb Ambassador

    I think that this was one of those bad decisions made for popular consumption. While entering a password is inconvenient, it is a must for the maintenance of privacy. If you leave your phone lying around, anybody could call your voice mail and listen to/delete the messages. Further anybody could change your password, and then be able to access your e-mails by dialing your number, and then using the new password to access your v-mail. You would never know until you tried accessing your v-mail from a phone other than your cell phone.

     

    It is hard for people to pretend that their phone will not be accessible to somebody else. Some people may not care, but I think most people do care about maintaining their privacy.

     

    Instead of removing the password requirement from every phone, they should have added an option that would have enabled phone owners the choice of going without a password.

  • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
    3 Bar

    My voicemail still requires a password after the OTA. Maybe there is a way for RW to give it back to you if the change was not universal.

  • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
    beachb 4 Bar

    This sort of thing should be a feature of the user account control panel. Then, every individual would have the option of choosing to password protect their voicemail.

     

    But, for now, your best bet is to open a ticket for direct discussion with the RW people.

  • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
    dianech 2 Bar

    Ditto to the above. Some of us need (not simply prefer) password protection. Whether it is because our jobs require it (as mine does), or simply to prevent prying children from accessing our messages, the option to enable password protection is something some of us must have.

     

    I raised this concern in the thread on the OTA update more than a week ago. While a few community members chimed in with their thoughts in the matter, no one from Republic ever directly addressed my concerns.  I assume this thread will be ignored as well.

    • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
      petej 3 Bar

      This might be a little off-topic, but I'm curious about your employer requiring your personal cell phone to have a voice mail password. Can they do this? If they're not paying the bill, how can they say "you must have this?"

      • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
        dianech 2 Bar

        I don't mind the question as to why I need it. I can't speak for the others, but I am not required by an employer to password protect. I have to password protect because I am legally obligated to protect my clients' confidentiality..

         

        I am a lawyer and ALL client and case information, however trivial, is confidential. I hope it would never happen, but imagine if my phone got swiped by someone with an interest in one of my cases (opposing parties, etc)? Even the smallest bit of information could be used against my clients.

         

        I do not give out this cell phone number to clients. This is beta and I know that. But, without a password, I will not be able to allow my secretary leave messages, nor can I  provide this number to fellow attorneys. Ever.

         

        Bottom line, without password protection, entire groups of professionals will not be able to use Republic's service, including lawyers, doctors, psycologists, social workers, clergy, and any other profession legally obligated to protect confidential communications.

      • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
        rajivb Ambassador

        Having a car can often be a condition for employment. Similarly having a Cell phone with a working secure voice mail could well be a condition for employment. Does the employer pay for the car when that is a condition for employment? Situation would be quite similar. You could be reimbursed for miles. Similarly the monthly costs may well be covered by the employer. You don't know what the employer covers as expenses.

  • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
    carlh 5 Bar

    If privacy for your voicemail is important, what about your e-mail?   Anyone who picks up your phone can scan through your e-mails as easily as they can listen to your voicemails.

     

    Solution for both - put a screen-lock PIN or password on the phone.  Set the screen timeout to 1 minute.   Most companies require a PIN or password on phones that have access to company e-mail.

    • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
      midnightsnacker41 3 Bar

      caller ID spoofing can connect to voicemail from another phone, so any type of lock on the physical device is useless in this respect

      • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
        carlh 5 Bar

        Have you confirmed this by actually spoofing your caller-ID from a different phone?   If there is clear evidence that our voice-mail is less secure than before, let's get that out in public.

        • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
          rajivb Ambassador

          See - Hacking into voicemail is easy, experts say

          and

          Your Voice Mail May Be Even Less Secure Than You Thought

          Three giant U.S. cellphone service providers do not require consumers to use voice mailbox PIN codes, making their customers vulnerable to the kind of hacks fueling the British tabloids scandal, security and privacy experts say.

          AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint allow subscribers to access voice messages without entering a Personal Identification Number.

          This practice makes it trivial for an intruder to fully access the voice mailbox associated with any valid phone number, using a tried-and-true technique dubbed "caller ID spoofing."

          The hack involves using a caller ID spoofing service, such as spooftel.com, to place a call to the targeted phone number — from the same number. This technique, which has been known for years, can open full access to the associated voice mailbox for that number, says Anup Ghosh, CEO of web browser security firm Invincea.

          It is possible that the way RW has set up its voice mail servers every subscriber calls the same number, then they may not be relying upon the caller ID, but maybe access to their calling servers. But I do not know whether this is what they do.

           

          I do believe that the password is still required when you dial your own number from another phone.

          • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
            carlh 5 Bar

            I don't need to see those things.  I want to know if anyone has actually used caller-ID spoofing against republic's voicemail system to access voicemail, which was not possible before when there was a PIN as an impediment.

             

            Let's not rush to judgment before the accused has been given a fair trial.  But if the accused is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the penalty of publicity for such idiocy must be paid.

        • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
          mr_speedlight 2 Bar

          "Caller ID service, however, is susceptible to fraud. Using a practice known as “caller ID spoofing,” callers can deliberately falsify the telephone number and/or name relayed as the Caller ID information to disguise the identity of the calling party. For example, identity thieves who want to collect sensitive information such as your bank account or other financial account numbers, your social security number, your date of birth or your mother’s maiden name, sometimes use caller ID spoofing to make it appear as though they are calling from your bank, credit card company, or even a government agency."

           

          Source: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/caller-id-and-spoofing

          • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
            carlh 5 Bar

            As I tried to indicate previously, I know that caller ID can be spoofed, but so far nobody has actually reported that they spoofed caller-ID from another phone and gained access to republic's voicemail without a PIN.   It is (remotely) possible that republic is doing something other than, or in addition to, caller-ID, to authenticate the phone.

    • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
      mr_speedlight 2 Bar
      carlh,

       

      That is a different issue and I'm already using a password. A screen lock password is not a solution. A better reasoned phone lets one set a password or pin in the phone's setup for any potential security risk and any use that might cost the subscriber additional fees.

       

      Dave

      • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
        carlh 5 Bar

        Certainly a screen lock password/pin protects against unauthorized voicemail access to some degree.  I'm not saying it's the final solution, but it's at least an interrim solution.

         

        And our phones carry no "additional fees" that could amount from unauthorized use, so we can't swing that axe at this problem.

  • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
    andreas Ambassador

    For those of you who use Google Voice -- Can a password/PIN be set to be required to access voicemail with GV, even when you're calling from your own phone? Would that be a workaround?

     

    My preference is also to be able to require the use of a PIN. Personally, my voicemail has always required a PIN to access on any phone service I've had (including Sprint), and I've never considered it to be an annoyance.

  • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
    robertc Ambassador

    What we actually need here is an official word from RW on how secure the voice mail system is from spoofing. It's been suggested by some here that the caller id is not what authenticates the phone when calling in on wi-fi. Republic just needs to let us know how secure the voice mail is. In the meantime, a screen lock is really at least as secure as a pin code for voice mail. I use call forwarding and just use google voice for voice mail, so I really don't care about pin codes or not, but I don't see how this can be such a big deal.

     

    • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
      dianech 2 Bar

      I am replying because you raise a valid point, and some people might actually be doing what you suggest, and sensitive material in their email is vulnerable.

       

      I am one of the professional you speak of, concerned about voicemail vulnerability, but not email. This is because I have already taken measures to ensure that my email is safeguarded ( as I hope others in similar positions have also done).

       

      I am signed into my gmail account always, but I use it for my personal email only. For work, I use a yahoo account. To retrieve my email, I log into through their web page, using a password. Then I sign out each time.

       

      If someone ever steals my phone, my emails ARE safe because I use a password. My voicemails, however, are NOT, because Republic will not let me use one.

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    • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
      c1tobor Ambassador

      Well sir, most of what you say is "untrue" in my opinion. And your feedback may reflect that.  I'm sorry to hear RW is not working for you, but It does work for many others.

       

      The issues you seem to have are usually resolved, and in my case, (as a new customer) some of the issue's you are complaining about.

       

      This "Beta" service is not everyone, yet, but that is the goal.

       

      Maybe someday you could take another look at RW, and it will have "matured" enough into a service that could fit your needs.   

       

      [EDIT]   My comment is awaiting "moderation" on a "building my website" site.

    • Re: I need to require a voicemail password
      phoenixtommy 3 Bar

      You asked a question, and answering it yourself. Then you designated yourself as giving the correct answer. Speaking for myself only, but I think others may agree, that makes what you say suspect.

       

      I read your not-so-fair-and-balance article.

       

      • The phone is junk. It’s a super-low-quality Motorola Defy XT, which is basically hardware and software (Android) from 3 years ago. It has flaky behavior such as turning off the screen when I try to use the keypad during a call, for example, when I try to press the 7 key to delete a message from voicemail. It also does bizarre things like rotating the screen from landscape to portrait repeatedly and unpredictably when I’m in the middle of trying to use it. It’s a really poor experience in every way; my 3-year-old Droid 2 was much better. The phone first came out in August of last year, and Gingerbread came out 27 months ago. It's mid-level and there are certainly better phones out there. But's calling it junk isn't even close to the truth.
      • Sprint’s network is awful. Just awful. Voice quality is terrible. I haven’t been able to actually have a call for more than a couple of minutes at a time. It disconnects or goes into some kind of zombie state where the call still seems to be connected but nobody can hear anything — or only one person’s voice gets through. The phone is literally unusable as a telephone. I've had Cricket since 2008 on the Sprint backbone. The service works the same as before.
      • Connecting to wifi doesn’t work. I connect to wifi, I have a strong signal, and their VOIP software uses the cell network instead. It’s incredibly buggy. VOIP calls are better than over-the-air calls, but not much. Wi-Fi is great. For the first time since 1997, I have reliable service inside my home (before that, I had a condominium on the 15th floor and had amazing reception). Could I make calls at home before? Yes, but they dropped with regularity. Friends now say they can't really tell that I'm on a cell phone. Upgrading my router made a HUGH difference.
      • Something is wrong with number routing. I’ve gotten calls from people who were dialing completely different numbers (same area code, but different last 7 digits.) When these people apologized and hung up, then tried calling the number they were trying to reach, they’d get me again. This never happened on Verizon. That's because Republic has a 'hidden number' for routing calls. Verizon doesn't (as far as I know). Why you would even bring up this point trivializes your whole argument. This has been extensively discussed on these forums. And the answer is easy: install a call blocker app from Google's Play store. You could have eliminated those calls in less time than it took you to write your blog.
      • Customer service isn’t merely bad, it’s actually nonexistent. They just use a community forum, and they don’t even answer threads on the forum. See, for example, my thread asking them to make voicemail passwords optional, after they removed passwords from everyone’s voicemail (which is a serious and well-demonstrated privacy/security blunder). I spent seven hours on the phone with Century Link's (the old Mountain Bell) offshore customer service. Believe me, the quality of Republic's far surpasses them. If you want to call somebody overseas and listen to a recording of how important your call is to them, go ahead. I'll take Republic's any day.
      • Text messages stopped working several weeks ago, with basically no notification except for a relatively hidden post in some area of the community forums. Last I looked, there’s no update on whether they’re even trying to fix this. I have nothing to add to this. I sent one text to see how it works and that was that. I have no desire to hunt-and-peck on a teeny-weeny keyboard. But I understand this is important to many. Yes, it should work.

      I seriously doubt your article is going to drive Republic out of business. It's a shame that it didn't work out for you.

       

      Good luck with your next phone.