Google Voice is improving its voicemail security

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Google VoiceIn an attempt to make it harder for people to hack into your voicemail, Google is introducing a couple of new security features to its online telephone service – Google Voice.

The hardened security will mean that you will have to access your voicemail messages from a number you have already registered with the service.

If you try to call your voicemail from a number that Google Voice doesn’t already have on record for you, you will need to enter one of your registered forwarding numbers before also entering your PIN code.

And here’s some good news. Google is increasing the maximum length of its Google Voice PIN codes from 4 digits to 10.

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Google Voice

It’s always a good idea to have strong security on your voicemail – whether it be provided by Google Voice or traditional phone services. Just ask the many people who fell victim to “phone hacking” by the British tabloid newspapers. Of course, whether you trust Google for your phone and voicemail services is a whole separate debate.

Quite when Google Voice will be introducing these new security features is unclear to me. Google’s own support document doesn’t mention a date.

However, an article on Android Central includes a screenshot which says the improvements will be rolled out on October 1st 2013.

I’d love to investigate for myself, and see how well Google Voice protects voicemail, but four years after it was launched in the United States it’s not available here in the UK. Pah.

(Maybe it’s time to fire up the old proxy server, and find a local US telephone number to trick Google into giving me a Voice account).

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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