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How to prevent Voicemail Hacking with AT&T Wireless

I’m sure you’ve read about how various news organizations were hacking into voicemail and such. Turns out it’s crazy easy with various Caller ID spoofing services, and USA Today has a good article on it.
AT&T also has instructions on how to require your voicemail to always ask for a password, but they’re buried deep on the site so I decided to post a link to it here:
Note that the iPhone has an integrated voicemail password function, so even with it set to ON the iPhone doesn’t prompt for a password (i.e. it remembers it). Therefore, if you follow the AT&T instructions and the password is set to ON, you’re good even if your phone doesn’t prompt for a password.
Even if you don’t intend to ever be the subject of a news story, the fact is it would be very easy for any interested person to hack into your voicemail… be it a competitor, co-worker, or significant other. Be smart and verify you have your voicemail properly secured. It might be a bit inconvenient, but definitely the smart thing to do.
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How to Stop SPAM Text Messages with AT&T Wireless

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of SPAM text messages on my phone and had some friends complianing about it as well.  Wanting it to stop, I went looking for a solution.

Turns out you can create a “text messaging” admin account on a special AT&T web site.  This allows you to set up a “block” list for people spamming you, as well as an “allow” list for people you want to be certain get through.

More importantly, it allows you get to get rid of the email address mapped to your phone.  Many AT&T subscribers probably aren’t even aware that by sending an email to YourMobileNumber@txt.att.net the email will be turned into a text and sent to their phone.

That’s how a lot of SPAM text messages originate.  A spammer simply sends out a slew of emails to EveryPhoneNumber@txt.att.net… since email is free it doesn’t cost them a dime, but it costs you a text message and a fair bit of annoyance.

After using their site to set up an alias, you can then turn on blocking so that messages sent to (in my case) YourMobileNumber@txt.att.net are automatically rejected, but messages sent to your alias are accepted.  That way, spam messages sent to every known phone number will be rejected (i.e. you’ll never see them), but the ones you actually need will go through just fine.  This will have absolutely no effect with your friends sending you text messages from their mobile phones.

You can also just block all messages sent to you as email (that option is on the first page of AT&T’s messaging administration web site), but working in IT I needed that capability for monitoring alerts and such.

To set up this ability on your phone, use the following site… you’ll need to register with AT&T:

http://mymessages.wireless.att.com/

Fighting for a SPAM free world : )