U.K. cell hacking scandal has lessons for America

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The ongoing tabloid scandal in Great Britain involving tapping into cell phone voicemails provides a warning for business people and privacy advocates here at home.

The scandal centers around media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who is best known stateside for owning The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and FOX News, though he has an even higher profile in England.

Some of Murdoch’s media properties like the now-defunct News of the World allegedly hacked the phones of murder victims and others so they could get stories to print.

The story that I want to let you know about is this: If you don’t set up password protection on your voicemail, even a novice can hack you and listen in.

This warning is especially important for businesspeople who may have sensitive trade secrets on their cell phones. But really, anybody who’s serious about privacy should be concerned. When I use my phone, I’ve set it up so that I have to dial a four-digit code to check voicemail.

However, most people don’t do have it set up like this. I know it’s a hassle, but I think you should go to that extra step if there’s any chance of snooping.

Meanwhile, VirginMobileUSA.com has new price points for what I think are some of the best money-saving no contract cell plans out in the market, especially if you’re looking for an Android smartphone.

They’ve made all data unlimited with no overages and just partitioned off the talk minutes:

  • Unlimited data and unlimited talk is $55/month
  • Unlimited data and 1,200 minutes is $45/month
  • Unlimited data and 300 minutes is $35/month


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