20 October 2014

Phone hacking

Amber Melville-Brown
Partner | US

Modern technology has made the world a much smaller place. With the advent of the Internet, information anywhere is information everywhere. A news story is no longer tomorrow’s fish and chip wrap; and gossip over the water cooler is now a worldwide, permanent publication.

The phone hacking affair grabbed the attention of the public, press and politicians. And the public enquiries, may in due course, show just how deep it ran within Fleet Street. But it serves now as a ready reminder to all of us of the need to protect our private life and confidential information.

That journalists have been routinely hacking into targets’ mobile phones for food for a juicy story has left us in no doubt: it is surprisingly easy to become a victim.

But, if it is simple for a curious outsider to listen to your voicemail messages, it is equally easy to protect yourself against the opportunist.

  • Don’t invite the media in: change pre-set or ‘factory’ settings on your voicemail and answering machines. Dial your voice mailbox as if to retrieve your messages and you will be taken to the appropriate options for changing your pin.
  • Don’t leave tantalising tit-bits: ask family, friends and business contacts to leave messages with their name and number, NOT private and sensitive information that might be interesting to a nosey outsider.

We are social creatures. But we need some space for solitude, some possibility of privacy in order to enjoy our own personal autonomy.

Download our phone hacking flyer here.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding phone hacking issues, please feel free to contact the Media and Reputation team for further information.

Category: Article