Advice for Agents – Precautions When Using a Cell Phone

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:


Agents are probably some of the most cautious people on Earth. Experience tells them that confidentiality and security are two of the most important values to keep a bookmaking job.  A bookie I know has called to my attention how easy it could be to hack and listen to conversations on GSM and Bluetooth phones. He asked me to write about the subject as a way to educate novice agents about the special precautions that should be taken when using these devices. While this article’s emphasis is on agents, the truth is that these recommendations are valid for any cell phone user. It all started because of the news that broke out last August regarding a computer researcher who built a low cost ($1,500) antenna to successfully intercept GSM calls. Read the full story here

This is the advice:

  • Try to use the online reports offered by your pay per head site instead of calling for the same information. The website you use is secured, hence, it is less likely to be accessed by third parties.
  • Change your phone passwords and/or PINs often, and don’t keep important information in your cell phone’s SMS messages.
  • The website recommends that when you buy a new phone remember that you can’t be too careful about wiping the data off your old one. Consider the results of an experiment by Trust Digital, a McLean, Va.-based maker of security software for mobile devices. In mid-2006, the company purchased 10 used cell phones in eBay auctions. While the phones’ previous owners apparently believed they’d deleted all their information, technicians recovered plenty of potentially damaging data from all but one device. The information retrieved -- 27,000 pages of it -- ranged from passwords to confidential customer records to emails about pending business deals to text messages chronicling a love affair.
  • Beware if you seem to have trouble shutting the phone off, or if it stays lit up after you’ve turned it off. Also, be careful if the phone sometimes lights up when you aren’t using it.

All agents need a cell phone to work. Just be careful when using it and if you can, install anti-hacking software in your phone to make your job easier.

- Jagajeet Chiba and Aaron Goldstein contributed to this report.

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