Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoIP has moved from an experimental, fringe technology to a full-fledged, highly integrated platform that connects small businesses to clients all over the world. VoIP offers easy, high-quality and inexpensive interfaces between individuals who would otherwise have to navigate the difficult terrain of international calls on standard phone services. Now, more developments are allowing small companies to hurdle two of the VoIP obstacles that remained: security and faxing.

Don't become a victim to eavesdropping
Like all technologies, the bigger VoIP becomes, the more likely thieves will try to take advantage of unsuspecting users. For small businesses that connect with clients via Internet phone connections and discuss private matters or divulge personal account information, an unwanted third party can pose a legitimate security threat, according to IT Pro Portal. Unfortunately, some business owners don't realize this danger, as telephone conversations never seemed like a dangerous way to pass information. The involvement of the Internet changes that.

But there are ways around these malicious actors. VoIP providers are wising up, providing safeguards and encryption. Employers should take a hard look at any potential provider when considering VoIP. They should look for Secure Internet Protocol trunking services, which will disable unsecure components. If credit card payments are made over the phone, the company must follow the Card Payment Industry Data Security Standard. Also, some VoIP providers offer Transport Layer Security, which prevents tampering by ensuring privacy and data integrity between two participating platforms

Faxing now a viable option via VoIP
Until recently, attempting to send a fax over VoIP could be a frustrating, time-consuming process, according to a recent press release from Ooma, Inc. The system required an excellent Internet connection in addition to complexities posed by analog transmission. But business communications provider Ooma is expanding its Ooma Office suite to include Sure Fax, a system that stands to make faxing a useful part of a VoIP system.

"We've learned a tremendous amount about the phone service needs of small businesses since launching Ooma Office over a year ago, and we've applied that knowledge to create a more powerful, customizable and flexible service," Dennis Peng, vice president of product management at Ooma, said in the press release.

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