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Why Call Masking is the Security Hero of 2021

It’s no secret that consumers are engaging in more and more business services on their mobile phones. While it’s obvious this is convenient for all parties, the scary and forgotten part about this is our phone numbers are now intricately linked with our identity. That’s why safeguarding our phone numbers with call masking has become so much more than a data privacy trend.

It’s time to make sure customer privacy doesn’t become the next global warming—often mentioned but rarely acted upon. This is particularly important because when it comes to customer privacy, the average consumer has also become accustomed to a false sense of security. Every uneventful online transaction or phone call lulls them further into inaction, and as an increasing amount of information flows through mobile networks, the field is ripe for hackers to harvest. Businesses need to step up and help.

Our partners at 8×8 prepared this primer to help you understand this valuable tool and how to use it to best protect yourself in an increasingly remote world.

What is call masking?

As the modern day hacker has more tools than ever at their disposal, the likelihood of a cyber attack occurring on unsuspecting consumers is not a matter of if, but when. After all, we’ve all heard an increasing number of stories of hackers gaining access through phone cameras and private messages. But, with bank accounts and home systems becoming increasingly accessible through mobile phones, the stakes are getting even higher. This is supported by a study conducted by Deep Instinct early this year, reporting an increase of 358 percent in malware.

To survive in this business landscape, a forward-thinking business must have customer privacy at the top of their boardroom agenda. You see, when a cyber attack does occur, the customers who were shielded by robust data protection measures tend to remain more loyal. On the other hand, those who suffered the brunt of the attack suddenly start making sure they prioritize a company’s data protection reputation before engaging any services. That’s why the introduction of call masking should not be overlooked as just another data privacy trend.

How does call masking work?

Call masking does exactly what it says — it masks phone numbers of both the caller and recipient to protect their identities. Customer privacy is achieved as the central software routes calls between both parties and generates randomized numbers that will be reflected on each device.

After generation, the software also stores the generated numbers for a short period of time so that both the caller and the recipient can reconnect quickly should the call get cut off.

But wait, there’s more—other use cases for call masking

Call masking isn’t limited to hiding phone numbers and customer privacy—as we said, it’s a data privacy trend that shouldn’t be ignored. This technology provides opportunities to increase brand awareness, generate valuable customer insights, avoid legal and financial turmoil, and improve vendor attrition:

1. Call masking for brand awareness

You can increase brand awareness by masking numbers with your company name, and create customizable customer experiences with tailored voice prompts that play while customers are waiting for calls to be answered.

2. Call masking for customer insights

Having customer interactions occurring on your platform also gives you valuable insights into call volume and call status, which you can then use to optimize business strategies. Given that fewer calls will be made off your platform, the data extracted from call masking systems can provide a more representative picture of the issues your customers are facing.

3. Call masking to avoid legal and financial turmoil

Perhaps more pertinently, call masking could potentially save your business from a world of legal and financial trouble. A growing number of courts across the globe are recognizing claims made under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for pain and suffering occurring as a result of breach in data. Imagine the amount of damages you would rack up if every other customer on your platform claimed damages from your company after a cyberattack.

Customers are not the only ones who can make GDPR claims either. Employees and service providers who use your platform have a right to be protected on the job. Call masking software can also go a long way in ensuring that customers do not threaten your workers’ safety or intrude upon their personal space.

Keep in mind, when it comes to GDPR claims, the data breaches do not even have to result in dramatic outcomes for a solid court case to be formed. Any documented evidence of phone numbers being leaked as a result of company negligence could be sufficient grounds for a case to be built.

4. Call masking to reduce vendor attrition

Aside from generating valuable insight and winning the trust of your consumers and employees, call masking software can also prevent vendor attrition. Under normal circumstances, vendors on your platform may connect with regular customers via private numbers once they have established a substantial customer base. This is prevented by making both vendors and customers reliant on your platform to connect with one another.

Final thoughts on the need for greater customer privacy in 2021 and beyond

In a world of data insecurity, data privacy trends might come and go, but customer privacy is here to stay. While there’s no denying that the average customer is aware of the urgent need to protect their data—the unfortunate reality is they just don’t have the time or knowledge to know how to do it themselves. Businesses have everything to gain and nothing to lose by protecting their customers’ privacy, and call masking is a way to help customers scratch the itch that has been bugging them for the later half of the past decade.

With that being said, don’t just slap call masking onto your business and call it a day. When implementing these services, it’s important to work with a service provider like CTI, who will take the time to integrate data protection measures in a way that best supports your unique business model.