A Simple Secret to Outsmart AI
In recent years, there have been several instances where criminals managed to mimic the voice of a senior executive or a business person to make fraudulent transfer of funds, demonstrating the need to have multi-factor authentication to combat voice fraud, especially with high monetary or personal risks.
AI can replicate speech patterns and tonality to a certain extent, which allows it to simulate a person’s voice. While it may not be able to replicate your voice in its entirety, with all the subtleties, characteristics, and variations characteristic of your vocal patterns, would you be able to recognize the difference in an emergency situation?
What if a bad actor called using AI to pretend they were your loved one, who was in trouble and needed immediate help? What would you do?
When someone we love is in danger, hurt, or lost an overwhelming tsunami of fear can flood our brains, completely short-circuiting reasoning and judgement.
Years ago, my five-year-old disappeared from our neighborhood pool. A lightning storm had rolled in unexpectedly sending everyone scrambling to get kids out of the water. Parents, kids and lifeguards were all frantically looking for her. Then, I remembered “THE WORD.” As soon as I hollered it, my little girl ran right into my arms from her hiding spot.
“The Word” is my family’s best safety tool because we use it to authenticate our communication. Using secret code words or phrases can be an additional security measure to protect against voice identity fraud.
The use of code words or phrases can:
- Help to verify the identity of the person on the other end of the line.
- Make it difficult for an attacker to pretend to be your loved as it’s less likely for them to know the actual code word.
Practice Makes Perfect
Even though it is important to keep your code word secret, you can practice using it so it becomes second nature. For example, my family texts the word when we need an immediate return call or text. Or, If the school needed to communicate a change in pickup an administrator would use the word. Today, that same word continues to protect us by being able to identify the true identity of the caller, reducing our vulnerability of voice spoofing or imposters. It’s an easy low-tech tool to outsmart high-tech villains. So, talk with your family about how you will protect each other.
Here are additional security strategies to help protect against voice identity theft:
- Use multi-factor authentication
- Limit voice sharing
- Choose strong passwords
- Beware of phishing scams
- Regularly monitor your accounts
- Report suspected identity theft