Are Walkie Talkies Secure?

Walkie talkies are often thought of as a secure means of communication. After all, isn’t that why we often see them being used in military and espionage films? In reality, however, this isn’t the case.

Leaving aside the fact that anyone who is next to you can hear what is being transmitted through your walkie talkie, there’s also the potential for outside interference. While it’s true that walkie talkies operate on specific radio wave frequencies, it’s entirely possible for a third party to listen in by dialing in on the same channel. The likelihood of this happening increases when the intruder’s radio is in close proximity to your walkie talkie or at least within range. 

This is bad news for long-range walkie talkie owners, because even someone who is many kilometres away may have the opportunity to listen in on your transmissions.  Sometimes a person could even tune into the same channel you’re using without intending to do so. This can be rather alarming when you think of a stranger listening in on an embarrassing secret or an important detail about your company’s inner workings!

What Can Be Done About This?

One of the more obvious measures you can take is to refrain from conveying any confidential information over a walkie talkie. However, this still doesn’t solve the issue of privacy. Therefore a more effective solution is for you and your friends or coworkers to purchase some privacy codes.

Using privacy codes is also referred to as continuous tone-coded squelch system (CTCSS) or digital-coded squelch (DCS) encoding. Basically, you need to enter a specific code before you begin transmitting, which makes the walkie talkie use an exclusive channel to relay the message. In order for this to work, the intended recipients of the message must also know the same privacy code.

While walkie talkies may be marketed as a secure way to communicate, that isn’t the whole truth. There is always the possibility of outside interference, especially from a walkie talkie that’s within range. The best solutions to this problem are to avoid relaying confidential information and using privacy codes. 

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