Remember, keep your cool, you are in control. Stay calm and don't engage with the caller.
TIP: Many malicious callers are motivated by getting an emotional response from you.
Try walking away from the phone for a few moments before replacing the handset.
This can be more of a deterrent than simply slamming the phone down or retaliating verbally.
TIP: If the caller has dialled your number at random they are more likely to remember it and call you again if you've given them some personal information so don't disclose any personal information.
This may seem obvious, but many people answer their phone by stating their telephone number, or sometimes, their name. It's always better to answer the phone with a simple 'hello' or wait for the caller to speak first.
Keep any answer machine messages short and to the point. Don’t leave messages explaining that you are away from home. A simple message would to say that you are unable to take the call at the moment.
A male voice message may be more of a deterrent than a female voice, and if you're a woman, you could consider changing your phone book listing if this gives any indication of your gender or marital status.