A lot of companies treat conference calls very casually, but the reality is that plenty of confidential business is mentioned during these calls. When you are busy discussing important things in a conference call, it is always a good idea to ensure the call is private. Here are some things we like to do to make our conference calls as secure as possible.
Lock Your Call Once Everyone Joins
Most unauthorized access happens once a conference call has already begun. Fortunately, there are tools that make it very easy to secure your conference call line. One of the best options is a call lock that you can put in once everyone you need to talk to has joined. This keeps other people from accidentally or intentionally joining the conference call for the rest of the call, so it is a great way to keep uninvited people out while you are talking about private matters.
Record Names as Users Join
Having users join and leave the call without notification has resulted in some major breaches to conference call security. A useful option can be using settings that require each user to state their name before joining. This information then gets sent to the person in charge of the call, so they can hear who is going to be in the call. Even if the caller gives an inauthentic name, it is still helpful because you can hear them and potentially tell if the person’s voice is suspicious.
Check the Number of Attendees Mid-Call
This method does not entirely guarantee that only authorized people are on the call, but it is a quick and easy way to see if you have someone snooping. All you have to do is learn the number of people who should be on the call beforehand and then use your conference call software to see how many people are actually on the line. Just keep in mind that this may not alert you to people using a three-way call to listen in on the conference call.
Call Users Instead of Having Them Dial-In
When you want ultimate control over who can enter your conference call, consider changing the way people join your calls. Having people dial in can mean that you end up with random numbers on the line. A better option can be to use outbound conference call settings that let you enter a number and have an invitation sent to other users. As long as you make sure you are entering the number correctly, you end up with complete confidence in who is joined to the call.
Use a Force-Quit Option When Exiting
When you are done with your conference call, do not just hang up and leave everyone else to quit when they want. This can often end up with people discussing things without you or sharing information that you did not want to be mentioned. When you are the one responsible for the conference call, it can be better to select the force-quit option as you leave the call. This hangs up the call for everyone, so you can be confident that no security risks are happening once you leave.
Regularly Change Your Access Codes
If you use access codes to let people join a conference call, make sure you do not stick to the same code for a lengthy amount of time. Just like regular password changes, access code changes keep your private information from falling into the wrong hands. This is important because the longer you have a code, the more likely it is to get leaked to someone. Most companies will be fine changing codes every six months or so, but if an employee who knew the codes has quit, it may be a good idea to change your codes a little earlier than scheduled.
Make Sure You Can Remove Callers
Using actual call management software instead of just doing a basic conference call can give you options to get rid of unwanted callers. This is very important if you are having unauthorized people access the call because it lets you be sure they are no longer listening in. There are multiple ways to remove access that all have their distinct benefits. If you want to actually get rid of a listener, you can boot them from the call altogether. If you want to keep things private without letting the listener know they are no longer accessing the call, you may want to try a deafening option that keeps them from actually hearing anything.
Protect Your Call Records
If you are recording your conference calls, which is always a useful way of recalling what was said, then you need to be just as cautious about security once the conference call ends. Avoid turning the record into a file that can be emailed directly to people because this can result in your conference calls being shared by multiple users. Instead, set it up so that users can access a recording of the call on a separate website for a limited amount of time. This makes it less likely for your records to fall into the wrong hands.
Ultimately, conference call security is all about using the right equipment and making sure only the right people can access the calls. With these tips, you can keep confidential matters private during conference calls.