There have been concerns lately that free conference call services aren’t really free. One Technical Director at a large entertainment firm convinced his company to contract a professional call package instead of allowing employees to use free services. The Director had noticed in the fine print on the call service website that the company said that they had the right to record and store all calls made on their system. “I would rather pay for a system than let others have free access to our company private information, even if they promise not to share it with others”.

Free or not, information leaked through conference call systems through no fault of the service providers. Proper process and procedures are required to increase the assurance that your company conversation will remain private. You can minimize the risk of sharing your conversation to the wrong listeners by incorporating a few steps into your call routine.

  • Manage the call-in-codes. Access codes should be changed on a routine basis, or at least when a regular participant leaves the company. Also consider using different codes for external and internal calls. Both of these strategies help you control who can access or listen in on your calls.
  • Keep an eye on the participants. Some services require participants to state their name when they join the call. This helps you know who is on the line. Some services also offer the opportunity to “lock” the call when your invitees have joined. This keeps the uninvited out and also encourages the team to join the call on time.

Aside from the basic features, some premium services offer other options to keep your calls under control:

  • Caller ID. An operator service can be used to initiate calls and ensure that they verify the identity of each attendee.
  • Specific access codes. Access codes that are either individual to each invitee or that are only valid for a specific period of time (such as the meeting timeframe).

There are lots of options for call services. For small groups you can use the conference feature on your phone. Larger meetings, or weekly meetings can be facilitated by a more professional option. Just take a minute to explore the features of the system that you are using. Set up a solid routine with an eye on security to make sure that the information shared on your calls is shared with only the right people.