Three inventions have revolutionized the practice of law in the twenty-plus I’ve been practicing: email, the post-it note, and those services that allow you to have a conference call at any time, without operator assistance, using the organizer’s individualized passcode. While all of these technologies present risks — we could talk about email forever, and post-it notes are great until they fall off — consider the conference call service.
Keep in mind that, once you’ve invited someone to a call, they will forever have a record of your dial-in number. What keeps that individual from dialing-in again, even if they’re not invited, to a future call? It’s that passcode, which can become known or, perhaps, guessed. As such, just as it is important to select a good computer password, and change it periodically, consider the following steps towards good conference call hygiene:
- Be attentive to the number of “beeps,” and ask all attendees to identify themselves. If they don’t match or if beeps occur mid-call without identification, ask the group to reconvene and circulate a new dial-in.
- Rotate use of passcodes, particularly for standing calls that occur the same time each week.
- Don’t include your “Leader” passcode in meeting invites.
- Where possible, review details from the call service provider identifying who joined the call.
After all, as Tommy Tutone reminds us, some numbers are difficult to forget.
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