- Because conference calls and videoconferencing sessions are generally pre-arranged, anybody with the dialup and access details – perhaps by seeing the invitation email or using spyware – could gain access to the call.
- When conference calls are made over a VoIP connection, there is a slight risk of eavesdropping because VoIP works over public internet connections. However, the risk is lower than that of using a conventional landline, which can be easily snooped on.
Safe tele and videoconferencing
- Use strong passwords, and do not disclose them to anyone else.
- Do not reveal dial-in details to anybody but the authorised participants in the call.
- If your service includes a public profile, do not reveal any sensitive, private or confidential information in it.
- Consider a managed service. Different providers offer different levels of security, which may include:
- The ability to request a head count which will review the number of participants on the call. This overcomes the issue of an unauthorised participant joining the call early.
- Locking calls once all participants have arrived to stop anyone else joining the call even if they have the right PIN.
- Dual PINs allowing the chairperson tighter control over a call.
- Time-limited PINs which will expire after a call ends.
- Be wary about whom you accept contact requests from. Set up your service to allow connections only from people you know.
- Check regularly with your provider for updates or patches.
- Ensure you have effective and updated internet security software and firewall running.
- Ensure you are using secure Wi-Fi. Do not rely on public Wi-Fi / hotspots being secure, but use 3G / 4G instead, or a VPN.
- After the call, always replace the handset or, in the case of video services, click ‘End call’ to ensure that what you say or do subsequently remains confidential.