How to Share Confidential Information More Securely During a Conference Call
Have you ever shared confidential information during a conference call? When discussing important matters with colleagues and business partners, it’s almost a given that you might discuss sensitive information. In fact, a Research Now Survey revealed that 93 percent of respondents had done just that on a conference call and 20 percent admitted to doing so frequently.
Conference Call Issues and Security
So, is that a problem? After all, you probably signed up for a conferencing plan specifically so you could communicate with your team, partners, and other key business associates on any number of topics. Assuming your call participants should be privy to the information, shouldn’t you be able to speak freely?
Absolutely, but it’s smart to make sure that uninvited guests are not lurking. Read our article on how to improve conference call security to learn the best practices for securing your conference calls. Here are a few more tips to consider when hosting an extremely confidential conference call.
- Remind attendees of the confidential nature of the call — At the beginning of the conference call, remind everyone that the call is for their ears only. Ask them to close their office doors for privacy, and if they are in a public space, to please leave the call until they can find a private environment.
- Consider Non-Disclosure Agreements (
NDAs) — You may even want to use non-disclosure agreements, especially if the conference call involves highly sensitive information or is part of a merger/acquisition process. If your attendees have already signed NDAs, remind them that the call is covered under the NDA.
- Prohibit call recordings — As the moderator of the call, you can certainly initiate a recording, which you will have full control over. Let your participants know that you’ll be recording the call should anyone need to review the information and explicitly state that any other recording is prohibited. Later, when sharing the audio file with participants, host it on a password-protected server and set an expiration date to assist with this conference call issue.
- Don’t overlook other media — Many businesses use audio conferencing in conjunction with web conferencing for a richer multimedia experience. You may want to prohibit screen captures or limit the information that you share in your presentation. Similarly, it’s not unusual to share files or send attendees files as email attachments during or immediately following a conference call. PDF’s are another conference call issue. A little advance planning is helpful. For example, if you have a PDF that is relevant to the call but with a few lines of sensitive information, you could either password protect the PDF so that only your attendees will be able to open it in the future or redact the information you want to protect from prying eyes.
Conference Call Issues and Steps
Will these steps (in conjunction with dialing participants directly, locking your conference calls, and other conference calling security measures), stop all corporate spies, hackers, or unscrupulous individuals from their evil deeds? No, but they will put attendees on notice that you take the protection of your information seriously and that they should, too.