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:
1. 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.
2. Rotate use of passcodes, particularly for standing calls that occur the same time each week.
3. Don’t include your “Leader” passcode in meeting invites.
4. 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.