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How secure is free conference calling? Is it safe?

Very often, people hear the word ‘free’ and become immediately wary. There is, of course, the knee-jerk reaction that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. In this increasingly cynical, avaricious, money-centric world filled with false promises and loopholes, it’s an understandable reaction. Still, having even given WHPAY?’s website or blog a cursory glance, you would, by now, know that although we can make no promises about lunch, there is such a thing as a genuinely free conference call.

The second misgiving can be a little more pervasive and enduring, though. This is a question of the quality of service that you can expect, when you aren’t actually paying. After all, if you can get the same thing for free, why would anybody pay for a conference call? It’s a fair question, and there are some services which you probably wouldn’t be able to find for free. But even if you weren’t looking for fancy features, there is one area which is of concern to every single conference call user, whether you’re gossiping with your uni friends, organising a surprise Christmas present for your granny, talking over last minute tactics with your coach before a huge event, or courting new millionaire investors. Everybody wants to have confidence that there is nobody eavesdropping in the conversation. Everybody needs confidence in their call’s security.

When you aren’t paying for the conference bridge, this can give way to suspicions and doubts. You might assume that the only way they can afford to provide the service for free is by cutting corners, and potentially compromising your privacy and security.

Rest assured, with WHYPAY?, that certainly isn’t the case. The website is protected by an industry standard 128 bit TLS certificate, which means you can rest easy in the knowledge that it would be extremely hard for anybody unwanted to get into your web based communication and call recording. From a telecoms perspective, this service also runs inside Nexbridge Communications secure data facility with direct communication with upstream peers.

What’s more, every single WHYPAY? conference call room requires a caller to know both the 8-digit room code and the secure 4-digit PIN. That means that there are over a trillion possible permutations. Which means it would be very, very hard for somebody to sit and guess the correct combination. WHYPAY? also deletes every file of recorded calls from its servers seven days after the recording takes place, so nobody can hack the system and get access to months’ of information. If you want to keep the file, you can of course download and save it.

This should be enough to convince anybody of the security they can expect from a WHYPAY? conference call. But there are still extra steps you can take if you want to get the maximum security possible.

Turning on the announcement feature, which WHYPAY? offers free of charge, is one such step. It means that at any given moment, you know exactly who is present on the call, so there can be nobody lurking unknown and listening in. If any sensitive information is leaked further down the line, by saving the call recording you can check back and see exactly who was dialed in at the time the information was disclosed.

You should also ensure that you never schedule conference calls in the same conference call room back to back. It would be all too easy for somebody to dial in a little early, or a little late, and hear something that wasn’t meant for them – even if it was accidental. In fact, if possible, you should try to completely avoid reusing the same voice meeting room more than once. That way, people who might have been invited to the conference call a week, a month, or even a year ago, can’t continue to listen. Of course, that can be costly, but using WHYPAY? means you avoid incurring extra expenses: you can generate as many free conference call rooms as you desire!2 With WHYPAY?, you’ll never have to recycle virtual meeting rooms again.

Take extra care with the login details for your conference calls. Make sure they are only given out to the people who will be joining the meeting. Don’t pass them on through secretaries or assistants. Don’t post them on a public bulletin board. Don’t make a note of them on a piece of paper which you then leave lying around. The fewer people know the digit combination, the less risk you have of unwanted listeners trying to dial in.

Finally, you should try to reduce the overall number of callers whom you have invited. Aim to have shorter, smaller meetings, rather than one big one with everybody involved. This will not only be practically helpful in focusing your meetings and boosting productivity, but it makes it easier to control exactly who hears what, keeping your details more private and secure. By inviting fewer people, you also reduce the risk of invitees being slightly careless, and allowing the access details for the call to fall into the wrong hands.

Conference calls really are not a cause for security concern – even free ones. There are plenty of measures in place, and extra ones which you can add, to make sure your privacy is always foregrounded, and protected. Call at ease, for free, and with peace of mind.

GabiHow secure is free conference calling? Is it safe?
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