A conference call refers to a person speaking to more than one individual at the same time. Originally, this was coined as phone calls, however, in the Internet Age, it has expanded to include video teleconferencing through any number of apps and programs.

Conference calls are exceptionally vital to any business and can be beneficial for families and circles of friends for a variety of reasons. Prior to the pandemic, businesses were relying on conference call features with their phone providers and with video conferencing through apps such as Zoom, among many others.

This allows companies to communicate effectively and in real time with a range of employees, team members, partners, and others, even when separated by just a few local miles or halfway around the world.

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How do conference calls work?

In the early days of conference calls through a phone service, the call originator (the person who made the initial phone call) could place the first recipient on hold, depress the hang up button, and then dial a third number. Once connected, they would then open both lines for a three-way conference call.

When cell phones grew in popularity, the manner of incorporating conference calls became easier and more streamlined.

Now, people can receive call instructions to ‘check in’ to a conference call or click on a link (posted on a website or delivered via email) and then follow the instructions to join a conference call. There would have to be at least one administrator for a conference call to properly function, or essentially someone who would ‘run’ the call. This individual doesn’t actually have to lead, though, but would be the designated host.

Attendees would generally be free to leave at any time, can mute their microphone, and if it’s a video conference call, turn off their camera so as to not be visible (if permitted by the host or admin, who might be an employer, manager, or boss). Depending on the software and/or host, some conference calls can be time limited, meaning a person could be denied access if they attempt to join after a designated time.

Are free conference calls safe?

Regardless of the software, app, or phone service someone uses, safety could be an issue. There are numerous factors that can impact one’s safety when joining a conference call.

‘Free’ doesn’t automatically mean unsafe, but some apps or services may lack when it comes to safety and security features built into their platform. Here are a few important tips to remember in order to keep yourself safe when joining a conference call.

1.Avoid letting ‘viewers’ see personally identifiable information. This applies to video conference calls. If you’re at home and you must join with video, do so in a place that doesn’t identify anything about your personal space, house, or even your address. Also, make sure your car isn’t visible so someone can’t grab your license plate number (and potentially track you down).

2.Be aware of the access of the conference call. If the call is ‘open’ to anyone, it becomes even more important to focus on leaving out identifiable information.

3.Use a solid antivirus program on your device. Whether you are accessing the conference call with your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other computer device, make sure to have a good antivirus program running. This will detect any hacking attempts someone could make through the call, if they get around the software’s own security features.

Does SMSGorilla offer Voice Services?

SMSGorilla is expanding our offering into voice in 2021, specifically focused on conference calling.

As we expand our offerings, we will provide updated information regarding our voice services. We look forward to servicing beyond just your SMS needs in 2021! 

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