Last Updated on April 1, 2021Home » Blog » Personal Safety and Security » Online Security »
Safe Video Conferencing
The COVID-19 crisis has meant that many more people are working from home. That increase in home working has led to a massive rise in the use of video conferencing. The coronavirus lockdown restrictions have also led to a surge in the number of people using services like Zoom to stay in touch with friends and family.
Video conferencing has been a godsend in the current crisis. The technology has allowed all of us to stay connected. There are, though, some important security considerations that you should bear in mind when you are using video conferencing software.
Experience has taught us that almost any type of online resource can have security issues and can be hacked. The tools available in each app vary, but there are general video conference security precautions that apply to them all. Here are ten tips to help you enjoy safe video conferencing.
1. Never Use Video Conferencing to Discuss Confidential Matters
Like all online platforms, video conferencing apps may have security vulnerabilities that could lead to your meetings being overheard. So, avoid discussing highly sensitive issues online and keep personal information to yourself.
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Before you begin a video conference, take a look at your surroundings. Make sure that there is nothing in the field of view of the camera that you don’t want other people to see. We’ve all seen those photos where the camera has captured something embarrassing in the background. The same awkward moments can also happen when you are video conferencing.
3. Block Uninvited Participants
Use the security features of your video conferencing app to block uninvited participants attending your online meetings. Security options to exclude unwanted participants include password protecting your conference and providing unique ID numbers for each session or each participant. The practice of gate-crashing video conferences may be called zoombombing, but it can be an issue with other apps too.
4. Lock Meetings
Most video conferencing apps have a feature that allows you to lock a meeting once it has started. Securing a meeting will ensure that no one else can join the meeting, so it’s another way to prevent uninvited participants from gate-crashing your online conferences.
5. Be Careful About Sharing Your Screen
Video conferencing apps usually have an option to share your screen with other participants. This feature allows you to show slides and other things during the meeting. If you do want to enable screen sharing, though, make sure that you don’t have anything on your desktop that you don’t want to be seen.
6. Be Aware that Your Online Meeting Might be Recorded
Many video conference apps allow meetings to be recorded. On most apps, you will see a visual prompt indicating that you are being recorded, but this is not the case with all video conference services. As mentioned above, the fact that what you say might be recorded is another reason why you should not share confidential or personal information during an online meeting.
7. Avoid Publicizing Your Meeting on Social Media
Of course, the easiest way to get people to join your meeting is to tell everyone about the conference on social media. Be careful, though, about how much detail you share about your session. Don’t give away the login details for a meeting on social media. Instead, advertise the conference, and then ask people to sign up for the conference so that you can check participants before you send them login details.
8. Be Aware That You May Be Seen and Heard as Soon as You Join the Meeting
The default settings on many video conferencing apps are that you will be seen and heard as soon as you join a meeting. So, if you enter a session and are waiting for other participants to join, be aware that what you say and do will be visible to other attendees. If you want to safeguard your privacy, you will need to mute yourself and turn off your camera. Or you may be able to change the default settings on the app.
9. Keep Your Video Conferencing Software Up to date
Updates to video conferencing apps may contain important security vulnerability fixes, so keep your software up to date. As more and more people are now using online meeting updates, security updates will likely become more frequent.
10. Check the Privacy Statement of the App
Before you use any video conferencing app, check the privacy statement to find out what information the software will collect about you. Does the software vendor collect data for advertising, for example?
Many thanks for reading our video conferencing safety tips. We hope that you have found this information useful. If you did like this post, please do share the information with your friends on social media.
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