Video Conferencing Privacy and Security Tips
Coronavirus has brought about the biggest ever video conferring and remote work experiments. No one had foreseen such a huge adoption of video conferencing within a short time span. COVID19 has brought radical changes in how people work, collaborate, and study. It’s had almost the entire professional and education world transition online. Some video conferencing solutions like Zoom have reaped from the pandemic with their daily users jumping to over 200 million.
However, with online transition comes cybersecurity responsibilities. Most video conferencing solutions were not ready for the level of scrutiny that came their way. And the flaws rapidly came to light with multiple reports of hijacked meetings. Now it has a name, ‘Zoom-bombing’ and warnings have been issued to video conferencing users by security experts and the FBI.
While the hi-jacked meetings are disturbing and disruptive, there are more serious threats where intruders lurk in the dark creating a nightmare to both individual and corporate data security. According to The Washington Post, there are thousands of private meeting recordings on the open web.
And as most business leaders have now realized, changing strategies too quickly often leaves some security gaps. So, how are we going to ensure that privacy is maintained and data security-enhanced? Here are some tips on how to go about it.
Enable password protection
We aren’t talking about the ‘123456’ passwords, your name and date of birth are also very easy to guess. Make a cocktail of some random string of numbers, letters, and symbols.
Most video conferencing tools auto-generate meeting IDs and passwords. If the tool you’re using allows you to create a password, do that. To limit access, only share the password with the specific people you want in your meeting unless it’s a public meeting.
Lock your meeting room
Once all the invited attendees are in, lock your meeting room. But if a participant accidentally drops off, unlock the meeting, let them in and lock it again. Also, if you have an unruly intruder, feel free to eject them from the meeting. This way they can’t rejoin the meeting again.
Have a waiting room
The waiting room feature allows your attendees into a virtual room where they wait before the host allows them in the meeting room. It gives you a chance to eject intruders before they get into your meeting room.
Don’t allow default screen-share capabilities
The host should always be in control of the screen-share function. It’s one of the greatest mistakes Zoom made. Allowing all participants to have screen-share capabilities. Nd we can all attest to the mischief that has been going on during conferencing.
Use the latest software version
Software upgrades need to be done on a regular basis as older versions are easy to exploit for security vulnerabilities. Many video conferencing apps have focused on fixing the security loopholes so you need to check and double-check if your attendees are using the updated version.
Educate employees on data security
Today, people are more dependent on technology than ever before. Everyone from children to teachers, family members, and employees, are using video conferencing to attend their day-to-day activities. The sad news is that there is no IT infrastructure to support them.
But we have to keep in mind that cybercriminals and hackers work like marketers. They dive into whatever is trending and study it to know how to leverage it. For this reason, companies and education institutions should take it upon themselves to educate their stakeholders on privacy and data security.
Stop sharing links on social media
Ever asked yourself where trolls or hackers get the links to attend your meetings? Well, social media is one resourceful goldmine. Even and if you want everyone to attend, use other channels to share the link. However, if you have to post on social, don’t enable the Use Personal User ID option. It is one to ensure trolls have no video conferencing raid to plan.
Use a virtual background
All these online meetings happened in a rush so most people had no home office or study room on standby. They just repurpose a corner in their living room and get to work. The only kicker is there are people waiting to see what’s on your background that can clue them on your location or other personal details. A safe way around this is to use a blank wall or a virtual background. The two options will ensure that nothing confidential or private is displayed in the background.
With businesses and institutions spending less time in offices and more time remotely, we can’t afford to ignore video security. Companies and individuals need to ensure that no corners are cut with regard to privacy and security. It’s the only way to survive this online era.