With the advent of the coronavirus, many of our work and home routines moved online. Among other things, many of us started using conferencing software. Most people haven't thought much about video conferencing security until recently. Most of us have used FaceTime or Skype to chat with friends or even employers, but now we are using video conferencing software for so much more. We need to pay attention to the information we exchange, the security involved, and avoid leaks and other problems. What should you be aware of to minimize the security risks for yourself and your conference attendees?
7 Tips for Keeping your Video Conferences Secure
Conferencing security was important long before the coronavirus. During a video conference, data and information travel across networks. This makes it vulnerable to people who want to see it and shouldn't. If security isn't what it should be, every bit of information you exchange in a video conference can be recorded and broadcast, whether it's military intelligence or corporate secrets. However, there are things you can do to minimize this risk significantly.
1. Use Passwords
The first thing you need to do to ensure security during a video conference is to require and use passwords to gain access to your meeting. You need to create a unique meeting ID and password for each online session you have. This will protect you against uninvited attendees and ensure that the meeting name and organizer are secure. Ensure the passwords you create are strong and complex so that nobody can guess them easily. Strong passwords use a mix of characters (numbers and letters) and are at least 15 characters long.
2. Use a Waiting Room
When sending out your meeting invitation, double-check the names of participants before sending, and review that list before your meeting starts. Remove anyone who is not supposed to attend. You can do this easily before the meeting by setting up a virtual waiting room. Most conferencing software has virtual waiting rooms as part of the package, but you can also purchase it separately. A virtual waiting room enables you to only admit people to your meeting whom you know should be there.
3. Lock Your Meeting
Once all your attendees are in the meeting, lock the virtual room to prevent intruders from accessing either the meeting itself or sensitive information discussed at the meeting. With most software, once a conference is locked, no one can join even if they have the meeting ID and password. If you are concerned about late attendees, the waiting room discussed above can help - simply review who is in the waiting room and let them in if you know they are supposed to be there.
4. Be Careful with Meeting Links
Only send meeting invitations through secure channels and to participants you know. Don't share them on social media or anywhere public! When you receive a meeting invitation from someone else, verify that you know and trust the sender. Watch out for fake meeting invitations and malicious links.
5. Put Limits on Screen Sharing
Always begin your meeting with screen sharing for participants turned off in your security settings. Make it a regular practice to only allow the host of the meeting to share his or her screen. Once the session has begun, the host can allow participants to share as needed. This will help prevent "zoom bombing" - uninvited attendees hijacking your meeting and sharing inappropriate materials.
Also, take care that confidential conversations at meetings are kept private and ensure that no one in your real-life vicinity can hear them. Take care not to share anything sensitive in your real-life background or on your computer with your meeting attendees. You may want to use a virtual background to be sure that no accidental sharing occurs.
6. Consider Using Audio Without Video
If using video is not necessary for your meeting, think about making your meeting audio-only. This reduces the possibility of uninvited viewers using video to acquire sensitive information about your meeting attendees and your company. An added benefit to using audio without video is that audio-only meetings use less bandwidth, improving the quality of a meeting and the users' experience.
7. Secure Live Captioning
If you happen to be using live captioning for your meeting, you need to make sure that it is secure as well. Make sure that you know what happens to the speech captioning from the meeting - you will want to use a company that you trust to delete it instantly. For professional captions and subtitles, GoTranscript is an excellent choice. GoTranscript has 15 years of experience as well as a global team of over 20,000 expert transcribers, translators, and captioners. GoTranscript can also transcribe your meeting for your convenience. The security of your transcript is covered with 2048-bit SSL encryption.
Anyone using video conferencing should have a basic understanding of how to protect communications during this process. Make sure you are aware of your security settings and your company's protocols. Updating your video conferencing apps on all your devices will also help you keep things safe for yourself and everyone you interact with.