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Security Tips For Virtual Conference Calls

Earlier this year the world was rocked by the coronavirus pandemic that turned ordinary life on its head and restricted most of the population to their own homes. This meant that companies who would ordinarily work in offices full of people were forced to adapt and let their employees instead work remotely from home. While there are, fortunately, plenty of applications and tools available to facilitate this switch, the question of security is still relevant. Since some nefarious individuals don’t seem to care that there is a global crisis, people will still attempt to disrupt online meetings whether it be to steal confidential data, or even simply for their own entertainment. In an attempt to help you secure your online meetings, we have written a few security tips for your next virtual conference call.


Protect your meetings with a password 

This is perhaps the easiest and most obvious security measure to employ. Protecting our online data and identity using passwords has been common practice for as long as the internet has been around, so be sure to set a password whenever possible and only share it with the relevant people. It is also worth mentioning that you should instruct anyone who has the password to direct anyone requesting it back to you so you can ensure it is only shared with the correct people, allowing you to keep it as secure as possible. 

To add a password to a meeting on Zoom, go to your settings tab, and simply enable the ‘Require a password when scheduling a new meeting’ option. This will automatically generate a password whenever a new meeting is scheduled. 

Make use of waiting rooms 

Part of the reason that so many Zoom meetings were interrupted, is that hosts were simply leaving the room open for anyone to jump straight in. To prevent this, you can make one simple change and enable waiting rooms for your meeting. These waiting rooms are sort of like a lobby that people enter before joining the actual call, where you can check their profile and make sure they are invited, if they are you simply allow them to enter, and if not you can easily kick them out. 

Avoid file sharing 

You probably already know the old internet rule of never downloading a file unless it is from a trusted source. The same applies when in a video conference call, never send or accept file transfers directly through the application you are using as it is far too easy to include malware in the document since it won’t be noticed by anything until it is too late. Instead, use dedicated file sharing sites like Dropbox or Google Drive to safely share documents, these sites allow you to properly scan documents and view the information on them before any malware makes its way onto your computer. 

Hide your personal space 

The idea of having strangers seeing into your home is unsettling at best but is something that too many people do without even thinking. By simply turning on their camera they are exposing the inside of their homes to anyone in the call and while you may think it's ok because you can trust your co-workers if someone else gains access then they can also see anything you are broadcasting. This can be anything as harmless as roommates walking around the background, or it could be as serious as confidential data visible behind you. To prevent the possibility of any unwanted strangers seeing into your private life, use a virtual background, access the Hello Backgrounds Zoom virtual backgrounds here, and pick from hundreds of options to help you maintain your privacy. These virtual backgrounds integrate directly into Zoom and allow you to cover up anything behind you without the need of a physical barrier or green screen. 

Lock the meeting 

A great feature available in Zoom and most other video conferencing applications is the ability to lock your meeting. This allows you to simply lock anyone else out once all the expected participants have entered the call. To lock your meeting in Zoom, head to the ‘Manage Participants’ tab, click on ‘More’ and then ‘Lock’. From here you can simply forget about it for the rest of the meeting unless someone drops out of the call and needs to be let back in. 

Securely send out invites 

This may go without saying, but if you are sharing a link to your meeting, no matter what, do not post it on the internet, don’t advertise it anywhere it could be leaked, and try to send it only to people you actively want to join in on the meeting. Pass this information on to anyone you invite and make sure they, in turn, keep the meeting secure.