How to Make Your Video Conference Calls More Secure: 15 Fast + Free Ways

En Español: Cómo Hacer que sus Llamadas de Videoconferencia Sean Más Seguras: 15 Formas Rápidas y Gratuitas

 

Password

Use a password for each meeting. Don’t use the same password for all of your meetings, use the word “password” itself, or use other obvious ways of entry. 

 

Registration

Have all participants log in with their own user account to access the meeting. 

 

Approval of Participants 

Use tools such as a “waiting room” to approve attendees’ access to the meeting. 

 

Recording

Default your meetings to now allow for video recording on the cloud or desktop of the host. 

 

Meeting ID

Let your video conference program set the meeting identification number randomly. Using easy to remember or simple numbers might seem like a way to make life easier for your wanted attendees, but it also means you might get unwanted attendees either on purpose or by accident. 

 

Lock the Door Behind You

Once all of your anticipated attendees enter the meeting you can “lock” your meeting to any additional participants. 

 

Default Sound

Have participants' sound default to mute upon joining the meeting. That way they have to find and use the un-mute button to turn on the sound. This prevents participants who don’t realize they are live from accidentally saying something they wish they had not. During the meeting the host should mute anyone who forgets to mute themselves when they are speaking to out-of-meeting individuals, getting a phone call, or dealing with unanticipated background noise. 

 

Screens

Turn off screen sharing for participants. Prior to meetings a host should make sure to take all email accounts offline, clean their desktop, and turn off any messaging applications. If the host plans to use screen sharing, they should pull up all of the items and website they intend to share in advance. Many web browsers show frequently visited sites in new tabs or URL suggestions, making pulling up items during meetings a potential hazard. The host should only turn on their screen sharing when sharing something and should then turn it off when they are done sharing that item. 

 

Virtual Background

Depending on the video conference service and the computer used to access the conference, you may be able to use a virtual background to provide additional security while in the meeting. 

 

File Share

Turn off file sharing at meetings. Instead send meeting participants a follow up email with files or a link to where the files are hosted. 

 

Updates

Regularly update your video conference applications and your operating system to ensure maximum protection for cyber attacks. You can set this to be automatic on most devices. 

 

Expulsion

When muting a participant is not enough to prevent them from disrupting the meeting, the next step on some services is turning off their camera. If turning off the camera of a participant is not available to the host on that particular platform or if their behaviors becomes disruptive in other unprofessional ways, a last resort for hosts is expulsion from the meeting. If you remove an attendee consider if and how to address that with that person outside of the meeting later. Like with any performance issue, discussion of performance problems should not be done in the public forum of a group meeting. 

 

Security Settings

Carefully review your firewall and security settings prior to opening the video conference service to ensure that data you might not want shared, like your location, is turned off. 

 

Meeting Bump

Schedule every meeting you hold in advance via the meeting scheduling part of your video conference application. This will provide the host with the opportunity to see what meetings are scheduled and ensure that they don’t accidentally bump or cancel the next meeting. 

 

Meeting Chat

Carefully consider the meeting chat settings that are appropriate for your meeting and set them in advance. If a meeting is only facilitated by one person then setting the chat to only allow host messaging might be ideal. Research shows that most people who put a message in the chat box will verbally interject too if allowed to do both, so think about the tone and attendees of the meeting when determine how to set that feature. 

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