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Tips for Securely Using Videoconferencing Tools

With the move to remote workforces, countless organizations are using videoconferencing in a much larger capacity than previously. Many workforces have had to adjust to having all meetings done via a videoconferencing application and may be using these platforms for the first time.

When videoconferencing it is important to make sure you are set up in a secure manner to be sure that you are not sharing out any confidential information or allowing outside agents to gain access to your call without permission. We have compiled a few tips for how you can be sure that your call is set up securely.

Set Aside Time for Set Up

Before jumping on any call or setting up any email it is best practice to become familiar with the chosen software's settings and be sure to use proper settings for each meeting. The settings you have in place for an internal teammate meeting may need to be completely different from those with an outside group for example.

Be sure to set aside time when setting up any meeting to go over these setting and make sure you are setting up your call securely and in a way that will run smoothly for all participants.

Be Mindful of Your Background

Videoconferencing is unique in that instead of meeting in a physical meeting or conference room, you are bringing the meeting directly to both your personal workspace and your attendees personal workspace. Something to consider is what you have going on in the backdrop of your workspace.

Be careful of information you may have displayed on a white board or bulletin board in the background and make sure there is nothing in the display area of your background that has proprietary information or information that you do not want to be seen. Consider blurring your background or using a virtual background to minimize view of your environment as well.

Control who can join

Most videoconferencing platforms allow for you to restrict who has access to the call. Check you settings and consider who you are allowing in each meeting. For example, many videoconferencing solutions allow you to set the meeting to only allow users within a certain domain, so for internal meetings you can make sure only people with a company email address can access the meeting.

Another option many platforms offer is to set a meeting password. Consider using this option and emailing the email password out to participants so that only those with the password can join.

You can also utilize settings to set up a "waiting room" this makes all incoming users set in a virtual waiting room until the meeting host manually approves each user to join the meeting.

Manage file transfers

Check your videoconferencing applications encryption settings. Make sure that encryption is set to on for both chat and voice conferencing.

If you need to share files during the call consider setting limitations on which types of files are allowed to be shared. It may be best to limit file sharing to only non-editable files such as .jpg or .pdf instead of editable files to limit unwanted modification.

Monitor engagement and attendance

Videoconferencing creates a new level of distraction for users. It is easy to be in a video call and be tempted to look elsewhere or complete other work. Many platforms allow the option to request notification if a meeting attendee is doing other work and not primarily participating in the video call. This is especially applicable for teachers or trainers who want to actively track participation.

You can monitor who joined the call by setting up a registration process such as a meeting password or waiting room set up and can often download an attendee list after the call. Many times this list will include connect and disconnect time which will show who was or wasn't engaged for the entire call.

Use Precaution when Screen Sharing

Check out your settings for your chosen platform to view who is allowed to screen share. It is a good idea to restrict screen sharing to the host or whoever will be presenting during the call to avoid unwanted distractions.

When screen sharing be sure to only share the application needed instead of the entire desktop to keep important information that you may have on your desktop or other tabs visible to meeting participants.


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