With the latest iteration of the Nextcloud on-sight cloud server software, a new feature has been brought to light. This new feature, Video Verification, requires a user to make use of the video call feature (called Talk) in order to obtain a password for a file that has been shared. This new feature could prevent a hacker from gaining access to a file they shouldn't. Video Verification only works in the latest release of Nextcloud (14), so you'll have to first upgrade your Nextcloud installation.
With that said, let's make video verification happen.
As I mentioned, you'll have to first upgrade Nextcloud to 14. This can be done through the web GUI. Here's how:
- Log into Nextcloud as an admin user.
- Click on the Admin profile photo in the upper right corner.
- Click Settings.
- Click on Overview.
- Under Version, click Upgrade.
- Allow this to complete.
- Continue with the Web GUI upgrade (as opposed to the command line upgrade).
That's pretty much it. Once the upgrade is complete, log back in as the admin user to continue.
In order for video verification to work, your Nextcloud installation must have SMTP enabled. Why? Because video protection is only available on files you share out via email. You can easily enable SMTP on your Nextcloud server, you just need an available SMTP server. If you don't have one, you can always use a valid Gmail account. Do note, if you opt to go the Gmail route, you must create an App Password.
To configure SMTP in Nextcloud, go to Settings | Basic Settings. In the Email section (Figure A), configure the SMTP server with the settings for your available server.
Once you've entered the configuration, click Store Credentials, and then click Send email. If you haven't configured an email address for your account, you may get an error (should that occur, go to your account profile, configure an email address, and come back to the Email Server settings window to resend the test).
The next thing to do is install the Talk app. For this, click your profile picture, and then click Apps. In the Apps window, click Social & communication. Locate Talk and click the associated Download & enable button. Once that completes, you are ready to start using Video Verification.
Using Video Verification
Go to the Files app and locate the file you want to protect with Video Verification. Click the Share button associated with the file. In the right pane, type an email address you want to share the file with. At this point, you should see two listings from the drop-down, Remote and Email. You want to select Email (Figure B).
The share will be sent, and now you can click the menu button associated with the share and then select Password protect by Talk (Figure C).
After selecting Password protect by Talk, you will be prompted to type a password for the share. The recipient will receive a link for the share that will require them to click the Request password button. Nextcloud will open to a video chat window, where the sender of the link can then share the password with them, via video. That's all there is to it.
An exciting new security feature
Nextcloud has done something very exciting here. For anyone wanting to ensure that the person accessing shared files is actually the person who should have access to those files, Password protect by Talk is an exciting feature.
- How to add a new trusted domain to Nextcloud (TechRepublic)
- How to install the Nextcloud Ransomware protection app (TechRepublic)
- How to install nextCloud 13 on Ubuntu 18.04 (TechRepublic)
- Nextcloud 13 adds end-to-end encryption and Slack competitor Nextcloud Talk (TechRepublic)
- Nextcloud 14 rolls out with two major security features (ZDNet)
- Open source's big German win: 300,000 users shift to Nextcloud for file sharing (ZDNet)
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.