Top 5 ways to make video conferencing safer

Password protection, user authentication, and keeping software patched are a few ways you can keep video conferencing secure. Tom Merritt suggests five things to do to ensure safer video meetings.

Top 5 ways to make video conferencing safer
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Video conferencing skyrocketed during the coronavirus lockdown and so did awareness of security issues with video conferencing. Obviously, many security issues need to be addressed by the companies who make the products, but here are five things you can do to keep your video meetings safer.

SEE: Zoom video conferencing: Cheat sheet (TechRepublic download)

  1. Password protect meetings. If your video conference tool of choice allows, use this option to make sure random people don't drift in. As annoying as it may be, don't keep using the same password for every meeting--just in case.
  2. Authenticate users. Only invite the people who need to be in the meeting. Make everyone who wants to join the meeting sign in. If there's an option for a lobby or waiting room, use that to make sure the people joining are the people you want.
  3. Turn off screen sharing. You can turn it on for yourself, or an individual who needs to have it, but reserve that power if you can. If for no other reason than it keeps people from sharing something by accident.
  4. No file sharing. You have lots of ways to share files--don't use your video conference for one of them. It may seem convenient but it's just safer to keep the function off, if possible.
  5. Stay patched. Update your version of the software and make sure everybody participating in your meetings is updated as well.

Not all of these apply to all tools or all situations obviously, but they're general principles to keeping anybody out of your meeting that shouldn't be there. Your meeting is long enough without having to deal with that. Plus, if something goes wrong, you know what that means--another meeting to discuss it.

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Image: iStockphoto/Andrey Popov