Because not all meetings can be emails, millions of people around the world have turned to video conferencing to continue working even when they can’t make it into the office.
While these services are broadly accessible to most people, they’re also vulnerable to intruders. “Zoombombing” is a phenomenon experienced by many who find that uninvited guests show up in what should be private meetings. These invaders don’t just lurk in the background: affected Zoom users report behaviors that range from irritating to terrifying.
Zoom and other services acknowledge they have work to do to protect their products, but how do you make sure you’re using secure video conferencing right now? Here are a few tips to make your meetings more secure.
1. Create New Passwords for Each Meeting
The bad news is that only FaceTime uses automatic end-to-end encryption, which means Zoom, Hangouts, and Skype are all fair game to hackers. Zoom’s closest competitor, Cisco’s Webex, allows end-to-end encryption, but the call administrator must turn it on.
The good news is that baseline protection can be as simple as password hygiene.
Just as you should use secure passwords for any other online account, you should also use them for your video conferences. For best results, use a new, unique password for each meeting. Then, even if hackers find your call, they can’t get in unless they have your password, too.
2. Use the Controls Available to Block New Entrants
Zoom allows you to turn on the Waiting Room feature, which keeps all new entrants in limbo until they get host approval to enter the meeting.
Switching on this feature will make it harder for trolls to get in. But for now, you don’t even need to enable it: Zoom announced on April 3 that it would enable waiting rooms by default to keep out Zoombombers.
Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available on Hangouts or Skype. So, if you’re particularly cautious, stick to an encrypted video conference room.
3. Keep Meeting IDs Off Social Media
Are you running a big meeting with colleagues or clients? Send out invites strictly through secure email exchanges. Don’t post them on any social media pages or send them via direct messages.
Although it won’t keep out Zoombombers and other trolls the same way passwords will, sticking to email will ensure that you remain more in control of who has your meeting IDs.
Tip: When using email, double-check the email addresses and text of your meeting invitations or notifications for potential signs of phishing. Zoom emails can be spoofed by those committing phishing and malware attacks.
Secure Video Conferencing Takes Work
Unfortunately, hackers and trolls have seen the rise in video calls and remote work as an opportunity to attack. While all conferencing providers are working hard to provide better products, there’s no such thing as totally secure video conferencing, at least for the moment.
However, by using passwords and keeping your meeting settings as private as possible, you can better protect yourself and your colleagues.
Your video calls aren’t the only threat to your company’s privacy and security. Check out this post for more on best practices for internet security.