Video conferencing has exploded in the last year. Sure, we all knew about Zoom and the company has been going since 2011, but the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown meant that almost everyone was inspired to use video conferencing to connect with close family and friends and now the technology is here to stay.
It’s not surprising that Zoom’s usage increased 30-fold during lockdown and now gets almost 300 million users per day. But hackers also saw the opportunity to steal data from customers wherever possible, selling or stealing cryptocurrencies and even zoom-bombing a session between the Royal Family!
Nonetheless there are some ways to keep your video conference rooms safe.
Keep session links safe
The more people that know about your upcoming video conference meeting, the more exposed you are to hackers. If the URL for Zoom or Microsoft Teams is live on a Facebook or Linkedin page, it is easy meat for a predator looking to take advantage.
One of the most basic things you can do is ask users to register their details beforehand, either online or through something like Eventbrite and then manually send the individual an invite and password. With a password for each session, it adds an extra layer of security for hackers to get through – and whilst it might take longer for multiple people to configure, this could be very useful if you are sharing sensitive information.
Set up a waiting room
The waiting room feature is available on pretty much all video conferencing platforms including Whereby, Zoom and Google Meet. It allows the main administrator to verify anyone that is joining the meeting and you can approve or deny their entry each time. This is a simple and free setting that is usually something you can select and can be a smart thing to do to keep your video calls safe.
Lock the rooms
Once you have all the key people in the room, you can ‘lock the room’ which is a feature available on most platforms including Whereby and Zoom. Think about a theatre or nightclub which does not allow any more guests in after a certain time. This is a controlled feature by the user admin and is a good way to keep the bad people out.
For private meetings, this could be done once everyone has entered the meeting, and for more public virtual events, it could be done 10 minutes after the event has begun, for example.
A lot of Zoom users will be using their business accounts for personal video calls, since they will have extended session times – and many will only have one account anyway.
Nonetheless, businesses should have a good control over their admins and who has access to their video conferencing calls. Within a large organisation and multiple admins, it can soon be hard to manage who has access to what. In case a staff member’s computer is stolen or hacked, an admin account may be exposed so keeping an eye on this could prove useful.