Regardless of the number of people invited to participate in your video conference, you’ll want to ensure your call is clear and secure. While this involves using high-quality equipment, there are more steps you can take to host an effective and safe call.
Employing a few best practices will help you conduct a productive and private meeting. Consider these 12 tips to improve your experience:
1. Engage Meeting Start Rights
When you go into the settings on your video conference application, you’ll see a setting for meeting start rights or something similar. Enabling this setting will give you control over when the meeting starts. Otherwise, the conference can begin as soon as the first participant logs into the call.
This setting helps control video conferencing privacy and how other users can view the video call. If you maintain control over the start time, you’ll be better able to verify that only the authorized individuals are viewing the call. This setting also prevents users from forwarding the call to others outside the group.
2. Use Unique Meeting IDs and Passwords
Many organizations use the same meeting ID for all of their video calls, but this actually compromises video conferencing privacy.
Once an unauthorized individual gains access to one meeting, they can use that meeting ID to gain access to any future video conference using that same ID. Your calls will be more secure when you use a unique ID for each video conference.
Additionally, you should issue unique and strong passwords for each person participating in the call. This approach will help you verify that everyone logging into the call is authorized to participate. Using strong passwords is similar to recognizing the faces of in-person meeting attendees to weed out those who are not invited to attend.
3. Lock and Record the Meeting
Depending on the conferencing software you are using, there will be a few different ways for you to lock the call.
Make sure to wait until all participants have logged in because once the call is locked, no one else may join. Locking helps ensure greater video conferencing privacy by preventing unauthorized persons from joining the call midway through the meeting.
You should also record the meeting for security reasons and future reference. This recording requires making sure the call is clear and easily understood.
An app like Krisp will help you keep communication clear by eliminating background noise. When you need to check something discussed in a video call, having a clear recording available will be especially helpful.
4. Enable a Virtual Background
The increase in remote work has helped improve how people work from home. One problem that received a great deal of attention over the last few years was the distracting nature of background activity.
From children and pets acting inappropriately to the general activity that goes on in a home, there was a growing need to eliminate these distractions. Fortunately, the tech industry quickly addressed this video conferencing privacy issue.
Most applications now offer the option of adding a background to video calls. The background will appear behind every person participating in the call to ensure everyone’s privacy is protected. Most applications offer a few options regarding the type of background you can use.
5. Establish Chat Room Rules
Another feature that has become extremely popular with users of video call applications is the addition of a chatroom. This addition allows participants to chat privately or as a group as the call progresses. The chatroom feature can be used to help clarify points made during the call, but it’s more often used as a socialization tool.
If your application does have a chat room, make sure to set some guidelines for better video conferencing privacy. For example, caution participants against sharing potentially harmful or inappropriate links in the chat. You should also warn your team that the chatroom is not a secure place for sharing confidential data or documents.
6. Update Your Software
Ensure that your IT team or outsourced to a third-party IT service is regularly updating your software. If your application isn’t routinely updated, your video conferencing privacy may be compromised. An inadequately updated application may have weaknesses that a hacker can exploit to gain access to your private calls.
As a general rule, you should update your software every six months. This cycle is frequent enough to add new virus definitions and other software protections to your cybersecurity software.
There may also be patches and fixes available from the manufacturer of your video conferencing application to enhance the performance of your software.
7. Use the Mute Feature
There are many instances in which the mute feature will be useful.
If you want to limit interruptions during a presentation, you can mute all other callers. You can also use the mute feature to keep chatter from becoming a problem as the participants are logging into the call. Make sure you can start your conference on time without having to first silence the other participants.
As you become more accustomed to the mute feature, be mindful about when it’s activated. You can compromise your video conferencing privacy if the callers can overhear you engaging in a confidential conversation.
Make sure your system is muted when you intend to exclude callers from listening in, and don’t forget to unmute the call as needed.
8. Clear Your Desk and Your Screen
Ideally, you should choose a neutral setting for your video calls, such as a conference room. If you don’t have an available neutral setting, your only option may be to use your own office. If that’s the case, make sure your desk is clear of any sensitive documents. Credit cards, invoices, and postal mail should be removed from the field of vision.
Similarly, check your monitor before enabling screen sharing during a video conference. There may be open tabs or icons you don’t necessarily want to share with the individuals logging into the call. A clever hacker may only need to recognize a specific desktop icon to help them hack into your personal or business accounts.
9. Work from a Pre-Written Script
The worst thing you can do in terms of video conferencing privacy is to run your call without a set agenda. A fully written script will help you stay on track and cover every topic that’s important for the meeting. In addition to helping you sound more professional and organized, a pre-written script will keep you from straying off-topic.
Some people try to conduct a secure video conference with a list of points to cover.
While that can be a helpful tool, a fully written script is the better option. It helps you time your meeting more accurately and keeps you focused on the issues you do want to discuss. It will also keep you from feeling nervous or anxious as you try to remember what you want to say.
10. Install End-to-End Encryption Software
For the best in video conferencing privacy, check to ensure your video conferencing software features end-to-end encryption. This encryption is a feature that obscures data as it’s sent from one user and received by a second user.
Most of the modern video conferencing applications on the market already have this technology incorporated into the software.
If you have an older application, you may need to install additional encryption software, or you may want to update to a newer application. Updating to newer software can help you take advantage of other cybersecurity improvements in addition to protecting your file transfers with end-to-end encryption.
11. Use a Virtual Waiting Room
If your video call software features a virtual waiting room, make sure to use it for all calls that involve more than two participants.
This feature is a great way to get all of the participants logged in without admitting them into the video call itself right away. It functions much like any real-world waiting room by gathering guests together until the official start time for the call.
Before you begin admitting individuals from the waiting room, verify that each person is an authorized participant. Once you verify that someone is an invited guest, you can issue their password for gaining entry into the video call. Now is also a good time to issue rules or guidelines for the video conference.
12. Don’t Advertise Your Video Conferences
It’s common to share video conference information on social media accounts for the organization. Even if you use one account strictly for employees and other business associates, you can’t be sure those posts won’t be inadvertently shared or overseen by others.
Even someone passing by the laptop of one of your employees may see enough information to hack the meeting.
When you do post reminders about the video conference, be selective in how much information you share. For example, avoid sharing the meeting ID. You should also avoid discussing the use of passwords. If someone needs more information, offer to send the details to them in a secure email.
If video conferencing privacy is a concern, following these practices will always help you keep your conversations more secure. Additionally, ensure everyone participating in the call takes your security and privacy measures seriously.
Keeping everyone on your team informed about your current security measures for video calls will help you protect your business and its data.