With the rush to move employees to a remote work environment in the past few weeks, the last thing on most everyone’s minds is whether the video conferencing site they are using is safe and secure. Now that remote workers are settling in to more of a routine, you should start to think about the tools you are providing to your employees to connect virtually.
At BerganKDV, we use a secure video conferencing solution from Lifesize. Over the last few years, Lifesize has built their cloud videoconferencing service from the ground up for security and reliability. A critical component of that redesign is the Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), which provides customers transparency and peace of mind about how the service operates.
Lifesize shares the following ten tips for users, meeting owners and moderators, and people exploring their options for a video service provider:
1. Configure and confirm meeting settings
When quickly joining a video call, it’s easy to stick with the default settings. Take an extra moment to confirm that each option is configured appropriately for your meeting so that you don’t encounter unexpected surprises when you join. This includes testing your audio and video before the call to ensure both are working properly. Remember, meeting participants will be treated to the view of whatever is behind you, so testing your video before the call gives you the opportunity to check your background and make sure it’s appropriate for the meeting.
2. Take the time to learn the tool you are using
You don’t have to become a power user overnight, but at a minimum, get familiar with the buttons to mute your microphone, turn off your camera and leave the meeting. It’s the easiest way to make sure you are seen and heard only when you want to be.
3. Mind your screenshots
Want to share a snapshot or video clip showing you and other meeting attendees on screen? Double-check that no sensitive meeting details or personal contact information are visible in the frame before you upload it to your profile.
4. Leave meeting invites to the meeting owner
Is there a person missing from the meeting invite? Would someone else benefit from joining? Rather than passing along the meeting details yourself, notify the meeting owner and let them handle it. You can easily trump their oversight by forwarding to the wrong contact or create an awkward situation when another party shows up unannounced.
For meeting owners and moderators
5. Don’t share your video meeting link publicly
Treat your meeting link like the key to your office or, better yet, your home. You wouldn’t share it with just anyone. To ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, distribute the link only to people who need to know it — and only through private means, like secure email or direct message.
Need to host a public meeting with hundreds or thousands of participants? Most enterprise-grade video conferencing platforms like Lifesize have built-in controls to help you avoid abuse by restricting access for content sharing, video sharing and chat only to invited presenters.
6. Require a passcode for meeting entry
Consider an additional safeguard for your meeting by setting a passcode, if possible. While you can share the passcode with your meeting link, you could also consider sharing it verbally or in a separate email or message for increased security.
7. Don’t just attend, moderate
If you own the meeting but are unable to moderate, designate a moderator to join. If you are only in a meeting to moderate, it can be tempting to multitask. Don’t. If you are called upon to stop a participant’s presentation, remove a person from the meeting or lock the meeting, you need to be ready to act.
For people exploring their options for a video service provider
8. Choose a service that meets your needs
Believe it or not, you don’t have to opt for the first video communication tool that shows up in your online search. Given the current circumstances, multiple companies are providing free access to their video conferencing services and tools, so you could actually try them all and see what works best for you without being locked into a plan. Professional tip—if privacy and security are especially of concern, look for a provider that has a history and reputation for securing their customers’ data and privacy.
Lifesize is offering free, unlimited video conferencing service to all global businesses for six months.
9. Consider live streaming
Video conferencing serves a specific purpose—real-time, two-way communication and exchange of information among hosts and participants. If your need is mainly outbound communication to an audience, you may alternatively consider live streaming as your primary channel. This would limit the opportunity for outside parties to disrupt your message and presentation, especially in large call situations. Fortunately, live streaming is available as an option for select video conferencing providers, so you can broadcast to larger audiences while also preserving your ability to meet and interact with individuals and smaller groups on a more personal level.
10. Prioritize encryption and enterprise privacy policies
- Does the provider explicitly state what data it collects and how it is secured?
- Does the provider specify how long data is retained, and for what purpose?
Remember, it is ultimately your responsibility, as a customer or IT administrator, to dig deeper to determine if an offering stands up to privacy and security scrutiny and if you are willing to accept the caveats and the accompanying risks.
Our teams at BerganKDV are rallying together and working around the clock to ensure we’re up and running so you can be up and running. Whatever situation you’re faced with, at any time – you can call our task force and we’ll get you the answers, the listening ear and/or the quick support you need: 888-356-2295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.