In light of the government guidelines, all our offices are now closed and our teams are all working remotely, but are on hand to help you through these challenging times.

For assistance please get in touch with your main contact directly or email our covid19help@armstrongwatson.co.uk. Alternatively if you wish to talk to us, please call 0808 144 5575.

Video Conferencing

Tips for Staying Safe Online When Video Conferencing

Whilst it’s encouraging to see that lots of individuals and businesses are taking advantage of the many benefits video conferencing brings, it’s important to understand how the software and apps work and how they use the data you’re providing them.

As a business, we’ve invested in the market leader of video conferencing, Microsoft Teams. It was an important decision for us, and one we took many months ago, as we have been looking to use technology in this way for some time - and fortunately long before we required the imperative need.

Unfortunately, for many users, the decision to utilise video conferencing software has been a snap one made out of necessity, without the privilege of looking at the host of options out there, whether that’s free or requiring financial investment.

One of the most popular choices for home workers is Zoom - even our PM Boris is using it - however, it’s not without its flaws, most notably concerns over the app’s security. Recent worries have been with regard to the end to end encryption, or speculated absence of it. Zoom have confirmed that data is encrypted between user and Zoom’s servers – in a similar way to Facebook or Gmail – but, just as with the aforementioned social network, it can still collect user data and this is where the concerns reside.

As with any video conferencing software, there are measures that you can take to protect yourself and these are as follows:

  1. Keep Invites Private

Avoid the temptation to share meeting invites/codes on social media or take screenshots of the link to pass around. It’s best to email the link directly from the software or set up an invite in your email calendar.

  1. Don’t Use Your Personal Meeting ID

Whilst it may be tempting to copy your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) and use that for every meeting, it also means that if someone gets hold of the link they can drop in and disrupt things whenever they like, so it’s always advisable to set up a unique ID for every meeting.

  1. Require a Password

Ensure your meetings are protected by a password and share that password as part of the invitation. Having a different password for every single meeting will help protect against hackers.

  1. Turn Off Screen Sharing

Turn off screen sharing. If a hacker does get into your system they’re then able to share with everyone in the meeting what’s up on your screen – so if you’ve been looking at your online banking 5 minutes before you can see where there might be a problem! There’s even a new term for this in relation to Zoom ‘Zoombombing’ it’s called.

Taking all our tips into account, Zoom or similar apps, may be ideal for your business in the short term, but if you’re looking for a more secure, more permanent solution for video conferencing, we can certainly recommend Microsoft Teams.

If you’d like to discuss your business technology solutions and are looking for help or advice, please get in touch with Barry Maxey on 07469850632 or email barry.maxey@armstrongwatson.co.uk.

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