BLOG: Staying Safe When Communicating with Private Video Conferences

With social distancing and quarantine measures implemented around the world, private video meetings are now the new way of making business.

Companies like ours and yours have started using communication tools like Zoom, Skype, Teams, WebEx, GoToMeeting, and others more frequently. Of course, cyber security is now than never a must.

As with any technology that sees its popularity increase quickly, the number of bad actors taking advantage of new users also grows. With multiple reports of conferences being disrupted, it is critical to take measures to secure your conversations.

At Helm, we are consistently receiving inquiries from customers regarding how they can keep their video meetings secure. Here is what is happening:

  • People new to teleconferencing are publishing their meeting URLs on public websites without applying protections such as passwords. Malicious parties then join and can potentially wreak havoc on the call.
  • More ambitious and malicious hackers are even setting up servers that generate random bridge IDs that try to join those meetings until they find one they can get into that was set up without a password… and the havoc ensues.

Actionable tips to stay safe in Private Video Meetings

The good news is that there are several steps a meeting host can take to prevent others, who are not invited, from joining a meeting.

  • Do not publish your meeting link publicly.
  • View your participant list during a meeting – When you are hosting a call, you should always bring up the participant list so you can actually view the list of those who have joined the meeting and ensure only parties you wish to be there are present. As a host, you can drop any participant from the call.
  • Use varying meeting IDs for each call rather than always using your personal meeting code if your system allows that.
  • To enable a higher level of security on your calls, you can use one or both of these options:
    • Set your meetings to¬†require a password¬†that would be necessary for the participants to enter upon joining the call. Then, provide that password to only people you wish to join the call.
    • Enable your meeting Waiting Room. With a waiting room enabled, no participant can join your meeting without the host, allowing them in.

Many businesses have had to migrate very quickly to a new set of tools. Please follow these basic guidelines to help protect your company. If you should need assistance to determine the viability of the tool you are using or tips on how to adapt more quickly, please reach out to the experts at Helm today.

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