Tips for Keeping Your Virtual Meetings Secure

laptop screen with multiple people in a virtual meeting room
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 4:37pm

COVID-19 has brought many changes to our lifestyles, including our work environments. Many workplaces have seen a rise in employees working remotely and using virtual meeting tools. Not surprisingly, users of the online meeting platform Zoom increased from 10 million in December 2019 to 300 million in April 2020 as pandemic restrictions were beginning in the United States. 

With so many people using virtual meetings, there are some additional security risks. Are you using best practices to keep your meetings safe and secure? Leaders from the Department of Public Safety’s Information Technology section provide a quick run-down on how to be secure during online meetings.

Protect – Protect - Protect

Treat your virtual meeting account like any other account. Protect it with a strong password and do not share accounts or passwords with others. Use two-factor authentication to make your account harder to hack.

Also, use passwords when setting up meetings. Like all content tied to a personal account, protecting your meetings with a password is a best practice. This will ensure that only the attendees you invite and share credentials with can attend your meeting. 

Don’t Post Meeting Links on Social Media

Avoid posting links to your meetings on social media – even if they’re open to the public. Once shared on social media you do not know who has access the link. This could lead to possible “Zoombombing,” the practice of interrupting a meeting with offensive content. 

Sharing on social media is easiest way for the link to get into the hands of internet trolls. If you feel the link MUST be shared via social media, require registration for the event.

Use a Waiting Room

A waiting room gives the host control over who enters the meeting. It doesn’t matter if they have the password, all attendees must be admitted by the host before joining. This adds another layer of protection from unwanted guests.

Be Aware of Fake Apps and Links

Due to the increased use of virtual meetings, there has been a spike in malicious links to meetings and apps. Verify you are clicking a link from the software company (Zoom, Webex, MS Teams, etc.) and only download apps from Apple and Google’s app stores. And remember to keep your app up to date with the latest version and safety features.

Only the Host Should Screen Share

Turn off screen sharing for participants – especially when meeting with those you are unfamiliar. Disabling this feature ensures your meeting will not be disrupted by unwanted content from a Zoombomber.

Avoid File Sharing

Do not use file sharing during meetings with participants whom you are not familiar. If possible, turn off this feature during your meetings so participants do not unknowingly click on a malicious file.

Do Not Allow Joining Before Host

Disable the feature that allows attendees to join before the host. If joining before the host, an attendee could automatically be made host and have control over your meeting. Join your meeting a few minutes ahead of the start time so the early birds can join and get settled in. Remember to mute participants too. It helps with feedback and unnecessary background noise.
 

Author: 
Dabney Weems
Kim Smodic - Chief Information Security Officer