Tips for Ensuring Data Security When Using Conferencing Apps
One of the outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic is the move towards remote working for businesses, virtual learning in schools and universities, and more reliance on online delivery for restaurants and supermarkets. These events called for a change in the way people handled tasks before the pandemic. One important aspect of this change was the fact that businesses stopped doing face-to-face meetings, and instead, substituted them with virtual conferences. But how did this affect the overall security of companies?
Unfortunately, with the rise of online meetings and the increased use of these conferencing applications, there was a rise in cyber security threats and data breaches. In this article, we will go over some key tips that will help you ensure your data and identity safety.
You can either allow participants to start chatting the moment two or more join the meeting, or you can choose to restrict their interactions. This way, you, or the host that you assign, will be the ones in control of what is said and shared in the meeting.
Not only should you enforce the meeting’s starting rights, but you should also have a waiting room for participants before entering the meeting. This way, you can filter participants and make sure you only grant access to the ones who are authorized to be in the meeting.
Even though using one ID for a recurring meeting can make things easier and simpler, it could be bad for your business’ security; if you always use the same ID, it will be easy for unwanted guests to get ahold of the ID and start attending your meetings and possibly leaking your data. So make sure always to use a new and unique ID for every meeting.
In addition to adding a waiting room and changing the meeting ID every time, you should also set a strong password for every meeting and only share it with the ones you want to give access to in order to ensure that only those who are authorized will in the meeting.
Once the attendees are in the meeting, you should lock the meeting to ensure that no one else joins after it starts. You can also set a time limit after which you will lock the meeting regardless of whether everyone has joined or not.
If you plan on recording a meeting, you should always inform all the attendees before you start recording, and you should remind them halfway through the meeting and at the end.
Now that many people join virtual meetings from their living rooms, bedrooms, and so on, conferencing applications provide a feature in which everyone can either choose a virtual background or blur their own backgrounds. This feature will protect the privacy and security of the attendees in case they have something confidential in the background. It also helps everyone stay focused and not get distracted by different backgrounds.
Virtual meeting applications offer chatting options within the meeting. Make sure no one shares any private or confidential data or information in the chat box, as it could be leaked easier this way. In addition to that, warn all of the attendees against pressing on any malicious or unknown link in the chat box, as not all video conferencing apps offer malware detection and virus scanners.
You should also place restrictions on the ones authorized to share their screens and those who are allowed to transfer files during a meeting. This will put you in control of any activity that will happen during a virtual meeting. According to cybersecurity experts, 90% of cyberattacks are caused by phishing attempts; if you disable file sharing in your meeting, no one will be able to share any malicious links.
The more people rely on video conferencing apps, the harder cyber attackers will try to get to confidential data. And so, these apps always have new updates to fix bugs and offer more privacy and security. Your job here is to update the app or software every time they launch a new update.
Although it might be tempting to use a free video conferencing service for your business, you should compromise your privacy and cyber-security for that reason; invest in a good VoIP phone system that offers features specifically designed for video conferencing to suit businesses of all sizes and needs. Paying a fixed amount monthly while ensuring your safety is better than using a free software and having your data breached.
When choosing a video conferencing app or software, make sure to choose one that offers strong encryption for your data. For example, some provide end-to-end encryption and VPN-like tunnels to ensure the security of the data transmitted.
Even though it could be tedious and time-consuming to read the fine print on data privacy when signing up with a video conferencing service, you don’t want to miss any important points that may compromise the security of your business’ data.
There are some recent allegations against some video conferencing apps claiming that those apps share confidential data with third parties without notifying users or taking their permission and consent for it. The right course of action to avoid having your data shared with our parties is to clear your Cookies before and after each and every call.
Public Wi-Fi can be very tempting to use, as it does not require any authentication to establish a network connection. The same thing that makes it tempting to use also makes it attractive for hackers and cyber attackers, as they will also be able to access it with no authentication to gain access to unsecured devices on the network.
If a call is compromised, you need to act quickly, as every minute you waste will possibly cause more damage. You need to mute all the attendees, inform them that the call has been compromised, and promptly end the call to control the damage.
Choosing and using the right conferencing app for your business will have a huge part in ensuring your company’s privacy and security. What you can do to have the most cost-effective option is to invest in a business VoIP phone system as an all-in-one solution that allows you to create a virtual office that includes all of your company’s needs. To help you with that, we have compiled a list of the best VoIP phone system providers on the market.
Ooma is an American telecommunications company that offers voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services. Ooma is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and rated an A+. It offers four VoIP plans for all business sizes and needs: Ooma Office, Ooma Office Pro, Ooma Enterprise, Ooma Enterprise Call Center. Below, we will go over their second plan in detail:
Ooma Office Pro
This is Ooma’s second plan that works like an upgraded version of the first plan; it charges $24.95 per user per month and includes many features, including:
- Video conferencing
- Call recording
- Voicemail transcription
- Caller info match
- Call analytics
- Call through Ooma's desktop app
- 3-click provision
- 24/7 support
- 99.999% uptime with SLA
- LTE Primary and Failover connectivity
- Advanced business phone features
- Single or multi-location
Video conferencing with Ooma has its own list of features that make it the best option for your business. These features include:
- Screen Sharing: The host can share their desktop screen and can allow certain participants to share theirs.
- Chat: Participants can send each other unlimited messages during the video call.
- Mute Options: The host can choose to mute a certain participant or all participants.
- One-time and Recurring Meetings: You can schedule a one-time meeting or a recurring meeting to be available as frequently as needed.
- Meet Now for Ad Hoc Meetings: Anyone can join in for a sudden unplanned meeting using your unique meeting ID.
- Password Option: You can choose to set a password for your meeting and share it only with those who you want to be in the meeting.
To ensure the safety of its users, Ooma uses tunnels similar to virtual private networks (VPNs) to encrypt the data. Ooma utilizes the highest level of encryption, the same one used by governments, banks, and the military to protect their most confidential data. So you can rest assured that your company’s data is in good hands.
Dialpad provides voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) services with features that can benefit businesses in many ways. Dialpad offers three VoIP plans: Dialpad Talk Standard, Dialpad Talk Pro, and Dialpad Talk Enterprise. Below we will talk about the Talk Pro plan in detail:
Dialpad Talk Pro
This plan starts at $25 per user per month, and it includes all the features in the basic plan plus:
- CRM integration
- Unlimited meetings
- Local number supported in over 50 countries
- Hold ques
- International SMS
- Desk phone support
- Slack, Zapier, and Zendesk integration
- 25 ring groups
- 24/7 phone support
Dialpad offers specific features for virtual conferences, including:
- Mute Call Participants: You can be in full control of the call to reduce noise and increase productivity.
- Private Conference Calls: Dialpad provides high levels of encryption to keep your conference safe and private. You also get PINs, lobby alerts, and other features for more protection.
- Administrator Login for Meetings: You can choose to let someone schedule meetings and conference calls on your behalf.
Dialpad uses a very high level of encryption known as SRTP (Secure Real-Time Protocol). SRTP is a highly secure protocol designed specifically for transferring real-time media.
RingCentral is a VoIP systems provider that offers multiple plans for different needs and financial abilities in addition to specific features for video conferencing. Their most popular plan is the Essentials plan.
This is the most basic and popular plan, and it allows up to 20 users only. You will be charged $19.99 per user per month if you pay annually. However, if you choose to pay monthly, you will be charged $29.99 per month per user. With this plan, you get the following features:
- Team messaging
- Unlimited calls within the United States and Canada
- Unlimited business SMS
- Document sharing
- Toll-free and business phone numbers
RingCentral offers multiple features regarding video conferencing, including:
- Interactive Screen Sharing: You can share your screen with up to 500 people; this includes sharing your desktops, files, presentations, applications, or whiteboards from your computers or smart devices.
- Breakout Rooms: The host can create up to 50 breakout sessions within the conference room. This helps with training by splitting participants into smaller groups.
- One-Click Scheduling: RingCentral integrates Microsoft Outlook; this means you can start, schedule, and update your meeting without leaving Outlook.
RingCentral uses an end-to-end encryption method known as MLS, or Message Layer Security, to protect the privacy and security of its users.