With technology evolving rapidly over the last few years, it has become a staple within just about every business environment. The traditional concept of working in an office daily started to dwindle as the opportunity to work from home became possible through different vices like remote desktops and workspaces and, more commonly, video conferencing. With the recent impact of COVID 19, the only way a business could stay afloat and keep their people employed was to convert to a 100% remote culture, making video conferencing the key tool in making that possible.
Video conferencing allows for communication internally within a business and with external entities or clients; it allows for building rapport and interpersonal relationships with those you work with. There are numerous options when it comes to video conferencing like, Microsoft Teams which also enables team members to chat, create groups, share files, and schedule meetings directly through the application. Having these meetings digitally means taking the necessary measures to ensure you are doing so securely.
Here are some of the best practices to securely use video conferencing:
1. Make sure you are connected through a VPN.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and basically turns any public connection into a private one. It allows users to securely share data while connected to a public or shared network when working from home. In simpler terms, a VPN is a buffer to connect two local networks through a public one. It allows the user access to the resources and tools necessary remotely, making working from home possible. This also allows for secure use of your videoconferencing tool, especially when sharing files.
2. Ensure your work-from-home device being used for video conferencing is encrypted or limited from personal use.
Most companies provide their employees with the appropriate equipment to ensure that they can succeed in the position they are hired for. More than not, especially at tech-based companies, users will find that the equipment or hard drive provided is encrypted. Many users will find that they cannot access certain websites, like social media, for example, while on their work computer or while videoconferencing is in session.
3. Make sure you are using a strong password for your login.
This point is straightforward. As technology progresses, so does the capability and access of hackers. Ensuring that you choose and use a strong password prevents hackers from accessing confidential files that would put a company at risk. Examples of strong passwords typically include at least 8 characters that consist of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and a special character.
4. Make sure to change your password after 45-90 days.
To follow up on the previous point, having a strong password does not eliminate getting hacked, but changing it every 45-90 days can significantly reduce that risk. Many companies automate this requirement for their employee emails and virtual conferencing tool accounts. Microsoft Teams allows administrators to schedule password update requirements, which keeps each user account that much more secure.
5. Make sure the software you are using is up to date.
By promptly updating the software, users ensure that the appropriate security measures are downloaded to their devices. Tools like Microsoft Teams provide updates to their software to further the capabilities within video conferencing, like the office/classroom view, for example. With these continued updates, they also ensure their security measures are updated. This enables users to continue to screen share, discuss confidential work, share files, and more without the worry of it getting into the wrong hands.