With stricter safe distancing measures in place, people are more dependent on technology for home-based learning, remote work meetings and to connect with friends and loved ones during this unprecedented time.
However, there have been reports of virtual meetings being hacked by intruders who join a meeting to listen in on confidential discussions or disrupt a meeting by sharing inappropriate media. Once these hackers have gained access to virtual meeting rooms, they can also potentially trick participants into clicking on malicious links shared via the chat, allowing hackers to steal credentials.
In light of the current landscape, TOUCH Cyber Wellness has rounded up six simple and effective safety practices which we can adopt for safer and more fruitful virtual meetings.
USE GENERATED IDS (NEVER REUSE MEETING IDS)
Make sure to generate a random ID when scheduling a meeting instead of using your personal ID to prevent unwanted guests from gate-crashing. Do also generate a new meeting ID for each meeting instead of reusing an old one to make it harder for potential intruders to hack into the session.
Beyond creating a unique meeting ID for each meeting, meeting hosts should set a unique password for each session. Make passwords mandatory for all your meetings to guard against uninvited guests and to secure meeting information.
Validate attendees at the start of the meeting and review participant list during the virtual meeting. Remove anyone who is not supposed to be a part of the meeting.
USE “WAITING ROOM” FUNCTION
The “Waiting Room” function puts participants in a separate virtual room before the meeting and allows the host to admit only people who are supposed to be in the room.
LOCK MEETING ONCE PATICIPANTS HAVE JOINED
Similar to physically locking a room after all attendees have arrived, most video conferencing platforms have tools to virtually lock the room when all invited participants are present. This prevents any unauthorised users from secretly joining halfway through the meeting. To do this on Zoom, click ‘Manage Participants’ at the bottom of the screen. When the panel opens, click on ‘More’ then ‘Lock Meeting’.
DISABLE RECORDINGS & SCREEN SHARING
The host should always disable recordings and screen sharing to prevent any errant intruders from recording confidential discussions or sharing inappropriate media through their screens. Hosts can set their screen sharing or recording function to ‘Host Only’ prior to the meeting.
Arm yourself with these safety tips and have peace of mind for your future virtual meetings!
TOUCH Cyber Wellness has prepared a guide to using Zoom (Video conferencing tool)