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Protecting video conference services

Protecting video conference services

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  • Make sure meetings are password protected.  In the user settings, turn on "Require a password" for instant meetings. Even when the setting is turned off, there may be the ability to require a password when scheduling a meeting. It may not be practical to password-protect every meeting, but conference organizers should use this measure as often as possible.
  • When possible, don't announce meetings on social media or other public outlets. Instead, send messages only to the participants.
  • Carefully inspect the list of participants periodically, whenever possible. This can be done by the organizer or trusted participants. Any users who are unauthorized should be removed. 
  • Carefully control screen sharing. User settings should allow organizers to set default sharing settings. People who rarely need sharing should turn it off altogether. Organizers should allow all participants to share screens only when the host knows and fully trusts everyone in a meeting.
  • Disable any Join Before Host options so that organizers can control the meeting from its very start.
  • Use the Waiting Room option to admit participants. This will prevent the admittance of hackers should they have slipped through any initial access.
  • Lock a meeting, when possible, once it's underway. This will prevent unauthorized people from joining later. Managing Participants allows an organizer to mute all participants, eject select participants, or stop select participants from appearing by video.
  • Be aware of everything that's within view of your camera. Whether working from home or in an office, there may be diagrams, drawings, notes, or other things you don't want other participants to see. Remove these from the view of the camera before the meeting starts.
  • If possible, consider using a browser to connect to meetings rather than the dedicated conferencing app. The number of vulnerabilities a hacker can exploit increases with every installed app.  Today, most browsers are hardened against attacks. Other types of software are less so.

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