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Since the coronavirus pandemic, companies have conducted online meetings. Video calls and online conferences have become part of our routine. Work isn’t something we’re used to anymore. With the proliferation of numerous coronavirus-related phishing schemes, it’s pretty hard for the average office worker to spot the legit or the fake news.

Security on all online interactions

Often times, security is the last thing on our minds. For the most part, we do not mind of the security measure; we just assume that one meetings and interactions are secure.

Access codes can help secure the meeting. Of course, you would not want to randomly joining your meeting. Imagine, if your team is talking about sensitive information, then, somebody from another department suddenly joins the meeting.

Sadly, if you do not restrict meetings with passwords or if you do not set them up properly, other employees, random people, or even online trolls can interrupt such private and important meeting. Thus, it is extremely crucial for you to implement basic safety measures to help secure the privacy of the ones involved in the meeting.

If implementation of such security are strictly followed, it lead to possible data breaches in the future. This could be a costly consequence for the company. So, what are the basic things you should do?

The tips to follow:

The tools to use in meetings are really dependent on your preference. I have discussed pro-privacy tools in a separate post.

Anyway, without considering the platforms you will use for your online meetings, there a number of things that you should follow to make sure that the online meeting is secure:

  • Set rules for conducting a virtual meeting and everyone involved should follow the given instructions.
  • Provide unique access codes; no two meeting should have the same passwords especially if you will discuss sensitive information. For a more secure meeting, set a unique identifier code among the attendants.
  • Speaking of passwords, make sure that passwords are alphanumeric; it shouldn’t be predictable. Avoid common words like,  “password”, “meeting1”, “conference02”, “1234pass”, and so on.
  • If you can, check who the participants are. Meeting attendees should identify themselves. Boot unidentified participants out of the meeting.
  • When you are having a video call, limit the participants who have screen-share capabilities.  Remind everyone to avoid carelessly sharing information.
  • If unused, do not allow file sharing, screen sharing, or anything like it.

Additional steps to follow:

  • Use only company-approved tools; if you are invited to join online meetings, do not share pins or passwords to anyone.
  • Oversee the meeting attendees and all times. Restrict access if all the participants are in.
  • The department heads or the host should only be the one screen sharing. Average participants should just listen and respond when asked.
  • Lastly, meetings should ONLY be on company-issued devices. Avoid using personal computers or mobile phones.

Online meetings are NEW to some people

For some people, virtual meetings are uncharted territory. If you are one of them, please know policies of your company and strictly follow them. Omnipotech is here to help you if you need more security tips for your company. Contact Omnipotech Support Center and talk to an IT professional about cybersecurity.

In Pro-Privacy Tools to Use When You Are Planning to Work from Home (Part 1), I talked about few tools on video conferencing and other related devices on promoting privacy when communicating with teammates. Now, I will discuss options related to web browsers, email apps,  chat apps, and many others. Let’s get right into it!

Web Browsers: 

  • Well, for browsers, there are a number of pro-privacy tools you can use like VivaldiBrave, or Firefox. Plus, whatever browse you end up choosing, you can still add the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension on your desktop browser.
  • Not only that, if you are more of a mobile user than a desktop users, there’s also the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser, which is downloadable on both Google Play and AppStore. The great thing about this mobile browser is that it has a “fire” button that will instantly clear all logs, history, and activities on the browser.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

  • To be honest, this is kinda tricky. VPN is used to secure your internet traffic by masking your IP address. However, it does not mean that you are invisible to everyone. Remember, with or without VPN, your internet service providers can still see your traffic. Personally, I would NOT want to recommend a free VPN service. The same is stated on a CNET article right here.
  • Just to make it clear: VPN is not all you need to remain private or anonymous on the web. For an expert advice regarding Cybersecurity and anything related to IT Consulting, I suggest you contact Omnipotech’s Support Center or call 281-768-4800. Again, your Internet Service Provider can still monitor your internet activity and your IP address. I have made a separate post on the factors in choosing the right VPN for you so be sure to check that out!

Email Service Providers:

  • You are not stuck with Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. In fact, there are far more options for you because there are truly pro-privacy email apps out there. Let’s start with ProtonMail and TutaNota. Both are paid versions, but you can use their free account with limited features. Moreover, both offer end-to-end encryption and the only difference? TutaNota servers are based in Germany while ProtonMail is based in Switzerland. For a US alternative, Fastmail is an option to explore. They have data centers in Manhattan, New York and Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Chat Apps:

  • When you want to keep in touch with family and friends, Signal is the ideal tool for private messages and calls. Every message and every call is secured by an end-to-end encryption. Signal is recommended by the one and only Edward Snowden. If Edward Snowden is NOT enough to convince you, I don’t know what will.
  • If you want a business alternative, maybe you would want to check out MatterMost. For starters, it has layered security options and TLS encryption. Multi-factor authentication is also added for more security.

Conclusion

Google is not only the search engine out there. In these difficult times, you should not compromise your privacy and security just because of newly discovered disease. Things, like COVID-19, are beyond one’s control, and to be honest, all we can do is trust our medical experts and stop the spread of fake news. Help protect yourself – and your family as well – by following these 4 Tips in Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus Phishing Sites

 

 

One partner from desktop to datacenter, who can manage and support it all—that’s OMNIPOTECH.

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