The workplace climate has experienced a drastic change in just a few months. Physical workshops and brainstorming have now evolved to the new scenario the world is witnessing. Office sessions have now moved into video conferences, making technology and the internet an essential aspect in the working environment.
As modern employees continue to deviate from conventional workplace environments, cybersecurity risks continue to emerge. Although video conferences may be helpful, considering the workforce’s condition these days, it has become a favored target for hackers and cybercriminals. Owing to its vulnerabilities, it can be convenient for hackers on the watch to locate some loophole that they can manipulate in these simulated meetings.
If you regularly participate in video conferences, you need to make protection and safety your highest priority. You ought to implore some of the best practices to guarantee that the video conference meetings you attend to are not breached and that you are secure from any potential attacks.
Possible Attacks You Might Encounter In Video Conferences
Here are some of the security threats most people may experience while operating on a virtual landscape and attending video conferences.
There is a possibility that you connect to a malicious link in the conference chat room. These links usually trick attendees and will give opportunities to attackers to steal sensitive information. It can also compromise the networks of every participant when these links are clicked.
This form of attack involves an uninvited visitor who attends a video conference meeting. This visitor either listens to the conversation or creates chaos by sending inappropriate media to the conference room. It usually happens if you don’t set a password for your video conference meeting. It will also become possible when the intruder finds the ID of your meeting.
Malware can be embedded in malicious links in your conference chat rooms. Once clicked accidentally, it can penetrate whatever device you are using, lock you out of your files, or steal your confidential information.
Lost or Stolen Meeting Links
Meeting links can be replicated at your convenience; however, it is much easier for hackers to do their business. They can steal your links and use them to their advantage. To refrain anyone from infiltrating your chat rooms, be sure you don’t have an unknown party joining the virtual meeting. Disable the “join before host” so you can filter everyone who joins the video conference.
How To Keep Your Video Conferences Safe
To ensure that you will not be susceptible to any possible attacks from video conferences, here are some ways to keep you safe:
Your initial step to protect your virtual work sessions would be to use a password on your video conferences. That would avoid meeting bombing and any potential infiltration by an unwelcome visitor who will cause further harm to your meetings. Make passwords a necessary prerequisite for all your video conferences to enhance your security.
If the provider supports these services, allow passwords for each meeting you host. If you’re not the host, remind the person who it is to do it. Other resources can be used to restrict access to the video chat, such as the option to accept each delegate before participating.
Keep Your Software Up To Date
Many video conferencing providers are upgrading their apps when they hear about bugs, making updates essential. However, you can only find these alerts directly from the website of your tool provider. So make sure that you are always on the lookout for possible updates either on their website or from the app store, where you can find your video conferencing tool.
Follow Company Policies
If you’re working from home, it’s crucial to know and obey your business’s policy. Follow company rules like BYOD and other security policies that can keep you from cybersecurity threats. If your company allows BYOD or Bring Your Own Device, make sure that you abide by the policies and ensure that your device is safe. Failing to do this will not only compromise your safety but your whole organization as well.
If you are the company owner, always ensure you conduct virtual training for your workers. That will ensure that all your employees understand your policies and they are updated on your security guidelines.
Remember that both you and your company should take the appropriate measures to ensure that your network is safe. Therefore, your organization must ensure that it can manage all remote workers’ computers, devices, and other communication means.
Do Not Entertain Unexpected Invitation From Unknown Caller
Hackers may send emails to replicate video conferencing invites. These emails may contain malware installation links on your computer or smartphone. If you’re not scheduled to receive any video call invitation, check with the host individually first. If you are delegated as the host of the meeting, make sure that you inform the participants in advance that you will be sending a connection.
Do Not Share Any Meeting Link With Anyone
Although exchanging information on public forums such as social media is convenient, people should realize that cybercriminals can reach these meetings. It will be a quick way for them to find a way to penetrate your online video conferencing room. They can do this by only knowing the meeting details.
Strengthen Home Network Security
It is necessary to have a secure home network. Learn some of the measures you should take to ensure network stability better. Set up firewalls to drive unwelcome visitors safe. Make sure your router is safe. One way to do this is to reset the existing login name and password. It is crucial that your router is up-to-date and have stable encryption, such as WPA2 or WPA3. Always check your network settings and make sure they always have the new security updates. Updates patch vulnerability holes that could make the network insecure.
Utilize Host Controls
Video conferencing applications like Zoom provide “host controls” to moderate your meetings while you’re holding a virtual event. It allows you to handle the participants, throw out the uninvited visitor, or lock the conference room. Getting all of this control will help prevent disturbances in the chat room after the meeting has formally begun.
Setting permissions is vital to keep you in charge of who is on the call. If you set up a video conference with family members, it may be comfortable to ask everybody to have a password. Companies may set various standards of access, depending on who is making the calls. Some even send authentication method before reaching the call.
Install Security Software
It is necessary to install and run powerful protection software on all your devices. It will help give you protection and peace of mind when communicating with the outside world online. Having proper computer security helps malware, ransomware, and other viruses from infiltrating your system.
While it is easy to find free downloadable antivirus online, it cannot give you the proper protection most paid antivirus can. To have maximum protection for your computer, files, and work, you can have Bitdefender Total Security installed. It even comes with a Bitdefender Family Pack that can protect your whole family.
Do Not Allow File Transfer
Hackers who have access to your meeting room can send malicious files that the participant can accidentally click. When clicked or downloaded, these files can penetrate any open system. It can also obtain the participants’ username and credentials. You should disable file transfer during the meeting to prevent this from occurring. You and your coworkers can send the files you need by email after the meeting.
Use VPN and Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Cybersecurity experts highly recommended to use a VPN or virtual private network when using a video conferencing platform. VPNs will help protect your network link, mainly if you deal with employees remotely. Having a VPN will keep your private information secure by encrypting it.
To further protect your connection and video conferences, make sure you do not use any public Wi-Fi. Cybercriminals usually lurk in these connections, and they may penetrate every meeting room for video conferencing, particularly if they have a password or security encryption.
Know Your Webcam Do’s and Don’ts
Your webcam is a vital part of your video conferences. However, it would be best if you were mindful of using it. As much as possible, do not use your webcam unless required. That is because it can be a backdoor for hackers and cybercriminals to target your records.
Some cybercriminals can use spyware to spy on you with your webcam. So it would be best if you changed your video’s context, making it difficult for them to see every corner of your house. When your video conferences are done, make sure your camera is switched off. You may even opt to turn it off if you do not show or post any slides until you are expected to do so. You can also protect the camera with a sheet of tape or paper or an adhesive webcam cover to ensure your safety.
As almost all industries adapt to the new normal and the thoughts of going back to usual working arrangements are always out on the horizon, you should assume that video conferences will still be part of the working environment. As the rest of the workforce moves to this new standard, you need to ensure that hackers and cyber criminals can’t find a way to attack and exploit you in this setup. Following the right tips in the virtual working environment will help keep your cyber protection in place and for your colleagues and company.