Teleconferencing Tips

We are all facing a new normal and, for some, that means a quick transition to a remote work situation. Thankfully, there is technology that exists to support remote work. We just have to know how to use it safely.

During this time of social distancing, many workplaces have turned to video teleconferencing apps as a substitute for in-person meetings. Zoom has been a popular choice because it’s free and pretty easy to use, but there are other options out there. You may have already used one for personal or professional interactions in the past.

As with any new app or software, there are security and etiquette issues to consider, especially when you are representing your organization. Here are some things to think about before you jump on your next video teleconference.

Secure Meetings

First, when you create your video teleconferencing account (or right now if you already have one!), protect it with a strong and unique password. It could be damaging to your work reputation if your account is hacked.

If you are hosting a meeting, make sure it’s password protected. This way, only people with the password can join your meeting. Your meeting will be limited to those with a “need to know,” and you can avoid disruptions from uninvited guests. Only send the meeting invite to those that are invited. Don’t post the meeting invite publicly. This can definitely invite unwanted guests!

If you are sharing confidential data, check with a supervisor to make sure it’s okay to share in the meeting. Personally identifiable information (PII) should never be shared in a public meeting. If your meeting is recorded, make sure your participants know and have given their permission.

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Tele-Etiquette

When you are on a video teleconference, mute your mic unless you are speaking. If you are the creator, you may choose to automatically mute attendees as they join. This will prevent idle or distracting chatter as the meeting begins. As a last resort, as the host you can remove participants if necessary. Use the option to lock screen sharing, too, as this can prevent unwanted distractions as well.

Finally, to protect your own privacy when the meeting is over, cover your webcam. Hackers have been known to remotely access webcams to see and record inside of people’s homes. A piece of tape over the webcam is a simple and effective security measure.

Using Zoom? Check out our quick guide to Zoom settings for a safer Zoom meeting.

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