From personal chats with family to healthcare visits to business meetings, video conferencing tools are helping people get through daily life. Though this way of communicating has made day-to-day life more convenient, the sharing of business-confidential communications, private health data and other sensitive information can have serious repercussions if not protected.
Though video conferencing technology helps people to stay connected in a variety of ways, it also poses new privacy and data risks you may not know. Below, we examine the security risks involved in video conferencing and provide tips on how to have a more secure video conference.
Types of video conferencing security risks
Like most internet-connected applications, video conferencing applications pose risks to improper access and even data leakage. Common security risks and vulnerabilities associated with popular video conferencing solutions include:
- Meeting bombing. This type of attack happens when uninvited guests join a video conference, usually disrupting the meeting by sharing inappropriate media. Meeting bombers can also join the meeting to gain access to information that is private or sensitive. This type of security risk can happen if a meeting is not password protected.
- Posting malicious links in the chat. If an attacker can access the meeting because it isn’t password-protected, they may be able to post malicious links via the chat feature. These links can lead users to inappropriate sites, as well as give the attackers the chance to steal credentials or install malware.
- Stolen meeting links. There is a risk in reusing meeting links. This makes it easier for attackers to access and use them. Just like reusing the same password across a variety of accounts can pose a threat to your account information, the same is true for a meeting link used and shared across a variety of people and platforms. If you do reuse the same meeting link, there are ways to protect you and other attendees, such as using a password. Below you’ll find more ways to keep your video chats secure.
How to have secure video chats
While video conferencing technology can pose threats via video hijacking or spamming, there are additional steps you can take to protect your privacy. Here are a few ways to have a more secure video conference and ensure your meetings are as safe as possible from intruders:
- Password-protect your meetings. Many popular video conferencing solutions now allow you to require a password. Anyone that wishes to join the meeting must use the password to enter. This security feature decreases the chances from malicious actors potentially spamming your private video call. Be sure to share the password information only to those intending to join the video call.
- Use a waiting room feature for your video meetings. The waiting room feature is a great way to monitor who is coming and going into your meeting. The host of the meeting grants access to users in the “waiting room,” keeping uninvited attendees out and preventing malicious attacks.
- Review the video conferencing app’s security settings. Take time to understand the security and privacy settings available to you through the video conferencing app. There may be security features you aren’t aware of that could detour any malicious attacks or hackers.
- Limit file sharing in the chat. To avoid links to spam or viruses, restrict file sharing the messaging column of a conference call. Furthermore, a host can limit the chat feature. This way, users are only able to message with the host and not with other members. This may prevent inappropriate file sharing or messaging.
Before choosing a video conferencing app (free or purchased), it’s important to investigate how safe the app has proven to be. Some video conferencing tools, like Microsoft Teams, offer more security features with a paid, premium account. For example, a Microsoft Teams premium account offers additional security tools such as multi-factor authentication and advanced reporting. Do your research and learn about the risks so that you can have a more secure video conference. To learn more about video conferencing, explore CenturyLink support articles such as video conferencing etiquette 101, how to improve video conferencing at lower speeds, how to prepare for the modern digital workplace and more.