Video conference safely
20 August 2021
While many workers prepare for returning to the office, a large proportion of us will still be spending some of our time, at least, working from home. Which means continuing to collaborate with co-workers virtually.
During the past 16 months, we’ve become used to working fully online and using various video conferencing tools as a way to stay connected with colleagues and to get our work done. We think it’s worth taking a minute to review your set up at home and asked one of technical security specialists at UK NACE to share some advice to help us use video-conferencing platforms safely.
Keep apps up to date
Make sure that the conferencing app you are using and your phone, tablet or computer has installed all the latest security updates. You can check this by going into your settings. Be sure to only install apps from official sources such as your device’s app store to reduce the risk of online cyber exploitation
Be careful with access codes
Limit the number of times you use the same access code when virtually joining a phone or video call. This will reduce the risk of someone joining the call without you knowing and listening in.
Check who is in the call
Monitor who is joining, especially when there are a lot of people on the call, to make sure there are no anonymous parties listening.
Be careful when discussing sensitive information
Remember always be aware of the sensitivities around the subject of your conversations and don’t be afraid to remind your colleagues if they start to discuss any sensitive information that you may feel uncomfortable about. Assume it is always possible for your conversations to be overheard or intercepted. Ideally, keep your mobile devices out of earshot or store them in a KSL Mobile protection box if available.
Consider your environment
Take a moment to have a look around and see what or who might overhear you? Does your camera view show any sensitive personal information in the background? Is there a digital voice assistant (e.g. Siri or Alexa) in the room with you? Is your window open and could you be heard from passers by outside?
Use a headset
Using a headset with an in built microphone means that you won’t have to raise your voice to be heard clearly, and will also keep the other side of the conversation private to you. Check your organisation’s security policy for advice about what headset types are acceptable.
For more information, take a look at this article from the NCSC – our fellow National Technical Authority – on using video conferencing services securely.
We are the UK’s national authority in protecting technical security, and work alongside the NCSC and NPSA.
Many workplaces have been empty over the past 15 months and it’s important to be aware of the risk of eavesdropping and technical attacks.