On May 1, 2020, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada shared some information regarding videoconferencing on its blog, “Videoconferencing – Maintain your physical distance, but keep your personal information close”.
The tips contained in the post aim to deal with issues we are currently facing regarding social distancing with respect to COVID-19. In order to adapt to the situation and continue with our lives, we are using videoconferencing services more frequently. We could be using these services for personal, educational, work, or other reasons.
Without a doubt, videoconferencing services provide us with the tools we need in order to make necessary and meaningful connections − they are valuable; however, there are some privacy concerns associated with video calls that need to be addressed.
To that end, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has created a list of tips to help users when engaging in videoconferencing services.
There are 11 tips set out in the post. Here are a few examples:
- always use unique, difficult-to-guess passwords, whether it is when creating the account or inviting people to meetings (require a password for all meetings)
- remember to make the meetings private or only accessible to invited participants − do not publicly post a video conference announcement to social media
- take protective measures such as disabling certain features; some of these features include participants’ ability to record calls, join before host, screen sharing, or file transfers
- be careful about what personal information is disclosed during calls and what background information can be seen or heard
For further information, take a look at a helpful post I found by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (authors: Gennie Gebhart and Rory Mir) entitled, “Harden Your Zoom Settings to Protect Your Privacy and Avoid Trolls” here.
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