How to Protect Your Privacy on Zoom and Other Video Conferencing Platforms

08 Jan 2023

Video conferencing has become the norm in the online communication sphere. With the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns, virtual meetings and conferences are becoming the go-to way of connecting with colleagues and friends. Not surprisingly, services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and others have seen their user base grow exponentially in the last few months.

While these platforms provide an easy way of interacting with people while in lockdown, they can also put your privacy at risk if you’re not careful. Zoom, in particular, has had several security incidents, prompting people to look for secure alternatives.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways you can keep your privacy intact while using video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype. We’ll cover the basics of secure communication and the steps you can take to stay secure on these popular platforms.

The Significance of Protecting Your Privacy

In the current digital age, protecting your privacy is more important than ever before. As technology continues to evolve, so do the ways in which hackers and cybercriminals can access and exploit user data. This is particularly true when it comes to video conferencing platforms, which involve the transmission of sensitive data, such as audio and video recordings, messages, and other types of information. As such, it is essential to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your data from malicious actors. 

1. Using a Waiting Room to Keep Your Privacy Secure

To take to keep your privacy secure on Zoom or any other video conferencing platform is to use a Waiting Room. A Waiting Room is a feature that allows the host to control who is allowed to join the meeting. The host can view all the participants who have joined the Waiting Room and can approve each user to join the meeting. This is a good way to keep out any uninvited guests who may be trying to join the meeting. It also gives the host the ability to monitor who is attending and makes it easier to remove any suspicious or unwanted participants.

2. Using Random Meeting IDs to Protect Your Privacy

It is also important to use a Random Meeting ID when setting up a meeting. This is a unique identifier that is generated for each meeting. It helps to ensure that the meeting is secure and also prevents any potential intruders from joining the meeting without the host’s permission. It is also important to remember that the Random Meeting ID should not be shared on any public forums or platforms in order to keep it secure.

3. Using Virtual Backgrounds to Hide Your Surroundings

Using a virtual background is another way to protect your privacy while using Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. Virtual backgrounds allow you to hide your surroundings, which can prevent any unwanted visitors from seeing where you are located. This is a great way to keep your personal information secure while also allowing you to present in a professional manner. It is also important to note that when using a virtual background, you should make sure that your background does not contain any sensitive information.

4. Turning Your Camera or Microphone Off to Improve Your Privacy

The fourth step you can take to ensure your privacy is to turn off your camera and microphone when not in use. This prevents any unwanted guests from seeing or hearing anything that you may be discussing. You can also set up rules for when the camera and microphone should be turned on and off. This is a great way to make sure that only those who are invited can join the meeting and that all participants are respecting each other’s privacy.

5. Avoid Links in Chatrooms to Keep Your Data Secure

Finally, it is important to avoid sharing any links in chatrooms. This includes links to external websites that can be used to steal data or to allow malicious software to enter your system. It is also important to be aware of any links that may be sent during a video conference, as some of these links may be malicious and should be avoided.

6. Don't Advertise Meetings on Social Media

When setting up a meeting, one of the first steps you should take is to protect your privacy by not advertising the meeting on social media. Even if it's just a personal conversation between close friends, it's important to make sure that it's kept off of publicly accessible sites. This will help to ensure that your conversation isn't being monitored by malicious third parties.

7. Ask for Permission to Record

Many video conferencing platforms allow users to record their conversations. While this can be a useful tool for sharing information or for archiving important conversations, it's important to make sure that everyone involved in the meeting is aware of the recording and has given their consent to having their conversations recorded.

8. Be Careful With Screen Sharing

When using video conferencing platforms, it's also important to be careful when it comes to screen sharing. It's easy to accidentally share sensitive information or personal data if you're not careful. Therefore, it's important to make sure that you only share the screen when necessary and that you're aware of what information you're sharing.

9. Keep Software Up to Date

Finally, it's important to keep the video conferencing software you're using up to date. This will help to ensure that any security vulnerabilities or bugs in the software are fixed and will also help to ensure that your conversations and data remain secure.

10. Take Steps to Protect Your Computer and Wi-Fi

Lastly, it is important to keep your computer and Wi-Fi secure. This is essential to protect your information and prevent any malicious hackers from accessing it. You can do this by using strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and regularly updating your security software. Additionally, if you ever notice any suspicious activity in a meeting, it is important to report it immediately to the platform you are using. By taking all of these measures, you can ensure that your privacy is protected while using video conferencing platforms.

Video conferencing is becoming increasingly popular as a way to communicate with colleagues and clients. However, it’s important to take steps to protect your privacy when using these platforms. From using strong passwords and two-factor authentication to setting the recording function to “no” and using a VPN, there are a number of ways to ensure that your video conferences are secure and private. By following these steps, you can ensure that your data and conversations remain safe and secure.