Online Meetings & Privacy in Today’s WFH Environment

Apr 16, 2020 Published Article

As a result of the COVID-19 (commonly referred to as the Coronavirus) pandemic, remote working arrangements have become the new norm.  For those working from home (WFH), the software program “Zoom Meetings,” has found a substantial increase in demand and popularity as a means to facilitate meetings online rather than meeting in person.  There are also a number of other similar platforms available for online meetings such as Skype and Teams (from Microsoft), Go to Meeting (from LogMeIn) and WebEx Meetings (Cisco).

Best Practices for Businesses - Privacy and Security Protocols

With these platforms becoming a necessity for businesses, there are a number of best practices that should be considered to safely conduct online meetings and teleconferences as well as protect information.  These include the following:

  • Upgrade to the most recent version of the program or application;
  • Use passwords, especially with recurring meetings;
  • Protect all passwords as well as personal meeting identifiers used in Zoom and other platforms;
  • Carefully moderate meetings and ask meeting attendees to identify themselves at the beginning of a meeting;
  • Consider allowing only authenticated users to participate in meetings;
  • Use the Waiting Rooms feature in Zoom; and
  • Enable features available only to meeting hosts.

Most of these protocols can be done easily through the settings function of the relevant application or program.

Keep in mind that is important to consider the meeting topic, the sensitivity and confidential, privileged or otherwise protected nature of what is to be shown or discussed, as well as whether the meeting is internal or with others, such as vendors or consultants.  If the information involved is of the type that you would not care if it were released to the public, or considered public information, then you may elect to employ only some of these protocols.  However, for highly confidential meetings or the sharing of confidential information, including the use of shared screens, utilizing all these protocols becomes imperative.

Why Does This Matter

Practicing cyber safety during this time is crucial for organizations and all employees.

  • As technology develops, we all need to proactively understand the technology and how to employ security practices to safely use the program.
  • There is no one size fits all solution that will serve as a good protocol for every business.  Every business has its own unique needs, and understanding those needs are crucial in implementing mindful cyber security.
  • Employees should be aware of cyber risks and provided guidance on technology they are expected to use when working from home.

For additional information, you can consult with a Task Force attorney by emailing or contacting our office directly at 949-854-7000.