It has been over a month now that most of us have been working remotely, which often includes video conferencing. The Zoom app became an overnight success, as it was quickly utilized for family, friends and business meetings. Questions arose, however, as to the security of Zoom, which didn’t seem to be prepared for the magnitude of its use and staying cyber secure in the process. The New York City Department of Education stopped its teachers from using Zoom to communicate with students because of certain bug issues. Zoom announced that it is now freezing its features updates to address these security concerns. Here were some of the issues, as outlined by cnet.com:
- The tattle tale attention tracking feature can tell your meeting host if you are paying attention, i.e. if you go more than 30 seconds without Zoom in full focus on your screen, the host can think you are not fully engaged. Many people at work, however, utilize split screens, including if they are jotting down notes, which does not mean they are not participating in the meeting.
- Cloud snitching: You can record meetings with chats and save in the cloud, but others, who have access but were not in attendance, could later access the meeting and all chats.
- Zoom can also send your analytic data to facebook.
Zoom is still an excellent platform, but there are other alternatives for office video conferencing. A recent article in digitaltrends.com outlined the following:
- Cisco Webex has been around for years and is reliable. There is a new free version available.
- Skype Meet Now keeps recordings of calls for 30 days. You can blur the background and share presentations. This is a good alternative.
- Jitsi Meet enables up to 75 to participate, has public and private chat and integrates with Slack, Google Calendar and Office 365. It also enables you to blur the background.
- Microsoft Teams is the application we most recommend. It allows up to 250 participants. You can also blur the background. It enables you to store all conversations and files, along with managing projects, file editing and sharing. You can connect face to face with HD audio and video, which is a great feature. Microsoft Teams is part of a paid commercial subscription to Office 365, so it is a seamless addition for a business already using Office 365.
Please contact us with any questions on video conferencing in general and video conferencing security. Stay healthy and safe!