How to Keep Your Online Meetings Secure

[1/25/2022] Online video conferencing makes working and socializing more convenient and more flexible than ever. And every year, tens of thousands of people convert to telecommuting and working from home.  The global pandemic only accelerated and expanded the trend.

There are many choices and ways to connect individuals and groups through online video conferencing from older platforms like Skype to the now widely used Zoom.

And with our high-speed, reliable fiber internet, you can enjoy clear, consistent video and audio conferencing online with your family, friends, and co-workers, and even feel as if you are in the very same room together!

Yet, security risks exist for online video conferencing users.  These risks can range from the unauthorized recording of video and audio conferences by outsiders to “Zoom Bombing,” where uninvited strangers can parachute into a seemingly private video conference and hijack it. Indeed, some incidents were so disturbing that the FBI felt the need to speak out and issued a public warning about the potential threats.

Fortunately, you can take steps to secure your online video conferences better. Read below to learn several ways to utilize this amazing technology safely and confidently.

  1. Meeting Passwords and Unique Meeting IDs

Establishing a personal, unique Meeting ID code before each online video conference and a separate, carefully-shared password or PIN number is one of the simplest—and best—measures you can take to secure your meeting. Don’t overlook this most basic of protections!

  1. Utilize the “Waiting Room”

Many online video conference apps offer a feature that allows the conference host to admit people to the “meeting room” from a “waiting room.” The waiting room enables the host to see who is trying to enter before they can actually join the conference, adding an extra level of security.

  1. Set Notifications

Allow “notifications” every time someone enters—or attempts to enter—the online video conference meeting room. This setting allows the conference room participants to see if any uninvited “guests” enter and try to create any mischief.

  1. Lock the Room

After you’ve set your unique meeting ID and password and safely admitted only invited participants into the conference, be sure to “lock the room.” This feature prevents anyone else from entering after you’ve locked the conference—and also encourages your guests to arrive on time for the meeting!

  1. Software Updates and Security Patches

The best online video conference software developers regularly test their programs and apps for security compromises and flaws. Occasionally, they will update their software and create security patches. These updates and security fixes are only protective if you and your fellow online video conference participants install them! So be sure to look out for these updates and patches, or even allow automatic updates!

Online video conferencing is a fantastic technology that brings people closer together—and can make working groups more collaborative and productive. Taking the five steps described above will help keep your online video conferences safe and secure.

For more tips on how to safely navigate the web using DayStarr fiber internet, be sure to follow our social pages!

Disposing of Old Devices Safely

[1/11/2022]Now that you’ve gotten those fun new electronic gadgets for Christmas, you’ll need to dispose of your old ones. You can’t just toss them in the garbage and start fresh with the latest iPhone since they’re full of your photos, emails, banking information and other important information.

Luckily, you can safely get rid of your old cell phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, then start enjoying those new devices with our internet!

Back It Up

The first step is to back up your information. Backing up your data regularly — even when you’re not getting rid of your device — is a good habit to get into. Whether it’s music you’ve downloaded, documents you’ve typed or pics you’ve snapped, backing up is a form of insurance in case your computer ever crashes or gets hacked.

When discarding an old device, think about what you want to keep. Some people back up everything and sort through it later, and there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you’ve owned your device for a while, backing up every single file might be a lengthy endeavor. You might prefer to pick and choose what you save.

Either way, you have three options for backing up your device. Data migration is a techy-sounding term for when data gets moved from one location to another. In this case, we’re talking specifically about storage migration, when information is changing storage mediums.

Device to Device – Some devices, like desktop computers, will allow you to transfer data between devices. Using Migration Assistant for either Mac and Windows, you can even transfer between the two different systems – although the process can be a little tricky for the less tech-savvy.

External Storage – In this case, your external storage device will be the middleman. You start by transferring all your data to a separate device. Depending on how much data you have, your drive could be as small as a USB flash drive or as big as an external hard drive.

The Cloud – The cloud is the current favorite for data migration because it’s super easy and doesn’t require any extra hardware. This transfers all your data to the cloud via the internet. Once complete, your files can be accessed from any device. It’s fast, simple and secure, making it the optimal choice for data migration beginners.

Do a Final Cleanup

Before you toss your old device, be sure to log out of all your websites, wipe any saved passwords and unpair your devices. Finally, erase the computer’s hard drive. You’re washing your digital fingerprint from the device and protecting yourself in the process. Most computers and mobile devices can be restored to factory settings through built-in utilities.

Toss It Without Hurting the Environment

Because empty devices are filled with electronic components and substances like lead, mercury and cadmium, they’re hazardous material and shouldn’t go into a landfill. Take it to your local hazardous and electronic waste depot. If it still has some life in it, consider donating it to someone else who might enjoy it!

Now you’re set to enjoy your new gadgets! Don’t forget you’ll need great internet to get the most out of them. Call us today at 989-720-6000 to learn what’s available in your area.