Top-notch modern communication technologies enable us to contact anyone and transfer any information in real-time in just a few clicks or touches — whether it is an ordinary chat with your family, a job interview, a Friday online party with friends, or an important business meeting. All these events have one thing in common — we, as users, want them to be totally secure. Whether gossiping with your girlfriends or sharing confidential information with your client, we want to be sure that our data won’t leak outside the video-conferencing room. Unfortunately, not all online calling apps offer seamless security as their #1 feature. Let’s figure out how not to become a victim of Zoombombing and how to encrypt your online calls.
Online Calls — How Secure Is It?
Most video conferencing and online calling applications have built-in security protocols guaranteeing user confidentiality. However, they can’t always 100% protect you. As information is the king and queen of everything in this world, hackers develop new approaches to attack and steal. Zoombombombing became one of them. It’s not hard to guess that it originated from attacks on Zoom calls, but it spread quickly to other video conferencing applications. Zoombombombing is an intrusion caused by invaders breaking into an online call. In such cases, hackers sneak in and eavesdrop, attempting to steal the confidential information discussed. Other hackers may intentionally disrupt the meeting by playing loud noises or displaying offensive images (such as porn) to insult users. Is there a way to avoid this? We have prepared a list of simple steps you can take to encrypt and secure your data and communication.
Ways to Secure Your Online Calls
Avoid Unidentified Numbers
In today’s world, anonymous calls or calls from unknown numbers with no warning are more likely to arouse suspicion and concern than interest. When you plan any online meeting (you can learn about various business meeting types by Whoosh and how to arrange them), you send out invitations to all participants and know exactly who should not be at your meeting. Anonymous callers are the biggest threat that personal and commercial users of online calling apps should fear. Most companies and services text first to arrange a call to avoid disturbance.
Update Your Apps
Hackers don’t sit still and constantly look for new ways to access your data illegally. Without updates, your apps and devices become more vulnerable to hacking attempts. You underestimate the importance of updates. Not only can they offer new features or bug fixes, but they can also include troubleshooting security flaws. Hackers learn from developers’ programs, and developers learn from hackers’ methods of breaking and trying to make the security of your data as advanced as possible. It is important to remember that some applications need to be updated manually.
Not all apps offer the highest level of security during calls by default. We suggest checking your settings yourself to make sure you are protected. Go to the appropriate settings section in the app and turn on all privacy features to guarantee a safe online call. This way, you can control your visibility to other people on the internet, the ability for strangers to call you, send messages, etc. Additional privacy settings are the minimum that every user can do to increase their security.
Choose Safe Apps
Think about the privacy of your conversations ahead of time and do a little research. Analyze the apps on the market and choose those that offer encryption, as this is the best way to prevent the disclosure or theft of confidential information. For example, Whoosh was explicitly designed for the public sector, and it uses end-to-end encryption to protect its users. Choose your online communication app wisely, so you don’t regret your decision.
Use a Reliable Internet Connection and Proxy Server
Using a public Internet connection (café, co-working room, mall) does not guarantee the security of your data. If you need to call from one of these places, we advise you to use a VPN. And if the call involves some vulnerable information, you should probably find a better and safer place. Many companies use proxy servers that provide increased privacy. If you are considering a proxy server for your personal needs, choose the best one possible, as the wrong choice can be a security mistake.
Minimize File Sharing
Most online communication applications support file sharing. This is convenient and practical — you can share videos, photos, or important documents. However, you should treat such files with caution.
We advise you to use cloud storage and open access to the necessary files to avoid information leakage or malware downloading. Moreover, this will help avoid embarrassing situations where certain information can be mistakenly sent to another employee or friend. During a call when someone else might join without you noticing it, it’s better to limit the file sharing function inside the app. It’s better to send those files later than risk.
No Call Recording
To increase data security, we recommend turning off the ability to record a call before you start communicating. In this case, other participants will either not be able to record your conversation, or you will receive a notification that your conversation is being recorded. Turning off the recording option will help prevent data or information shared during a conversation from being leaked to others.
As hackers get craftier, you must be more alert in protecting your personal or business lives. Following our simple tips will help you minimize the risks.