Category Archives: Video Conferencing

Best Practices for Effective Video Conferencing
17 May

Best Practices for Effective Video Conferencing

To make your video conferencing meetings more productive and rewarding for everyone, review the general video conferencing best practices, and learn how to improve the experience whether you are an onsite participant or a remote participant.

Video conferencing best practices

Follow these tips to ensure a more successful video conferencing meeting.

Prior to a meeting:

  • When using equipment or locations not regularly used, test your meeting connections in advance.
  • When possible, establish online video conferencing connections several minutes before the meeting start time.
  • Create a backup communication plan in case you have trouble connecting with remote participants. A backup plan can include asking onsite participants to connect to the meeting through their laptops, using a mobile or speakerphone, and/or collaborating through an online collaboration tool (e.g., Google docs).

During a meeting:

  • Have all participants share their video and audio. No lurkers.
    • Ensure all participants can see and hear all other participants, as appropriate.
    • Ensure conference room microphones are distributed appropriately to pick up all speakers.
    • Ensure location lighting does not limit a participant’s visibility (e.g., avoid backlighting from windows or lamps).
  • Have participants mute their microphones if their location has excessive background noise or they will not be speaking.
  • Have a meeting facilitator — often, but not always, the person who called the meeting.

The facilitator is responsible for:

  • Providing an agenda to participants — ahead of the meeting is nice, but minimally at the start of the meeting — that includes an overview of topics to be covered and planned outcome;
  • Establishing the visual or verbal cues, such as raising a hand, to indicate when someone wants to actively contribute verbally to the meeting;
  • Engaging participants at all locations to ensure discussion understanding, and alignment;
  • Limiting “side conversations” and multitasking or ensure all participants are made aware of that content;
  • Make sure all participants have equal access to content by sharing all content within the video conferencing connection and using online tools (e.g., Google docs) whenever possible.

Tips to improve a video conferencing meeting if you are onsite

Follow these steps to connect an H.323 or SIP-based room system to a video conferencing meeting.

After you connect with the video conferencing software, you will see a splash screen and be prompted to enter your meeting ID.

Enter the meeting ID that is listed on your meeting invitation email.

The video conferencing software then connects your room system to the meeting.

See the following Zoom video for tips on setting up a room for video conferencing.

Tips to improve a video conferencing meeting if you are remote

If you participate remotely in a video conference, follow these instructions to ensure the best experience.

  1. Try to connect via a wired Ethernet cable. This prevents WiFi dropouts and speed issues.
  2. If connecting from a laptop, plug in the laptop wall power. Battery use can adversely affect video quality.
  3. Test the connection before the call; this is strongly recommended.
    • If you use Zoom: Go to the Zoom site to test your audio connection or test your video connection.
    • If you use WebEx: Go to your WebEx Personal Room. Test your audio connection using the Audio pull-down menu. Test your video connection by viewing the screen in your Personal Room.
  4. Ensure that you have a camera, microphone, and headphones or speakers available. Earbuds or headphones are preferable to avoid audio feedback and echo. Most modern laptops and all-in-one desktops have a headphone jack, microphone, and speakers built-in.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings and how you appear visually.
    • Call from a quiet location with no background noise.
    • Close blinds on windows so that you are easier to see on the video.
    • Wear neutral, solid-colored clothing. Avoid black, white, or striped clothing.
  6. Be aware of your behavior. Because you are in a video conference, people can see what you are doing at all times.
  7. Follow all instructions in the video conferencing invitation and note important supplemental information, such as a backup phone number in case you are disconnected.


Malicious Domains and Files Related to Zoom Increase, ‘Zoom Bombing’ on the Rise
05 Apr

Malicious Domains and Files Related to Zoom Increase, ‘Zoom Bombing’ on the Rise

Threat actors take advantage of the increased usage of video conferencing apps is reflected in the rise of malicious domains and files related to Zoom application. Cases of “Zoom bombing” has been witnessed as well. The use of Zoom and other video conferencing platforms has increased since many companies have transitioned to a work-from-home setup due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Registrations of domains that reference the name of Zoom has significantly increased, according to Check Point Research. More than 1,700 new domains related to Zoom were registered since the beginning of 2020, but 25% of this number was only registered in the past week. From these domains, 4% have been found with suspicious characteristics.

Other communication apps such as Google Classroom have been targeted as well; the official domain has already been spoofed as googloclassroom\[.]com and googieclassroom\[.]com.

The researchers were also able to detect malicious files containing the word “Zoom,” such as “zoom-us-zoom_##########.exe” (# representing various digits). A file related to Microsoft Teams platform (“Microsoft-teams_V#mu#D_##########.exe”) was found as well. Running these files installs InstallCore PUA on the user’s computer, which could allow other parties to install malware.

In addition to malicious domains and files, the public is also warned of Zoom bombing, or strangers crashing private video conference calls to perform disruptive acts such as sharing obscene images and videos or using profane language. Attackers guess random meeting ID numbers in an attempt to join these calls. Companies and schools, holding online classes, have fallen victim to this. Zoom has released recommendations on how to prevent uninvited participants from joining in on private calls.

Zooming in on work-from-home set up security

The transition of many companies to a work-from-home (WFH) arrangement has brought about its own set of security concerns. For one, the increased reliance of companies on video conferencing apps for communication can inadvertently expose businesses to threats and even possibly leak classified company information.

Employees are advised to properly configure the settings of these apps to ensure that only those invited can participate in the call. Users are also advised to double-check domains that may look related to video conferencing apps and verify the source before downloading files. Official domains and related downloads are usually listed in the apps’ official websites.

Besides securing the use of video conferencing apps, users can also protect their WFH setups through the proper use and configuration of a virtual private network (VPN) and remote desktop protocol (RDP), which are commonly used for remote connection. Choosing strong passwords and setting up two-factor authentication (2FA) will also help secure accounts. Users are also reminded to be wary of online scams, including those that use content related to COVID-19 to lure possible victims.