In this pandemic era, almost every aspect of our work life is related to zoom video calls, online conferences, and virtual meetings. This trend will, however, not go away even after the pandemic era – a lot of companies and nonprofits have already started plans to have all or part of their teams work remotely, permanently. In these chaotic times, the number of run-off-the-mill virtual meeting tips can be overwhelming, and may also prevent nonprofits from getting the best guides out there, and therefore, run into security issues. We’ve prepared this guide for nonprofit teams, so you can own your team meetings and hold virtual meetings securely.

Employee training is key

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The very first step to getting your virtual meetings right and making them secure is to train employees. Your nonprofit’s management should design programs and if necessary, bring in resource persons to take employees through security measures when working from home, secure video conferencing, and how to avoid malicious actors. It’s true we’re in a digital age, but not all of our employees will know their way through these platforms. And nonprofits shouldn’t assume that employees will learn along. Security is a huge concern for any organization working from home and both management and employees should endeavor to stay safe while video conferencing.

Choose your video platform – and stick to it

There are many video conferencing platforms out there. From Zoom to Google Meet, the sheer number of tools, while a good thing in helping create more choices, it can also be hard trying to select the best. A good nonprofit organization would research and use not the popular video conferencing platform, but one that has all the features the organization needs to do better work. You should also stick to your video conferencing tools to get everybody acquainted with the software.

Double-check on meeting invitation links before clicking

There are malicious actors everywhere and one way they get you is to mimick the meeting invitation emails that your nonprofit organization sends whenever there’s a virtual conference. These links could come with  one of your company’s management name and your nonprofit’s logo. But instead of leading you to a meeting, these links send you to a phishing site or leads you to places where you can lose your data or reveal your nonprofit’s documents unknowingly. The best way is for nonprofit managers to create meeting times and send invite to employees – when it’s time for a meeting, all an employee needs to do is to click on the already generated link in the calendar or copy and paste the video conferencing code into the video software program. Ths prevents employees from clicking on or following any malicious link that camouflages itself as a meeting invite from their nonprofit.

Encourage employees to use a VPN

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Immediately you send employees to work from home, a lot can go wrong. They are suddenly outside the organization’s network system, and so are outside the security protocols you have put in place. This exposes their devices to many loopholes. Some employees may have home internet Wi-Fi with weak passwords and others may use a Wi-Fi serving an entire apartment. To prevent cyber crimes such as identity theft, hacking, and malware attacks, nonprofits should invest in a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and make sure that each employee uses it while working remotely. This ensures that sensitive data about your employees, the organization, and your donors and partners are protected.

Ensure your video software is always updated

As video conferencing became a thing, malicious actors also upped their game – breaking into video calls of corporate meetings and even in children lessons. When these happen, these video software platforms offer fixes from time to time. To be on a safer side, nonprofit should ensure that their video software is always up to date, not only for the organization, but for all employees.

Add passwords to all meeting links

In the era of online meetings, there are hackers out there looking for video conferences to enter. While a password-protected video meeting isn’t completely safe from some malicious actors, it helps provide an extra layer of security to your virtual conferences. Apart from passwords, the admin can assign each employee a unique username that will be used to identify them when participating in an online meeting (of course, this depends on the type of video conferencing software you use).