Cyber safety tips for virtual events

September 21, 2020  |  Karoline Gore

This blog was written by an independent guest blogger.

viirtual meetings

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of video chat software like Zoom has increased to 300 million meetings held per day. Unfortunately, hackers have taken to crashing private meetings and flooding them with objectionable content — a phenomenon known as Zoombombing. If you’re planning a virtual event, it’s important to pay attention to potential security issues and follow safety tips to keep the experience as safe and secure as possible for everyone involved.

Control event access

In order to hold a secure online event, you must first know exactly who’ll be attending. You’ll then have an easier job of preventing, spotting, and ejecting unwanted attendees. A virtual event platform with integrated event registration provides an easy way to set up and host a virtual event while controlling approved participants and limiting the risk of hijacking.

Establishing a registration page allows you to collect contact information while simultaneously generating awareness for your virtual event. Once an attendee registers, you can then share the event link with them. Never share even links publicly on social media or other advertisements as you may attract unwanted guests. Set a password or similar authentication requirement to allow attendees to join the event. You can also prevent access to the event after a specific time to keep out unwanted users (however, be sure to let your attendees know about this time well in advance).

Prioritize network security

Network security ensures your corporate network is protected against unauthorized intrusions. While endpoint security protects individual devices, network security works alongside it to protect any interaction between those devices regardless of location. Good network security is therefore essential for virtual events, which typically include attendees from multiple locations all over the country and potentially the globe. In particular, a network-based firewall lets you protect your network with ultra-secure inbound and outbound internet access via security gateways. Useful features like security management reporting tools allow you to easily assess your bandwidth usage, configure firewall security services, and take care of security-related compliance issues.

Security tips for participants

Roughly 90% of data breaches are the result of human error, so it’s important to let your attendees know about cyber safety best practices. Before the event, send out an email to participants outlining important security tips they can take. Most importantly, they should use a private wifi network — not a public one as these aren’t secure and vulnerable to hackers. Attendees should also have updated antivirus software installed to prevent, detect, and remove malicious viruses and software. During the virtual event, they should also be careful not to accept unexpected chat requests from users with fake or suspicious profiles — especially if they ask for any personal or business details or information. If this situation does occur, attendees should alert the meeting host immediately.

Cyber safety is a top priority for online events. Implementing these security tips will ensure your event runs as smoothly and safely as possible.

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