We have technology to thank a lot for! By facilitating working from home arrangements, allowing us to stay in contact with friends and family and keeping us up to date with NHS advice, however, it also means that we have to get to grips with the art of virtual meetings!
Internet safety expert Elizabeth Milovidov spoke with the founder of SimpleCyberLife.com Jonny Pelter to come up with 5 vital tips to ensure your virtual meetings, (whether for your family or your business), run as smoothly as possible.
Pick your platform
Skype, FaceTime and Zoom are three of the more popular platforms, each with their own set of pros and cons. ‘Zoom might be best, considering they’ve just rolled out a set of new security features,’ says Jonny, especially if your meeting agenda means that you might discuss any sensitive or private information.
Boost your wifi signal to mitigate any interruption
There is actually quite a lot that you can do to improve your bandwidth at home, options to try include; decreasing the number of devices connected to your wifi, positioning your WiFi router clear of obstacles (preferably on a high shelf somewhere central) and by getting a WiFi extender. You could also turn off the entertainment setting on the router (if you don’t use it for gaming) and update the security settings too!
Consider your surroundings
Depending on who the meeting is with, you may want to consider what is visible on camera in the background during your call. Especially important if it’s a professional meeting, consider whether there is anything too distracting or private that might be visible behind you. Also, check that there’s adequate lighting in your chosen video call spot, you don’t want to be a silhouette!
Check privacy settings
Depending on the platform you’re using, ensure that the meeting is set to private. If you are organising the virtual meeting, consider using the ‘Waiting Room’ feature on Zoom, which ensures you have control over who arrives. This is especially important if individuals are joining the call via a variety of unrecognised numbers.
Test the service
Most of the video call services have a ‘test’ function before you start the call, which will help mitigate any crackling microphones or fuzzy cameras. Start off by checking if your microphone and camera are working properly, and ensure you know how to mute or turn the camera off during the meeting if you need to. If your computers internal microphone isn’t great, you could consider a plug-in microphone from Amazon. They are inexpensive and you can plug them in via the headphone port.