Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre

Online conferencing tools – how to use them responsibly

16/04/2020 - by Margot Curl

Please find here a great resource full of tips about how to keep our virtual meetings safe.

Did you know the average internet user spends a combined total of more than 100 days online this year? or about seven hours a day! 

Given COVID-19 related restrictions on meeting face-to-face, a large part of your daily online time will now probably be spent using online conferencing tools. 

These technologies are invaluable when meeting is impossible, but they also pose significant risks with the security of information and data protection if not used responsibly. 

To help us focus on the most important, the IFRC, ICRC and OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data have developed useful recommendations in a Tip Sheet on the Responsible Use of Online Conferencing Tools

It provides great insights on how to manage risks with the sharing of confidential, sensitive or personal information. 

Until now, for example, I had sent details of my Zoom account meeting room to colleagues, friends and family alike. After reading the Tip Sheet, I will be sure to:
•    use new invites / links / meeting rooms for every meeting
•    change the access code regularly (at least weekly) for recurrent meetings
•    monitor attendance throughout any online conference.

I would recommend everyone working in the humanitarian and development sector and planning to host virtual meetings to read this very practical Tip Sheet and follow its advice.