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Keeping you safer as you work online

With the pandemic making it difficult to meet colleagues and customers in person, nearly half of all US adults now use videoconferencing apps at work.

 

The volume of video calls has risen nearly six-fold since the outbreak. 

Zoom is far and away the most popular platform, but some businesses avoid it because of concerns over security (which Zoom says it’s improving). 

 

Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, WebEx, and Google Meet are also growing quickly.

No matter what platform you use,

here are tips to make your presentation more effective.

• Make sure there is more light coming from in front of you than from behind you. A stand-alone ring light placed in front of the camera may help improve the clarity of your image.

• Use an external microphone instead of your computer’s internal microphone. The sound quality is much better.

• If you’ll be presenting during the video conference, turn off VPN before your presentation begins. Remember to turn it back on afterward.

• Position your camera slightly above eye level. If you’re using a laptop, set it on top of something to raise it higher than desk level.

• Mute your computer when you’re not speaking to avoid interrupting the video conference. Remember to un-mute it when you are speaking.

• If you’re using PowerPoint or other presentation software, avoid animated transitions between the slides and don’t use video clips.

• If you prefer to display a different image behind you than your actual background, avoid using the video conferencing software’s automated background setting. Use an actual green screen instead.

• Cover your computer’s camera lens when you have to temporarily leave the video conference or when the video conference is over.  

Click here to download and print these tips.

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Here are four free images for use as backgrounds in your upcoming videoconference.

Click on each image to download the full-resolution version.

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Adobe Flash, once used on millions of websites, will be shut down at the end of this year. Computer users don’t need to take any action. But the news is a reminder: if you receive an email urging you to update your Flash player, ignore it. That phishing email is a common tactic that cyber scammers use to install dangerous software on our computers.

 

 

Be cautious about installing plug-ins designed to expand the functionality of web browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox. In recent weeks, dangerous plug-ins have been discovered that steal computer users’ security credentials. Generally, browser plug-ins are safe when downloaded using the browser’s official website, but occasionally dangerous plug-ins even get through those official safety checks.

 

 

If you shop online at the jewelry retailer Claire’s, review your credit card statements in the coming months for purchases you didn’t make. The company was hacked during the closing days of April and an undetermined amount of customer credit card information was stolen.
 

 

The global cosmetics company Avon was also hacked. The breach apparently did not impact Avon’s customers, but may have resulted in the company having to pay a ransom to recover some of their global data. Often, these types of breaches are caused when an employee clicks on a link in a fake email and inadvertently gives up their password or downloads software.

Facebook will soon begin alerting users whenever they are about to post an article that is more than three months old. The move is designed to reduce the amount of outdated or misinformation on the platform, which now has over 2.6 billion regular users. 

As families practice social distancing, kids are more likely to be online for longer periods of time, experience less supervision, and face a growing number of cyber threats that are unique to their activities.

Online bullying, threats from predators, and hate speech are on the rise in popular online forums, including TikTok, WhatsApp, and gaming chat rooms. Meanwhile, more screen time means kids are exposed to more online content, which can carry risks.

There are straightforward ways to protect kids, stay informed about online threats, and put simple online tools to use that can control and limit online activity.

Check out the podcast below.

Tatiana Jordan

Bark Parental Control App

Julie Bryant Fisher

Podcast Interviewer

Kids and the Web_NTSC
00:00 / 23:32

Want to listen later on your phone?

Click here to download the podcast.

For parents:

  • Start a conversation. Talk to kids about online dangers, including online chats, sharing personal information or photos, and the signs of cyberbullying.

  • Set parental controls for online gaming.

  • Manage screen time. Offer screen time alternatives.

  • Turn off the location feature on devices.

  • Inform yourself – read up. Even children not using social media are not immune. Predators are known to use online gaming chat rooms to target younger kids.

  • Turn off all devices and Wi-Fi access during overnight hours.

  • Monitor online gameplay.

For kids:

  • Report It. Report inappropriate behavior and hate speech. Tell an adult. Most social media platforms have reporting tools

  • Block It. Don’t feel obligated to respond to requests for personal information or follow those who engage in offensive behavior. Don’t agree to meet with someone you met online.

  • Don’t Share It. Don’t share personal information, location, or photos. Remember that images may be seen, even if you delete them.

  • Protect Yourself. Be mindful of your personal and mental health. Talk with an adult if you are feeling sad. Limit gaming and online time.

Aware Force Cybersecurity News • July 2020 a • Edition #98

Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, WebEx, Adobe Flash, Claire's, Avon, and Facebook are registered trademarks. 

Original content © 2020 Aware Force LLC

Aware Force is a registered trademark