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Guide to Secure Video Conferencing Tools

There are a number of web conferencing tools available to UTSA faculty, staff, and students. This document provides information on the major features and security associated with our university approved video conferencing tools*.

* Please note that due to FERPA, HIPAA, and other data privacy considerations, the use of other, non-sanctioned video conferencing software for any University academic or business purposes is prohibited.

Tips to Ensure Secure Video Conferencing

Connect Securely

The initial settings on many video conferencing tools and home Wi-Fi networks are not secure by default, which—if not changed—can allow malicious actors to compromise confidential data while you work from home.

Actionable Tips:

  • The security settings on UTSA approved video conferencing tools listed in this guide are automatically enabled. Learn more about the security settings and other features on this tool comparison worksheet.
  • Change default password to strong, complex passwords for your router and Wi-Fi network.
  • Choose a generic name for your home Wi-Fi network to help mask who the network belongs to, or its equipment manufacturer.
  • Avoid using public hotspots and and networks.

Control Meeting Access

Uncontrolled access to conversations may result in disruption or compromise of your conversations, and exposure of sensitive information. To control meeting access, click on each tool linked below for more.

Actionable Tips:

  • Require participants to register or enter a password/access code to enter the event. Try not to repeat passwords or codes. Send passwords to students only through Blackboard or through your UTSA email. You may also enable two-factor authentication on some video conference providers.
  • Manage policies to ensure only members from your organization or desired group can attend. Be cautious of widely disseminating invitations.
  • Enable “waiting room” features to see and vet attendees attempting to access your event before granting access.
  • Lock the event once all intended attendees have joined.
  • Ensure that you can manually admit and remove attendees (and know how to expeditiously remove unwanted attendees) if opening the event to the public.

Manage File and Screen Sharing and Recordings

Mismanaged file sharing, screen sharing, and meeting recording can result in unauthorized access to sensitive information. Uncontrolled file sharing can inadvertently lead to users executing and clicking malicious files and links, which could, in turn, lead to system compromise. To manage file sharing, screen sharing, and meeting recording, click on each linked below for more.

Actionable Tips:

  • Consider sensitivity of data before exposing it via screen share or uploading it during video conferences. Toggle settings to limit the types of files that can be shared (e.g., not allowing .exe files).
  • When recording meetings, make sure participants are aware of the recording and that the meeting owner knows how to access and secure the Category I recording.  OneDrive is recommended by UTS for all Category I data storage and preferred over I/S/X drives or local storage.
  • Do not discuss information that you would not discuss over regular telephone lines. Review UTSA’s FERPA regulations for more.

Update to Latest Versions of Applications

Outdated or unpatched video conference applications can expose security flaws for hackers to exploit, resulting in a disruption of meeting privacy and potential loss of information.

  • UTS provides patch management and automatic updates for university equipment.
  • Personal devices/equipment however require owners keep applications and operating systems up to date at all times.

Actionable Tips:

  • Enable automatic updates on personal devices/equipment to keep software up to date.