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Zoom in on protecting your trade secrets during video calls

Nov 16, 2020 | Trade Secrets

When people hop on a video call for work, their main concerns can be making sure they are muted and putting on some work-appropriate clothes so that they don’t embarrass themselves. However, it could be far more embarrassing for a person to get caught revealing sensitive company information on a video conference.

Video calls can be the most efficient and effective way to communicate with remote workers, but they also provide unique opportunities for scheming parties to access or share information without permission. If video calls are part of your business, it’s critical to enforce protocols for protecting your trade secrets.

Use secure programs

There are countless video chatting platforms on the market right now. However, not all of them are as secure as you may need them to be.

Use programs or apps that have passwords and unique access links. Choose apps that have end-to-end encryption, as this Popular Science article discusses.

You should also be sure that everyone on the call uses company-provided or approved devices with updated software.

Set standards for the conversation

Depending on the parties in a meeting, the conversation may be highly formal or very casual. In either case, there is the potential for participants to say something that could reveal proprietary details.

To prevent this, business owners can inform workers and partners about what type of information should not be discussed. Alert them as to what is a trade secret; set rules for how to talk about this material safely. If you have the potential to monitor conversations or retain chats, alert participants about this.

Prevent disruptions and privacy breaches

If you discuss confidential information or share proprietary images in a video call, minimize the risk of outside parties seeing or overhearing. Discuss with your workforce ways to do this, which could include:

  • Wearing headphones
  • Being aware of what is in the background
  • Attending the meeting in a private space, like your home
  • Limiting meeting attendees to only those who must be there
  • Picking up the phone to make a call instead of having a discussion on video

These measures can help prevent outside parties from seeing or hearing something you do not want them to, including trade secrets. 

Video calls and communications are here to stay for many businesses. Having measures and practices in place to keep them secure can help you protect your business on any platform.

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