By Staff Writer
Virtual events are great for a number of obvious reasons. They’re much cheaper, you can invite guests from all around the world, and they’re super easy to plan! However, with the rise of virtual events come hackers and so-called “zoombombers”, a term for people or bots who crash your event uninvited.
Luckily, there are plenty of smart and effective cybersecurity measures you can take to avoid unpleasant incidents during your event. By following the tips below, you’ll be able to plan a fun, safe, and unforgettable virtual event.
1. Protect your passwords
Hacking your passwords is easier than you think. No matter what measures you take to keep your online event safe, there’s no going back once your passwords are leaked. Make sure your passwords are as complicated and different as possible. For maximum protection, you should try out a reliable data protection tool like a password manager. A password manager can generate different and complex passwords and keep them all in an encrypted space.
2. Use secure wifi
Public wifi is a hunting ground for hackers. To keep your data and the data of your guests safe, it’s probably best to host your event on wifi you know is secure. However, if you do end up using public wifi, make sure to at least use a VPN. A VPN (virtual private network) masks your IP address and encrypts all of your data. So even if a hacker ends up getting to your passwords or other sensitive data, they’ll be impossible to read.
3. Download antivirus software
If you don’t already use antivirus software, now would be the time to download it. Malware developers have thought of so many creative ways to infect computers with viruses that users don’t even see them coming. A little virus may be enough to ruin your online event, so be proactive and stop that from happening by downloading antivirus software beforehand.
4. Require registration
Always require your guests to fill out a registration form, even if your event is free. Not only will you get a better picture of the number of guests attending but you’ll also be able to avoid unwanted zoombombers. Send out invitation links to registered guests only and don’t share the link in public online spaces.
5. Use a virtual waiting room
When you use a virtual waiting room, each guest who clicks on the invitation link must be approved by you before entering the event. Although this can be tiresome for huge events, it’s a great way to avoid uninvited guests.
6. Restrict the actions of attendees
Keep in mind that each event hosting platform is different. Some may have automatic restrictions on guests and some may not. Depending on the type of your event and the number of guests attending, you may not want just anyone to be able to share their screen or turn on their camera or microphone. Before your event, check your settings and adjust them accordingly.
7. Lock the event at a specified time
“Locking” an event essentially means restricting anybody else from joining. This will help keep zoombombers and blocked users out. Leave the stress of checking people in at the beginning of the event so that you could relax later on. Just let your guests know what time the event will be locked when sending out the invitation links.
8. Encourage your guests to stay safe
To ensure your event is safe from hackers or zoombombers, everybody needs to play their part. Along with the invitation link, send your guests a short safety guide. Ask them not to share the link with anybody, suggest using a password manager and antivirus software, and encourage them to use secure wifi.
9. Remain vigilant throughout the event
Even if you’ve taken all of the most important cybersecurity measures, never let your guard down. You can never be 100% certain that your online event is safe, especially when other people are involved who may not be taking the same measures. Throughout your event, be sure to monitor your users and their actions and keep an eye out for any suspicious links in the chat.
Ready for your event?
So those were the main cybersecurity measures to take when hosting an online event. In a nutshell, make sure you use a password manager and secure wifi and be extra attentive when monitoring your guests. Also, never let your guard down and always be vigilant throughout the whole event. However, don’t get too overwhelmed with all of these cybersecurity measures and remember to enjoy your event to the fullest!
Cyber Security Review online – May 2022