If you find yourself teaching online and/or participating in many online meetings, be aware that there are many virtual meeting platforms out there and each has some pros and cons. Here are a few ideas and some simple things to keep in mind to stay safe when teaching and meeting online.
Zoom If you are using Zoom, some simple “digital housekeeping” could make a big difference. Enabling waiting rooms (but be careful of opening them up to the public), disallowing others to share screens, and using meeting passwords (of course, sent only to meeting participants) are just a few things that can be done. Click here for some helpful information directly from Zoom. Click here for another great article and some other excellent tips.
Whatsapp is quite popular. Although you can text from a computer, the downside is that video calls can only be made from a phone, which is much smaller than a computer or tablet and this could be visually challenging.
Gotomeeting is similar to Zoom, and although I have only used it a few times it does have some nice features; however, it is not a free platform.
Some folks enjoy using other meeting tools such as Skype, Blue Jeans, Microsoft Meet, Google Hangouts, Skype, and WebEx, with which I have limited experience but most of them are relatively secure applications.
Regardless of what tool you use to stay in touch, be sure to update the software frequently, update your operating system, antivirus software, and be sure to run a firewall.
Finally, consider covering up all webcams. Some people use tape, but small webcam covers that stick to the phone or computer and have a sliding window are inexpensive and very effective.
Check back often for updates, and stay safe out there!