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Our Guide to Online Meeting Safety

Our Guide to Online Meeting Safety

The Royal Conservatory ("The RCM") is committed to providing you with the best musical education.  With the on-going restrictions in personal contact, the usage of the Internet has increased.  With that, there is a associated increase in security issues relating to using computers, smartphones and tablet devices at home. To help you during this time, The RCM has prepared this quick guide to help you to protect your devices.  We have also put together a list of best practices to help you conduct online meetings as safely as possible.

Device Safety

As students spend more and more time on the Internet, The RCM has developed best practices that we recommend students, parents, and teachers use to protect your devices when you go online:

  • Ensure your computer, smartphone (Android/Samsung/iOS) or other device is up-to-date on its computer software and patches.  Check for updates regularly and do not leave your computer or device off for long periods without getting updates.
  • Ensure that your computer or smartphone device has an up-to-date anti-virus product installed.  We recommend purchasing one from a well-known vendor such as McAfee, Sophos, Trend Micro, Symantec orMalwareBytes.
  • Keep your web browser up-to-date. Using current versions of Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Safari.  If you are unable to install the latest versions of the software, we recommend you limit the use of that device. 
  • When using modern versions of Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox, use “Incognito mode”, especially if you are unsure of the website.  While this will not prevent the website from knowing where you come from, as they can “see” your ISP, this does lessen the amount of information that the browser can provide to the website.
  • When using a computer with a webcam, we recommend either applying a piece of tape or getting a camera shutter to block the lens when not in use.  If malware or other malicious software is on your computer or smartphone, it can turn on the camera and record without you being aware.
  • Never open emails, particularly those with attachments, from people you do not know.  This is the number one way your deviceand your information can be compromised..

If you are unsure how to protect your device using these best practices, we recommend contacting your local computer or office supply store for more help, as they typically provide PC, Mac, and smartphone security protection packages.

Conducting Safe Online Meetings

When conducting meetings online, including video conferencing platforms, the person hosting the meeting should be aware of the following best practices.  If you are a participant, you should ask your meeting host to follow these best practices. 

To increase the security and privacy of your online meetings, we recommend the following:

  • Do not share your Personal Meeting ID publicly, and avoid using it to host meetings with people who you do not meet with regularly
  • Use a password for your meetings
  • Enable the Waiting Room
  • Disable Join Before Host
  • Disable file transfers
  • Make the host the only person who can share when someone else is sharing
  • Prevent participants from saving the chat
  • Disable the option for participants to record locally
  • Control screen sharing and annotation so that only the host can share and annotate when necessary
  • Disable private chat between users (they can chat publicly to everyone)
  • Remove a participant if they have not been invited or become disruptive in the session

There have been reports about the safety of using Zoom for meetings.  Zoom has since upgraded their software and, furthermore, by using the best practices we have provided, Zoom meetings are a safe and effective way to communicate.   The RCM configures Zoom to protect your privacy.  No personal information is transmitted to Zoom when conducting an RCM Remote Examination. Due to the scrutiny, Zoom is likely to be more secure as time goes on, with increased attention to bugs and other issues. Our recommendation is to be sure to follow our precautions about ensuring that your meeting has restrictions on who can join.  This will avoid the most troublesome issues that Zoom users have experienced in the past. 

PLEASE NOTE: All RCM Certficate Program Remote Exams are recorded for quality assurance and safety reasons. These videos will remain confidential and will not be published. When an exam registration is confirmed, this serves as consent to the examination being recorded.