Which Web Conferencing Apps Have the Best Security?
New tech means new ways for hackers to try and sneak their way into our lives — and get away with our personal information. As more people take advantage of the convenience of web conferencing apps, more vulnerabilities are exposed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned the public about possible hijacking and hacking while using certain apps, underlining the very real security risks. Private recordings of meetings have been found on the web, and there could be people quietly lurking in the background, discovering secrets and information they’re not meant to have.
Whether you’re working from home, joining a meeting from another location or arranging a virtual meetup with friends, the security of the web conferencing app you use does matter. There are lots of options out there to choose from, but these are five of the apps with the best security protections.
Cisco Webex Meetings
There’s a good reason that experts in the field consider Webex one of the leaders in web conferencing. It offers end-to-end encryption with Transport Layer Security channels used for communication between clients and servers. This means the information you transmit is secure from the moment you send it.
Webex employs symmetric keys for each user, allowing you to scale your web conferences up to 100 users at a time. This makes it a secure option for bigger companies that need to host larger conferences. It’s HIPAA compliant, making it a good option for healthcare use. It’s also FedRAMP certified for government use, which means it meets the security, authorization and monitoring standards set forth by the federal government.
If you're looking for a web conferencing app that works for large groups, GoToMeeting is a solid option. It provides connectivity for up to 250 users and 25 active HD webcams during a single conference. The application also includes features like Commuter Mode, which lets you attend or host meetings while you're en route, and features cloud recording, meeting transcription, business messaging, calendar integrations and unlimited recording.
From a security standpoint, you can feel safe using an app from a company that's been considered a leader in virtual meetings for years. LogMeIn, GoToMeeting's parent company, was one of the early (and key) players in creating remote connectivity, virtual meeting and desktop sharing software programs. GoToMeeting uses an intuitive user interface, Transport Layer Security encryption and standards-based cryptography to keep meetings and chats secure and confidential.
With multiple awards to back up its claim as one of the most secure collaboration platforms available, Wire combines industry experience with cutting-edge security to provide web conferencing capabilities that are safe, effective and private. It allows video conferencing for up to four people and audio conferencing for up to 20 in addition to screen and file sharing, making it a comprehensive enterprise solution for smaller groups. It employs end-to-end encryption to secure everything on the platform, including web conferences.
This open-source platform provides multi-device messaging capabilities, letting you sync your conversations for seamless continuation. You can also use self-destroying messages to ensure sensitive information never gets stored. Wire is based in Switzerland and uses strict data protection measures, all of which are independently audited to ensure it's constantly on top of the latest security threats.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular chat apps on the market today, so the odds are pretty good that whoever you’re conferencing with already has it. This Facebook-owned app supports video chats for up to eight users, making it ideal for small web conferences. Although that limits how you can use it, the beefy security protocols it employs make it well worth mentioning. It uses end-to-end encryption to keep your calls and conferences safely secured away from third parties — including WhatsApp itself.
This probably isn't the app for you if you need it for work purposes like large conferences, but it can be ideal for conversations between small groups. It also facilitates easy communication with people in other countries.
Skype has been around since 2003, making it a well-established option that many people know they can trust. Although you may be most familiar with this program's primary use for personal chatting, Skype is also a solid choice for business conferencing. This Microsoft-owned company offers free video chatting for up to 50 people at a time in one conference. All Skype-to-Skype conferences are encrypted, using Rijndael or the Advanced Encryption Standard, a 256-bit encryption that's used by the United States government.