How To Demonstrate Exceptional Video Conferencing Etiquette

1 year ago
How To Demonstrate Exceptional Video Conferencing Etiquette Image

One of many professional challenges associated with the current coronavirus pandemic is how to use video conferencing systems to engage in clear, tactful communication. If you’re not sure what video conferencing is then take a look at this video conferencing definition to learn more before going into this article. The sudden ubiquity of these platforms has made us more aware of basic communication do’s and don’ts. As the novelty of working in quarantine fades, it is more important than ever to bring your video communication “A” game to every meeting. Missteps that were initially met with amusement at the beginning of 2020 will likely not be as well received today. Your communication blunders could even be contributing to your teammates’ Zoom fatigue, a term to describe the additional drain that comes from using videoconferencing platforms in place of in-person communication. Check out our recommendations to achieve optimal video conferencing etiquette below.

Preparation

Meetings are more likely to run smoothly when attendees come prepared and Zoom gatherings are no exception. The medium does, however, require different considerations. Although it may be tempting to wear casual clothes while working from home, dressing as if you were going into the office gives others the impression that you take your work seriously. Experts also recommend avoiding visually distracting clothing such as bold prints. Choosing solid colors to wear in advance of an important call makes it easier for attendees to keep their focus on the discussion.

It is impossible to anticipate every possible technical difficulty, but it’s best to address any consistent issue on your end in advance. This approach not only saves you from embarrassment, but also prevents the loss of valuable time if technical issues need to be addressed during a meeting.

Home environments (and particularly ones where others are also trying to work or study remotely) are often more distracting than office spaces. For this reason, employees should be mindful of the potential to accidentally arrive late to a virtual meeting as a result of becoming absorbed in other tasks. Although this show of poor video conferencing etiquette may seem relatively harmless, it can actually come across as more negligent than not being on time for an in-person meeting because signing on requires so little effort. As with all scheduled work obligations, check your calendar regularly and let others know if you’re running late.

Presentation

Zoom etiquette includes controlling the way you look on a screen. Establishing a welcoming presentation negates visual distractions for your coworkers and indirectly communicates your competence and agreeableness as an employee.

It is generally best to turn on your video if you can. Occasionally exceptions should be made to this rule (for example, if you need to share a space with your children at a specific time). Allowing others to see you contributes to a sense of connectedness, which supports better communication. This Zoom etiquette “do” is particularly relevant when getting to know others on an external call.

Additional presentation basics include positioning your webcam at eye-level and having a light source (and ideally one that is natural) face at you.

Be sure to also conduct video conferences from a neutral, well-kept area of your home. Stories of a boss who takes video calls in bed or a coworker with a distractingly messy room are not uncommon. Giving work colleagues some insight into your home life can reveal your humanness and actually improve team cohesion. At the same time, it is important to present a part of your space that still takes into account the boundaries of professional relationships.

Focus

Studies have repeatedly shown that we’re not as skilled at multitasking as we think we are. Not only that, but stressors associated with the pandemic have taken up our cognitive resources and made it even harder to stay focused. For this reason, minimizing distractions for yourself and others is critical to good Zoom etiquette. While attending a virtual meeting that you are not leading may seem like a reasonable time to eat lunch, doing so may irritate and distract your coworkers (in addition to creating a distraction for you). It is also important to avoid multitasking in the form of trying to tackle other work projects in addition to participating in a meeting. This practice creates a false sense of efficiency because in reality we are more likely to miss most of the conversation and make little progress on other tasks.

Digital distractions should be limited as much as possible during calls. Turn off notifications, mute your phone, and close or minimize windows that don’t support the purpose of the meeting. By aiming to make virtual meetings your sole focus when they are happening, you are more likely to support everyone on the call in feeling less stressed and more tuned in to the task at hand.

Communication

Because videoconferencing tools are increasingly commonplace, it is easy to overlook the ways in which communicating through a screen can obscure the clarity of communication. A key difference between in-person and virtual meetings is that it is not as easy to recognize the nonverbal cues that are normally used to gather feedback from participants. For example, it is more difficult to infer that someone is waiting to share their thoughts without also being able to read their body language. A way for managers to overcome this oversight and encourage greater participation is to make sure that specific questions are directed to all individuals on the call before it ends and to wait for responses.

What’s more, a core video conferencing etiquette “do” is to not take away from the person who is speaking by interrupting them with outside noise. Limiting background sounds and muting yourself if you’re not leading the discussion can go a long way in moving a meeting forward and conveying respect for your colleagues’ ideas.

Being an effective communicator includes being a good listener. But again, it is more difficult to convey the fact that you are listening through a screen. In order to make your intent to really listen clear, try using body language such as nodding your head and leaning in when someone makes an interesting point. Slight verbal responses such as “okay” also let the person speaking know that you are engaging with their thoughts and ideas.

While it may feel counterintuitive, it is recommended that meeting attendees at least periodically look directly into the camera rather than at the screen. This practice is particularly important if you’re the one presenting because “making eye contact” (albeit superficially) conveys confidence and authority in the same way that frequently looking at an audience would during an in-person presentation.

Finally, it can be tempting to leave a meeting without comment rather than potentially make things awkward by interrupting a meeting to state that you need to leave. However, finding a way to say goodbye shows better video conferencing etiquette. In order to incorporate this Zoom “do,” wait for a break in the conversation to politely sign off.

At InspiringApps, we are adjusting to the new way of conducting meetings virtually and committed to follow the “do’s” listed here. We are also committed, as always, to helping you bring your app idea to life. Contact us today to learn more about how our consulting services can support your next project.

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App Development

Mobile Device Security: Data Protection on iOS & Android

Mobile devices are essential to our everyday lives. They allow us to access the internet, communicate with others, and store important documents in the cloud.  But mobile devices also collect data about their users and share that information with third parties. This can lead to privacy and even security issues if you’re not careful when developing your app. Android and iOS employ various security measures to protect user data. Yet, we spend increasing amounts of time using phones for personal and corporate purposes. It’s become even more crucial to strengthen mobile security measures further. In this article, we’ll discuss how to protect user data on both iOS and Android platforms, from first launch to enterprise. Mobile Devices, Data & Privacy Mobile devices constantly collect and share data, making personal privacy an issue. Mobile devices collect user information and location information, which can be shared with third parties for various purposes, including ad targeting. These third parties may use this data in ways you might not expect or approve of, such as selling it to other companies or using it for their own purposes without your knowledge.  The velocity at which data is changing hands keeps getting faster, and the winds of legislative change provide lessons for all companies on data responsibility. While some laws require companies to be transparent about collecting and using information on mobile devices (e.g., the GDPR), these laws don’t apply everywhere. They aren’t always applied the same across borders. As a product owner, ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” to help protect user data. Mobile devices are constantly collecting and sharing data, which can be used to track your location or share personal information. Data protection, security, and privacy are intertwined into the concept of data well-being. For your app to function properly, it may need access to sensitive information like the user’s location or contacts list. As such, the user must give explicit consent before any such data is accessed or shared. As an iOS developer (or any other type), you should always ask yourself: “Is this necessary?” If not—and if alternative methods are available—you should use those instead. Data is a precious resource—one of the most valuable assets to an organization that must be protected accordingly. With data sharing, less is more. Collecting only what you truly need will help protect your users’ privacy and security from potential hackers who might try stealing sensitive information from them through malware attacks on their mobile phone/tablet devices. Android & Apple: How They Handle Security Differently Ensuring the safety of our personal data and privacy is of utmost importance, and that’s where mobile security comes into play. When it comes to this, two of the biggest players in the market are Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. 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However, it is important to note that no operating system is 100% secure. There have been malware and hacking attacks on iOS and Android devices. Ultimately, the security of your device depends on both the operating system and the user’s behavior. Android and iOS devices employ various security measures to keep data safe. Both Android and iOS use strong encryption features to protect data. If a device is stolen, the data cannot be accessed without the encryption key. However, there are differences in encryption methods between the two platforms. Android employs device-specific keys that are unique to each device. This means there is no universal key for all Android devices. Google services like Gmail or Chrome may have separate keys associated with them. Both the device-specific key and the Google key are required to access data. In contrast, iOS uses a combination of device-specific keys and iCloud keys. 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Malware: Google Play Protect scans apps for malware and other security threats and monitors devices for suspicious activity.  Two-Factor Authentication: Android two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to Android devices and accounts by requiring a code from users’ phones and their passwords when logging in. Android users can enable Android 2FA in Settings > Security > 2-step verification. Find My: Find My Device helps locate lost or stolen devices and allows data erasure, if necessary. Dedicated Storage: Trusty is a dedicated secure subsystem on Android devices that securely stores sensitive data like fingerprint and face scan data. This data is encrypted and can only be accessed by authorized apps with the correct credentials. Security Updates: Google regularly releases security updates for Android, addressing potential vulnerabilities that attackers may exploit. It is important to install these updates promptly. Furthermore, Google’s latest Android operating system introduces new default app security features. Since Android 7.0 Nougat (released in 2016) automatically encrypts all Android devices. The data on the device is protected by a strong encryption key accessible only with the device passcode, PIN, or pattern. Android 12, the latest version, introduces additional security features, including: Enhanced Encryption: Android 12 encrypts files with unique keys, making it harder for attackers to access data even with compromised device encryption keys. Stronger encryption algorithms protect sensitive data like biometric authentication and app credentials. New Security Features for App Developers: Android 12 provides new APIs for developers to implement secure encryption practices. Security Features on iOS Devices iOS devices use a variety of security features to keep your data safe, including: Data Encryption: Using a strong encryption algorithm, iOS devices encrypt all user data by default. 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Automatic Security Updates: iOS devices automatically receive security updates from Apple. This helps to keep iOS devices up to date with the latest security patches. Two-Factor Authentication: 2FA is a security feature that adds an extra layer of protection to your account by requiring you to enter a code from your phone and your password when logging in. You can enable 2FA for your Apple ID by going to Settings > Your Name > Password & Security. Find My: Find My is a service that can help you to locate your lost or stolen device. It can also help you erase your device’s data if necessary. Dedicated Storage: Secure Enclave is a dedicated chip that securely stores sensitive data like fingerprint and face scan data. This encrypted data can only be accessed with the iOS user’s passcode, PIN, or pattern. Security Updates: Apple releases security updates for iOS regularly. These updates patch security vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit. It is important to install security updates as soon as they are available. Furthermore, the latest iOS release, iOS 16, introduces several new security features and enhancements that help to protect users from a wide range of threats. Some of these features are, notably: Lockdown Mode: Lockdown Mode is a new mode that provides an extreme level of security for users who face targeted threats to their digital security. When Lockdown Mode is enabled, certain features and functionality are limited to help protect users from targeted attacks. For example, most messaging attachments other than images are blocked, and incoming FaceTime calls from unknown callers are prevented. Enhanced Privacy Controls: iOS 16 includes several new privacy controls, such as the ability to choose which apps are allowed to access your location and the ability to see which apps have accessed your clipboard in the past hour. Regarding apps and mobile devices, it’s clear that security is on everyone’s mind. 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6 months ago

Technology

Top 10 Tech Disruptions Over the Past 10 Years

Technology is changing at such a rapid pace that we have seen many tech disruptions in a relatively short time.  A “disruptive technology” could be defined as one that displaces an established technology, thereby shaking up an industry and reshaping its future trajectory. A tech disruptor could also be a ground-breaking product that creates an entirely new industry.  Join our drive down the technology superhighway as we rediscover the top tech disruptions over the past 10 years and dive into what’s next. 2014: Amazon Echo Brings the IoT Home Amazon Echo barreled into our lives this year, causing us to rethink how we might use technology in our homes. Powered by Amazon’s voice control system Alexa, the Echo started with just a few intelligent voice commands. Alexa now boasts thousands of “skills” and has become the central hub in so-called smart homes, helping to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to a much wider audience. 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Although Google had been selling Google Glass prototypes since 2013, VR’s availability to consumers was limited until the introduction of Oculus Rift in 2016. With its launch, VR exploded into many homes. The system was a hot gift and introduced the concept of VR to a broader audience—it’s hard not to enjoy (or laugh with?) someone experiencing VR for the first time! 2017: AI Takes the Stage Artificial intelligence (AI) is a science-fiction trope brought to life. With numerous large companies investing billions of dollars on research in this field, it’s poised to influence how we live and work in the coming years. Applications include everything from automating tasks using bots to enabling computers to answer complex, multi-tiered questions by “learning” from previous queries. 2018: 5G Begins Its Rollout As connectivity became more ubiquitous, fast and reliable internet demand increased. It’s not enough to watch a streaming movie in the middle of nowhere—it has to be smooth! Beginning in 2018, 5G promised to bring more channels for higher speed, lower latency, and greater bandwidth for more connected devices. But 5G wasn’t exciting for smartphone fans only: the benefits had implications for healthcare, education, smart homes, connected cars, and more. 2019: 3D Printers Revolutionize the 4th Industrial Revolution Although the technology and equipment for 3D printing were available in the mid-1980s, 3D printing was imprecise, bulky, and costly. Thirty years later, 3D printing made it to the mainstream as a disruptive technology. This disruptive technology appeared in 2019 as part of predictive maintenance in manufacturing. Smart sensors helped identify potential problems, and 3D printers built new parts before needing to be needed. 2020: Passwordless Authentication Hits Big Tech For many of us, forgetting our passwords is a daily occurrence, but those days may be behind us, thanks to the push for passwordless authentication in 2020. 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Although IoT has been used in home-based applications, 2021 brought the technology to new areas, including manufacturing, mining, and healthcare. 2022: ChatGPT Redefines Human-Computer Interaction In 2022, ChatGPT emerged as the undeniable frontrunner and the most influential tech disruption of the year. Developed by OpenAI, this groundbreaking language model harnessed the power of the GPT-3.5 architecture to revolutionize human-computer interactions. With its ability to understand context, generate coherent responses, and adapt to users’ needs, ChatGPT transcended traditional chatbots, becoming a sophisticated conversational AI companion. Its applications spanned diverse industries, from customer support to creative writing, education, and even healthcare. As ChatGPT continuously learned and evolved, it showcased the transformative potential of artificial intelligence, leaving an indelible mark on the technology landscape of 2022 and beyond. 2023: Apple Vision Pro Unleashes the Power of Spatial Computing In 2023, spatial computing, specifically the Apple Vision Pro, emerged as the pinnacle of technological disruption, revolutionizing how we interact with digital information. Years earlier, Apple’s visionary smartwatch had cemented Apple as the leader in wearable technology. In 2023, the Apple Vision Pro promises to enable users to seamlessly integrate virtual elements into their physical surroundings, unlocking unparalleled immersion and productivity. We can now see a future where the days of limited screen real estate are gone; users can effortlessly interact with a vast array of applications and data in a three-dimensional, contextually aware environment. This leap in spatial computing may solidify VR’s position as an indispensable tool and open up new frontiers in communication, productivity, and entertainment, forever changing the way we perceive and interact with technology. What’s next? Tech disruptions in the 21st century have transformed our reality into a digital-first experience. Technology is changing faster than ever. Backed by a confluence of all these giant leaps forward, the future is a brave new world. Our predictions for what’s next include: Prediction 1: Quantum Computing Revolutionizes Data Processing Quantum computing is poised to shatter the boundaries of traditional computing capabilities. With its ability to leverage quantum mechanics principles, it will handle complex problems at speeds that were once deemed impossible. Industries such as pharmaceuticals, logistics, and cryptography will see groundbreaking advancements, leading to accelerated drug discovery, optimized supply chains, and next-level data security. As quantum computers become more accessible, researchers and innovators will unlock the potential for solving real-world challenges that were previously impossible. Prediction 2: Hyper-Automation Transforms Workforce Efficiency Hyper-automation is revolutionizing the business world with advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA). By automating complex processes, companies can boost productivity, streamline operations, and free up time for creative and strategic initiatives. This transformational trend empowers workers through upskilling and reskilling, leading to a promising future where technology complements human expertise for greater success. Prediction 3: AI-Driven Personalization Enhances User Experience As AI continues to integrate deeply into our digital lives, offering personalized experiences across platforms becomes the new norm. Users are already encountering tailored content, services, and product recommendations that cater precisely to their preferences in e-commerce, entertainment, content consumption, and even healthcare. However, this era of heightened personalization is also bringing data privacy and ethical AI usage to the forefront, driving the need for responsible AI development and regulation to ensure user trust and societal well-being. More Transformative Digital Solutions At InspiringApps, we’re passionate about harnessing the power of tech’s newest disruptions to create transformative digital solutions. More than that, we’re thrilled to collaborate with our clients’ brilliant ideas and make them a reality. Could your digital product idea be the next big thing in your industry? See how we helped Fidelity National Financial create a transformative solution for the real estate industry with their award-winning product, inHere.

8 months ago

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