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Plan Sponsors Need To Prepare This Way To Conduct A Safe 401k Zoom Meeting

Plan Sponsors Need To Prepare This Way To Conduct A Safe 401k Zoom Meeting
April 14
00:04 2020

If you’re aren’t “Zooming” your 401k meetings, you may be behind the curve. The popular internet-based video conferencing application Zoom has taken the world by storm. It’s a world that has changed dramatically in a little less than a month.

“Before a few weeks ago, all of my meetings and dinner workshops have been done in person,” says Craig Kirsner, President of Stuart Estate Planning Wealth Advisors in Coconut Creek, Florida. “My company, however, has had to adapt to the new environment and we have switched to using Zoom for our meetings and client events.”

Zoom is very flexible and easy to use. Families, friends, and businesses are now using it regularly to communicate in an era of safe social distancing. It has many different features (beyond the usual “free” and “premium” choice) and some are better suited for 401k meetings.

“People who use Zoom for meetings revolving around 401k plan topics should set it up as a webinar option,” says Tamara Thompson, CEO at Serious Take Productions in Gilbert, Arizona. “The webinar format can help drive more responses with people involved for specific times available, give people multiple time and topic options to create more meetings around these topics.”

Not only has it attracted diverse markets, it has also caught the attention of those with less honorable intentions. The term “Zoombombing” has entered our vocabulary. It occurs when an authorized person enters the Zoom meeting. The person then hijacks the meeting, in the worse case projecting pornography onto everyone’s screen.

Initially, many felt this was a problem with Zoom. To the extent Zoom intentionally has made it easy to use, you can fault the company. In reality, though, Zoom already had to facility to prevent this, as veteran Zoom users already knew.

Much, if not all, of the Zoom hacking could have been prevented if the meeting hosts had just followed a few common sense rules. They start with before you even set up the meeting.

“Keep all video apps up to date,” says Paige Schaffer, CEO, Global Identity & Cyber Protection Services of Generali Global Assistance in Washington, DC. “As with any piece of technology, the newest version will ensure you’re using the safest version.”

In terms of setting up your hosting options, you want to be as strict as possible. Thompson says, “Do not make your zoom meetings public and manage your screen share options by changing to Host Share only.”

This isn’t all you should do. Again, you need to work around Zoom’s ease of use facility and make things harder on (and safer for) yourself. For example, instead of using your Personal Meeting ID, “automatically generate a meeting ID,” says Owain Powell, Digital Marketing Manager, UP Hotel Agency in Warwickshire, UK. “Review any third-party apps on your mobile device and ensure tracking is off. Finally, monitor participants before starting a confidential agency/client call.”

 

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Next you want to manage your participants before they even sign up. “Refrain from sharing meeting links publicly, like on social media for instance,” says David Baker, CIO at Pacific Dental Services in Irvine, California. “Instead, only share meeting links via private methods, like via email. Set your meetings to ‘private’ and require attendees to use a password to join. Once the meeting is in session, ‘lock’ the meeting so no other users can join, even with a password.”

Don’t just rely on the integrity of your password. Zoom has other features you can use to prevent unauthorized access. “Enable the ‘Waiting Room’ feature so you can see who is attempting to join the meeting,” says Tomas Hoyos; Co-Founder/CEO of Voro in New York City. “In addition, you should disable the ‘Screensharing’ for meeting participants”

If you adopt these Zoom “best practices,” you will reduce the likelihood of unwanted guests intruding on your 401k meeting.

“Zoom has worked very well as it’s easy for myself and my clients to use,” says Kirsner. “They only have to click on the link and can enter the room. I can share my screen with them to show them important points and have them see it easily. I haven’t had any issues with hackers while using Zoom.”

Christopher Carosa is a keynote speaker, journalist, and the author of  401(k) Fiduciary SolutionsHey! What’s My Number? How to Improve the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort, From Cradle to Retirement: The Child IRA, and several other books on innovative retirement solutions, practical business tips, and the history of the wonderful Western New York region. Follow him on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

Mr. Carosa is available for keynote speaking engagements, especially in venues located in the Northeast, MidAtantic and Midwestern regions of the United States and in the Toronto region of Canada.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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