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Risks Involved in Using Video Calls

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Adapted from the DigiSafe toolkit

Call quality is poor or call disconnects

– How might you ensure participants have strong enough wifi or data connections for a video call?

– Can you set up a protocol for technical difficulties in advance and share the ‘what-to-do-ifs’ with participants before the sessions?

Inadequate security settings

– What security settings does this software offer?

– Does it ensure the privacy of everyone on the call?

User discomfort at being visible to others or themselves:

participants may feel uncomfortable/vulnerable about being visible or having to watch themselves

– What can we or the software offer users who do not want to be visible on the call? Is this an option during online training? If not, have you set clear expectations about this?

Overwhelmed by group work in an unfamiliar setting:

due to the nature of video calling where delays might occur, social cues are different and individuals risk speaking over one another which can leave individuals feeling distressed and upset.

– Does the software include functionality (e.g. break-out rooms) that allow for one-to-one support during group sessions? Do we have the capacity for this extra support (e.g. a second facilitator)

– How can we make sure we’re alert to people being overwhelmed or triggered during training (especially when talking about sensitive topics)?

– Can we establish a ‘code’ of clear rules for interaction in these calls, e.g. to avoid speaking over each other? How would this ‘code’ have to be adapted for different ‘situations’, e.g. plenum vs. group tasks in breakout rooms?

Dive Deeper

Video conferencing services: security guidance for organisations (National Cyber Security Centre website)

DigiSafe toolkit info on video conferencing (website)