The privacy challenges of contact tracing by smartphone apps

A number of countries — and now individual US states — are planning or have rolled out their smartphone-based contact tracing apps, in the hopes of gaining insight into the spread of infections. As you might imagine, this brings up all sorts of privacy implications and challenges. Before I review where in the world you can find an ailing Carmen San Diego, let’s look at the four major development projects that are now underway.

  • The most well-known is a joint project from Google/Alphabet and Apple that is more a framework than an actual app. Vaughan-Nichols explains the actual mechanics and The Verge answers some of the questions about this effort. The UK is poised to test their app based on this framework sometime soon. Both vendors have stated that these protocols will be incorporated into later releases of Android and iOS later this summer.
  • An open-source EU-based effort called DP-3T has developed an Apache/Python reference implementation here on Github. There are sample apps for Android and iOS too.
  • A second joint EU-based closed-source effort called PEPP-PT has gotten support from 130 organizations in eight different countries. No current apps are yet available to my knowledge on either EU effort.
  • Finally is something called BlueTrace/OpenTrace which is open source code developed by Singapore that is part of their tracing app called Trace Together. This was launched in late March. So far no one else has made use of their code.

All four proposals — I hesitate to call them implementations — are based a few common principles:

  • When a match with a known infected user is made, all data is collected and stored locally. The idea is to preserve a user’s privacy, but still give public health officials some insight into the users’ movements. Some of the implementations combine local and centralized health data, such as the PEPP framework and Singapore’s app.
  • The contacts are found through the use of Bluetooth low energy queries from your phone to nearby phones. These can reach up to a hundred feet in open air. The ACLU is worried that this data isn’t all that accurate, and has raised other privacy issues in this paper.
  • There are various encryption protocols and layers, some better than others. The goal here is to anonymize the user data and keep hackers at bay. Some information and interfaces are documented, some things aren’t yet published or won’t be made public. And of course no system is 100% fail safe.
  • The apps all rely on the GPS network, which limits their utility given that precise locations aren’t really possible. Some efforts are more sophisticated in cross-checking with the user’s common locations and Bluetooth contacts, but this is very much an inexact science. Taiwan tries to get around this by having the user call the health department and cross-check their own location history against this repository and request a test if there was an intersection.
  • Usually, the local health agency interacts with the tracking data — that is the whole point of these things. But as in the case of Singapore, do we really want a central point where potential privacy abuse could happen? How long does the agency keep this location data, for example?

You can see where I am going with this analysis. We have a lot of things to juggle to make these apps really useful. One of the biggest issues is the need to combine tracking with testing to verify the spread of infection. This paper from Harvard goes into some of the details about how many tests will be needed for tracking to be effective. As you can guess, it is a lot more testing than we have done in the US.

Yes, many of us are now sticking at home, and obeying the recommendations or in some cases the varying local rules. (Israel, for example, doesn’t allow anyone to travel very far from their homes.) But some of us aren’t obeying, or have to travel for specific reasons. And what about folks who have gotten the virus and haven’t gotten sick? Should they be allowed to travel with some sort of document or (as Bill Gates has suggested, a digital signature)?

This page on Wikipedia (while I don’t like citing them, folks seem to be keeping the page updated) lists more than a dozen countries where have apps deployed. India has multiple app deployments from various state agencies. There are also apps available in China, Israel, Norway, Ghana, the Czech Republic and Australia. You should take a look at the various links and make your own comparisons.

What should you do? In many places, you don’t have much choice, particularly if you recently returned home from outside the country. For those of us that have a choice, if you don’t like the idea, then don’t install any of these apps, and when the phone operating systems update over the summer, remember to turn off the “contact tracing” setting. If any of you are active in the efforts cited here, please drop me a note, I would love to talk to you and learn more.

FIR B2B podcast #136: The best and worst Covid-related pitches

Is your inbox overflowing with a virus? Sadly, it isn’t ordinary phishing or malware, but all COVID, all the time, with pitches and experts offered from all walks of life. It isn’t just the infosec vendors either. Paul and I have gotten pitches from genealogy vendors, from vendor selling ink cartridges and those who want to help us build a sales team working from home.

They have plenty of competition. Bad guys have come up with all kinds of scams and ploys preying on interest in information and remedies. Scammers cumulatively  created over 35,500 unique websites related to COVID-19 in the last month according to Atlas VPN research, Some of these sites tried to swindle money by selling masks, hand sanitizers, or even virus testing kits. Amazon removed over 530,000 coronavirus-related product listings due to price-gouging.

All this means communicators need to be judicious about what you are pitching. In this podcast, we look at the best and worst examples that we’ve seen cross our inboxes. For example, we both liked this piece that ran in a local St. Louis magazine. It looked into the role two local university medical research teams – one at Washington University and one at St. Louis University – were contributing to COVID research work. David’s wife is an interior designer, and she has gotten her share of coronavirus-related pitches too. One  pitch is for a bunch of expert tips on organizing your home while sheltering in place. We both liked the practicality of the piece and how it offers some solid suggestions that anyone can use to straighten up while living in isolation. .

The email at left had a subject line “building your sales team for a post-Covid recovery.” That struck us both as opportunistic and being somewhat tone-deaf to the worldwide misery we’ve all been seeing.

Then there is the pitch from Dell below right that is trying to sell printer ink cartridges, with the subject line “working from home made easy.” Needlessly exploitative. It has nothing to do with simplifying work from home.

Finally is the personalized pitch. If you are going to go make a pitch related to an epic tragedy, don’t start with “Happy Wednesday.” It just comes across as unseemly.

So what are some lessons that we learned? First sharpen your pitch and and make it as relevant to your business as possible. Don’t make a reporter have to search for an angle. And it doesn’t hurt to ask a reporter what articles they are working on and offer to help.

Listen to our 19 min. podcast below.

The art and science of mathematical modeling

With all the talk about “flattening the curve” and model disease predictions, I thought I would take the opportunity to explain exactly what these models look like. No, they don’t bear any resemblance to those people that walk down runways or the plastic things we put together with that smelly glue when we were kids.

My first brush with the art and science of math modeling was in graduate school at Stanford. I actually took an entire class in how to build them, and it was one of my favorite classes. Each week we would have a new assignment. What I remember about this class is that the assignment could take anywhere from a few hours to several days to complete. Sometimes — most times — the assumptions that I made were so wrong that I would have to start over. I remember a few of the assignments: one was to build a model to help women decide when they should get screened for breast cancer. Another was to help the Palo Alto school system decide which of their grade schools to close for under enrollment. These two were very tough, and I can’t remember if I came anywhere near the correct approach, just that they kept me up for many late nights.

What made this class interesting was that it was taught by two business professionals who lived in the “real world” and deliberately chose examples from some of their consulting projects. That particular class is no longer being taught. Indeed, searching through Stanford’s website, I was chagrined to find out that my degree, Operations Research, was eliminated more than 25 years ago. Time marches on.

Actually, I had an earlier experience with math models. I had a student job rebuilding these antique brass and string models that were created in the 1830s. They were used to teach students how to draw conic sections, back before we had Mathematica or even full-color textbook illustrations. But these are more literal “models” — for this post, I am talking more ephemeral constructs that are mostly data and equations.

Math models are being used all the time and don’t usually get much attention — until disaster strikes. One type of them that you consume daily is weather forecasting models. When a hurricane threatens part of the world, you see a variety of forecasted paths that the storm is likely to take: each one of those paths comes from someone’s model about past behavior. Another example is building a model to calculate how much flooring you’ll need to cover your room. That one is pretty simple, using additional and multiplication, but still you have to do the math to figure out whether you’ll need 10 or 20 boxes of materials.

Some of the most annoying math models were those “word problems” that we all had to solve in grade school. Maybe that is why many of us have steered clear of them in adult life. But after taking that modeling class in grad school, I got into math modeling as a career, and went to DC to become a consultant myself. I built models to support public policy decisions, such as whether to build a dam threatening an endangered species (my model said to go ahead, based on the economic outcomes) and whether to enact building energy conservation standards (my model said yes to that too).

Here are two places to look at noteworthy virus modeling efforts:

Stay healthy and safe wherever you are.

Avast blog: The citizen’s guide to spotting fake news

Truth and facts are hard to come by these days. Most of us want to understand what is true and what is not. What’s more, we want our kids to understand the difference between fact and fiction. But sifting through our social media — and even ordinary news reports — does require some work. I have put together some resources in this blog post to help you discriminate the truthiness (as Stephen Colbert might have said) of what you find online.

The sheer amount of disinformation, lies, conspiracy theories — call them what you will — is staggering. In this post for Avast’s blog, I review how we got here, how you can start to figure out whether something is true or false online, and what should be your own strategies for becoming more skeptical of what you read online.

Family isolation protocols: don’t judge

In this time of sheltering-in-place and self-imposed isolation, we have to learn to be kinder and less judgmental to each other. One of the biggest issues for families is agreeing on your own “isolation protocol,” for lack of a better description. Most of the stuff that I have read include suggestions such as from Britain’s NHS here. Or articles on what activities to do now that the kids are home. But I haven’t seen that much discussion about how you formulate your own protocol. Given my interest in Internet protocols, this seems a natural point for me.

It is just my wife and me at home. You would think that the two of us would be able to figure out some common ground for exactly how much isolation we should be doing. But it is a harder problem than that. There are two dimensions to this. First is that the ground is shifting. As the virus spreads, scientists are learning more about its transmission and its lethality and changing their own recommendations. That means building into the family protocol the ability to be updated to reflect these changing conditions. Or if one of you becomes more concerned about a particular activity, for example. As I said, things are changing rapidly.

The second dimension is that all of us, even long-married couples, come to this virus from different perspectives. What we need is to make some consensus decisions. We do this all the time, and it part of our daily lives. Only, instead of what are we having for dinner or who is going to clean the bathroom, they become decisions that involve the potential life and death of the family members themselves. Maybe that is too dire a description, but you see what I mean.

Let me give you some examples of the potential points around assembling your own protocol:

  • When should we wear a mask, if at all? (See the link above for the latest CDC recommendation.
  • Is takeout food acceptable under specific circumstances?
  • How often do we shop for groceries and other supplies? Do they require delivery?
  • When one of us returns from being outside our apartment, what is the cleansing and transition process?
  • How often should we go to the office?
  • What about continuing or beginning any volunteer activities?
  • Do we have a cellphone cleansing policy, and who enforces it?
  • What about how to disinfect the mail and newspapers?
  • Is anyone other than the family allowed inside our apartment and if so under what circumstances?

These all seem like pretty petty issues, but in the time of Covid, they could be life and death, quite literally. If you want your family to survive this crisis, you need to come to agreement on these policies and be willing to concede to your spouse’s POV. I have heard stories about those medical workers who have to sleep over the garage or in someone’s RV rather that spend their time inside the family manse.

I was talking to a friend of mine who has a father who is in his late 70s and still goes to work at his office. She tried talking to her dad and getting him to stay home but was unsuccessful. Another friend who is 80 had all of his grandchildren over to their house for dinner not too long ago. This person recently had heart bypass surgery.

Here is the thing. You can’t judge what someone else’s protocol may be, however inelegantly expressed or however much you disagree with their position. Everyone has to come to terms with this pandemic on their own terms and reach their own comfort level. Now I realize how frustrating it can be to deal with a family or friend who has a different position on what social isolation means, and perhaps doesn’t disinfect as much (or as more) as you do. It isn’t up to us to judge. You have to be you, to quote a common phrase. But you and your family should have some discussion about this and at least agree on some of the basic principles as I listed above.

Maximizing the benefits to your family of web conferencing and video chat

More of us are now working from home, and more of our kids are having to finish their school year from home too. That presents all sorts of opportunities and problems, and at the center of both are web conferencing and video chat technologies. Understanding how they are used and setting up basic rules, figuring out your collection of tools, and setting up separate work/school areas in your house will determine if your family will be productive and if you can survive your “sheltering in place” during this COVID crisis.

Even Bill Gates is spending most of his time on video conferencing (check out this interview with TED’s head honcho where he plugs Microsoft Teams several times during the first few minutes).

I have been using a variety of conferencing systems over the years, and help produce a several-hundred person webinar for the American Red Cross monthly. Here are some tips from these experiences.

 1. Each family member needs to establish their own “broadcasting protocol,” for lack of a better term. If Mom is online, does that mean that Dad can’t interrupt the call? Or that the kids can’t wander in for a visit? The old rules of not having a child interrupt your work meeting no longer apply. I put together a podcast with Paul Gillin about some of these old rules last fall here.)

The number of memes showing various family members caught in states of undress have certainly proliferated. Clearly, set some ground rules about what, when, and what to wear when on a video call, or when video is and isn’t appropriate. Figure out where each family member is going to be using as their “studio” so that everyone can have their own space. A friend of mine has noticed that all the professional news anchors who are now broadcasting from their homes has given him a chance to view their room designs. It certainly isn’t “design on a dime” but it at least injects some new interest in their broadcasts.

Another thing that I have seen in the past couple of weeks is a more relaxed use of the video conference. “Sharing” dinner over a conference call link in lieu of being at the same dining table. Celebrating a work milestone with drinks from everyone’s home office, rather than in person at the local bar or conference room. Doing homework together over a conference line. You get the idea. Be creative and figure out what works for your situation.

2. Video is nice, but having solid audio is key. That brings up my next point. I don’t want to minimize the importance of video. As you know, I mostly work alone in my office. In the past weeks I have wanted to connect more via video, to see my family and friends. Video is an important connector in these times of crisis. But if your audio gear is subpar, you need to address that now. No one wants to listen to bad audio. Your laptop’s audio gear might not cut it, and if you are going to be doing a lot of conferences, invest $50 to $100 in a decent external USB mic.

3. Understand you’ll need some minimal production values, for both personal and work purposes. Have an agenda, have a conference call leader, prepare the presentation ahead of time, set up a call sheet of who speaks when. And check your audio setup to make sure folks can hear you clearly. These things are also important for calls to family and friends too. While having a “coffee talk” freestyle type of meeting is nice, once the novelty of seeing everyone wears off, you should make the calls more structured. Also, if you are going to share your screen, prepare it ahead of time: don’t have everyone looking at your email inbox or have your messaging client pop-ups enabled during your session.

4. Use calendar invites with care. Google’s calendar invite automatically adds its own Hangout link: that is great if that is what you want to use, but it is confusing if you have some other tool in mind. Remember that some other automatically generated invites (such as from Zoom) don’t automatically adjust for time zone differences. And speaking of which, start your meetings on time, please.

5. No single tool will work for every family member, or even every situation. We are fortunate that we have so many products that are available, and many of them are free of charge: Zoom, Webex, Facebook Messenger, Facetime, Google Hangouts/Meet/Duo, WhatsApp and Skype are just a few of the services. If you look at this list (and there are dozens more products that I didn’t mention), they come to the party from different places: video telephones designed for 1-on-1 calls, video-enhanced text messaging, video collaboration tools designed for supporting sharing stuff (files, URLs and chats), video-enhanced social networking and video training tools that are designed for a somewhat different collaboration.

Figure out what works for you, based on your prior experience, what your contacts/peer groups are using and if your business already supports one of these for work-related calls. Zoom has been in the news a lot because it is very easy to setup (including these simple recording features shown here) and because a lot of schools are setting up distance learning classes using it. But if you want to run meeting longer than 40 minutes with more than two people, you’ll need the paid version, or try out Webex, which has a free tier for this situation. Also, if you are concerned about Zoom’s cavalier attitude towards privacy, you may want to choose something else.

So it is possible that your kids might use Facebook Messenger/Whats App, you will use Zoom and your spouse will use the office’s Microsoft Teams. That’s okay. Realize that each family member is coming from a different experience and comfort level with these tools. Remember that our kids have grown up with various digital products but may not be used to using them productively under present circumstances. You may want to monitor their use, depending on their age and what kind of parent you are too.

Video calls now have a heavy lift and have to support your work life and your family’s social life. As we spend more time at home, we need to stay connected with loved ones and work colleagues and figure out how to become more productive.

Support your local restaurant

I live in a very urban part of St. Louis for a reason: it is walkable, it is vibrant, it is near a wonderful park and transit. All of that has changed in the past two weeks.All of these advantages now have to be examined under a different lens.

Like many of you, we are staying home. When we do go out for a walk, it is a bit eerie: the streets are empty. Street parking — which used to be an issue especially weekend evenings — is copiously now available. Meeting other pedestrians used to be under the midwest code: you nod and say hello as you pass. Now we hold our breath and hope that we have enough room on the sidewalk to “socially distance” ourselves.

The dozens of restaurants that were at the core of our community are mostly under lockdown. The ones that are closed have small signs in their windows, hastily printed. The few that are open are only for carryout, under orders of the city. I want to support the ones that are still doing business, even though it is a risk: do I trust the sanitation and health protocols that the restaurateur has adopted in these post-COVID times? Many of these places are run by people I have gotten to know over the years living here. My wife and I eat out frequently. Not anymore.

Still, I feel that I need to do something. So I started looking into how to make it easier for customers to get their meals from the local restaurants. If you are willing to take this risk — and there are many of you that might not even go here — there are three main issues:

First, many local restaurants have terrible websites. One of our favorite places has been in business for decades and is about a three-minute walk from our apartment. It has a single page website with a phone number. No online menu. No online anything, really. Others just have Facebook pages, which aren’t much better. I realize that there are many places which are not tech-savvy. But still, there are many restaurants who are. Take for example this group of local places (none of which sadly is in my neighborhood). They have a very nice website. But that is just first hurdle.

Second, I want to be able to purchase my carryout food online. Here is a complicating factor. There are two typical ways that a restaurant does this: either through a food delivery provider (you can select a pickup option if you don’t want the food delivered) or via the restaurant’s point-of-sale (POS) vendor. In our neighborhood, there are at least five different delivery vendors:  DoorDash, UberEasts, Postmates, GrubHub and FoodPedaler (the latter being a hyper-local St. Louis startup that has concentrated in our neighborhood and downtown). Some restaurants have setup accounts with multiple delivery vendors. But many of the places don’t have any accounts with any of these services.

The problem isn’t just technology. The restaurant has to be setup with a place for the pickup orders, or have the workflow for how the delivery provider is going to interact with its staff. These days where interpersonal interaction is scrutinized, that means being extra careful with sanitation.

One way to simplify matters in these dire times is to present just a few choices. That is what Grace Meat + Three has done with their online ordering. You just have two menu choices.

Third, I want to purchase a gift card to provide an interest-free loan to my favorite places. This can be done in one of several ways. The easier way is to use a gift card with one of the food delivery vendors mentioned above. The second method is by using gift cards that are associated with a POS vendor. Clover (shown here), Toast and Square are the three POS vendors that are most often found around here. The rub is that the restaurant has to enable this option, and not everyone has set this up.

Another method of obtaining gift cards is to make use of one of the E-Gift service providers. (Everything is a service nowadays, so why not gift cards?) There are two that I found: Yiftee and TheGiftCardCafe. The latter vendor is waiving its setup fee for new accounts, which is a nice gesture.

Some restaurant websites have direct links to gift card purchases, but most don’t. Usually they are found on the bigger national chains’ websites, which is not where I want to go at the moment. And one local chain listed gift cards on their website home page, but the link brought me to a page saying that it hasn’t been setup yet. FAIL!

One effort has already begun, called CurbSideSTL. It is a good first attempt and does a decent job of listing who is still open and how to order and obtain food. But it lacks direct links to gift cards and online delivery services. I realize that involves a lot more work, but given how quickly things are evolving, it would be more helpful with these links.

So, where does that leave us? If you own a local restaurant, I will give you some help to at least get your carryout menu posted online. If you have a POS system and haven’t gotten online ordering or gift cards setup, I can do this for you. My price is a free meal. Now more than ever, we have to make it easier to do business online.

RSA blog: Renaissance of the OTP hardware token

Few things in infosec can date back to the early 1990s and still be in demand today, but such is the case with  one-time password (OTP) hardware key-fob tokens. Despite numerous security analysts predicting their death, hardware OTPs have withstood the test of time, and lately, are undergoing a renaissance with a newfound interest among security managers. There has been a spate of newer, dare I say smarter, hardware tokens in the past couple of years from Yubico and OneSpan, along with wider support for FIDO standards as well.

In this month’s blog for RSA, I look at this evolution, why the hardware token remains relevant, and some of the current trends in multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Beating the odds: how STEM women succeed

{:name}I recently read Kelly Simmons and Patty Rowland Burke’s Beating the Odds: Winning Strategies of Women in STEM. I have known Patty for decades, first meeting her when she worked at Regis McKenna back in the go-go days when PCs were first coming into businesses. They have written a business book for everyone, especially those men that have filled tech companies with their toxic “good ole boy” bro culture. It takes the unusual approach of talking to several dozen women who have succeeded in STEM careers and studied the common elements of why they have done well while others have failed. Spoiler alert: it mostly isn’t their fault, and the hard part will be fighting this culture to affect real change.

Many younger people, both women and men, don’t remember how bad things were in the 1980s and 1990s, when corporate events included pretty raunchy moments. (I will spare you the details, but you can probably imagine.) Unfortunately, we haven’t really progressed much from these days. I remember when I was in engineering school in the 1970s, having a woman in any of my classes was a rarity. Having more than one per class didn’t happen. Sadly, while there are more women in STEM now, it still isn’t anywhere near where it could be. And where it should be.

One tech CEO — presumably male — told a female engineering manager this: “every company needs someone who is the API between the business and the technical. That’s really hard to find, and not often valued in Silicon Valley.” That is a good point, and I have often found myself in this API role in many of my writing and consulting efforts.

“One woman jokingly described the anxiety she felt in the workplace as ‘like being Jamie Lee Curtis in a Halloween movie, you never know when the guy in the mask with the knife will show up.”

Granted, many women appear at first glance to be less technical and suffer from impostor syndrome. This is usually defined at paranoia that you are a fraud and don’t deserve to be in a position or credited any of your accomplishments. But this isn’t exclusive to women. When I took my first job as the Editor-in-chief at CMP to start Network Computing magazine, I suffered from impostor syndrome myself. I had never started a publication, never held the EIC position, and hadn’t hired many staffers or even knew how to produce a publication. Fortunately, I had a great set of mentors at CMP to help me learn these things and the magazine is still around today, albeit in an online format. I went on to run several other publications as a result of this training.

This reminds me of another Jamie Lee Curtis movie — True Lies — where she doesn’t have impostor syndrome but manages to save the day and win Arnold back (who plays her spying, lying husband). Anyway, back to the book.

It dives into a very important area that I haven’t seen much of in other business books. “We have learned what makes successful women tick, why some of them persevere to lead major technical organizations and teams, and why others drop out in frustration. A senior technical women should not be an astonishing exception.”

The book is also filled with plenty of suggestions to help technical women succeed. One important aspect is to develop male allies and role models. The lack of these prevents many women from pursuing STEM careers. These include men who aren’t enlisted in the “boys club” network and  can support technical women in the company. This can also counter the feelings of aloneness and feeling of “otherness” that can cause frustration and lead many women to resign their positions.

Another helpful idea is to set up a form of reverse mentoring, where younger women are mentors to senior managers to help them better understand their experience and points of view. This is particularly helpful to root out work processes and routines that were designed for all-male environments, and have become so embedded in tech companies. Just search for Uber’s early history if you need further convincing.

So read this book. Send a copy to your manager, and make him read it as well. Only by changing one dinosaur at a time can we evolve as a species. And perhaps be more inclusive to not just women but other under-represented people in STEM too.

FIR B2B podcast #135: TIPS FOR TRANSITIONING TO A HOME-BASED WORKFORCE

As the coronavirus spreads throughout the world, businesses are being faced with setting up policies and procedures to enable everyone to work from home (WFH). Doing this presents several challenges, some of them brought on by new demands on your IT department and some by demands of a new way of working that you may not have anticipated. A good reference point for the complexities involved is this Twitter thread about what Slack did to move to 100% WFH model. In this podcast, Paul and I draw upon their own decades-long experience as sole business owners. Among our advice:

  1. Think about printing, email and sharing files and the IT services that will be needed to support that activity. Be careful about SaaS services such as Dropbox; if users aren’t trained property they could expose your corporate data unintentionally.
  2. Make sure your infosec is up to par. A VPN isn’t just the only thing you need to worry about it. Is your home router secured with an appropriate password? Do you encrypt your network traffic across the Internet? Has your laptop been screened for malware? These and other questions need to be addressed before rolling out any work-from-home solution.
  3. Does your staff have the right tools? Just because everyone has a laptop doesn’t mean anything, particularly they’re used to having multiple monitors and great audio/video gear. You may have to purchase additional accessories to make your staff productive.
  4. Make sure your staff has a separate workspace that is isolated from the rest of the house. You want to minimize distractions and unplanned family “visits” during the workday.
  5. Get a good mic (I use the Blue Snowball, Paul uses a Logitech wireless). You should be able to get something decent for $50-$100.
  6. Standardize on a video conferencing supplier (we both like Zoom at the moment, although there are privacy issues you might want to consider) and make sure all your gear provides solid audio quality when you use it.
  7. Make sure your home bandwidth is sufficient. Pay attention to upload speeds, because these can impact your latency and video quality.
  8. Learn new video conferencing etiquette, review our previous podcast on some of our tips here.
  9. Set up a shared scheduling tool for everyone to use and standardize on a corporate instant messaging tool, too.

Listen to our 15 min. podcast now: