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Digital Scouts: which platform to use?
Privacy, security and data protection issues should be your first consideration when deciding which digital platform to use to keep Scouts going.
There are many different platforms you can use to communicate online, if you're not familiar with some of these platforms, ask family and friends what platforms they use, and whether or not they're finding them easy to use. They're all slightly different with different features, and most importantly, different levels of security and privacy.
Be sure to check the platform's own websites, as many of them are changing their features and offers to help and support people because of the coronavirus.
As we're not able to give any tech advice or help you with using specific digital tools, if you have technical questions it's best to contact customer services for the platform you're using.
Watch our webinar about how to run virtual meetings on Zoom (Password: 8I%7de#9)
Good for: Can be used for interactive video calling for free for up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes.
Not good for: Should not be used as a file store or for confidential or sensitive meetings.
Security: There's been a lot of stories in the news about uninvited users on Zoom 'gatecrashing' video calls. You can protect your Zoom meeting from uninvited guests by following the below guidance:
- The host should use the most up-to-date version of Zoom, version 4.6.1.
- Use a different password for each meeting using alphabetical and numerical characters.
- Send the password separately to the room ID, preferably through a separate channel.
- Change your meeting settings to allow only signed-in users to join.
- Operate a waiting room this will allow the moderator to not admit anyone not recgonised.
- Do not allow screen sharing.
- Lock the meeting.
Read more on the Zoom blog on keeping your meetings private.
If you are experience an incident:
- Close the chat immediately.
- Tell the parents that an incident has occurred.
- Report to the police locally if the incident involved criminal activity.
- Report to email@example.com to log the incident and the team can provide support to any young people affected if required.
To ensure the safe use of Zoom for our Volunteer members, Scouts are taking the following steps;
- Following best practice guidance for securing Zoom for virtual classrooms and schools.
- Following NSPCC net-aware guidance for parents.
- Working with TSA safeguarding to assure the Zoom environment and its settings are operationally appropriate.
- Engaging with external data protection and security subject matter experts to review and assure the Zoom environment and its settings are compliant and secure.
- Providing updated guidance to members on how to use Zoom safely, in addition to the existing staying safe online guides.
Further details will be announced and made available on the Scouts website as soon as these steps have been taken and the solution is finalised.
Minimum age: 16 years old to sign up to host a call
GDPR & Data Protection
Make sure you read each platform's security and privacy policies to find out about the below issues.
Limit personal data usage: Many collaboration platforms allow the sharing of files but this should only be used as required and with limited personal data.
Limit access to any personal data: Access to the collaboration platform and the data within it should be limited to only those who require it. Collaboration platforms should be used among closed/private groups. This means the administrator only invites people to join who are part of their local Scout Group.
Retention of personal data: It's important that any personal data captured in collaboration platforms is only kept as long as necessary. Data should be deleted as soon as possible to avoid the potential for any breaches of personal data and in line with the individuals' expectations.
Inform the participants of personal data usage: Where personal data will be captured or used you should inform the participants of this. This will need to be clear and transparent so the participants can make their own decision about whether they are comfortable to take part.
Is the platform secure? Most collaboration platforms out there take security seriously and are transparent about the measures they adopt to keep data safe. When assessing the security principles of a platform, it's important to consider these questions:
- Does the platform require a strong password?
- Can you create roles based on access requirements?
- Is the platform encrypted?