Coronavirus apps and privacy considerations

Written by Jonathon on April 1, 2020

Four people on a video conference call in different settings

During these trying times, the team at hopes that everyone is staying safe, looking after their loved ones and keeping spirits high.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the rhythm of life, especially for those of us who are now confined to working from home. This is a revelation to some, as commute times vanish, home cooked lunches rise and meme upon meme is shared liberally.

But there are also some pitfalls.

Colleagues dial into team meetings from the bathroom. Others forget to turn cameras and microphones off. Cats walk over keyboards and ruin a morning of writing. And some forget what screen sharing means…..

Examples like these are mostly light-hearted and temporary, but we at thought it a prescient time to remind others of privacy-related issues that arise with increasing remote work.

  • Facebook can track your online activity on other sites as well as offline activity. Logout of your account after you’ve finished your session – ideally use Facebook in a separate browser
  • Google location and search history reveals a lot about you at any given moment. You can toggle your privacy settings here but it’s always a good idea to browse in private mode or use a search engine that doesn’t track you, like DuckDuckGo
  • Be careful which information you share with health apps and ensure they require user consent for any data sharing practices. The BBC covers some key issues
  • Double check the status of your microphone and camera when you dial into a meeting. Use a camera cover if necessary
  • Only open links from people and sites you trust
  • When screen-sharing, only share the required window and not your whole desktop

Lastly, as this is a health crisis, ensure you wash your hands regularly and wipe down your laptop keyboard.

For a more in-depth look at digital privacy, head to our blog and sign-up to where we provide you with the tools to manage your online persona and privacy.