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On my Mac, I have uBlockOrigin installed in my browser and I have it configured to always block 3rdparty and 3rdparty frames and it prevents both the POCs completely.

I have one browser that I use for work email and video conference, where system grants access to camera/microphone to the browser and browser allows Google Meet to access camera.

I have another browser where system does not grant access to any of the devices - camera, microphone, USB etc - and I use that for web surfing.

And I strictly don't install any plugins for video calls. I have refused to join meetings where people try to make me install random binary software on my machine. There's always phone call for such situations.

I feel better about dedicated apps on iPhone where again I can install and grant permissions before the call and then uninstall the app completely. On iPhone I don't do any web surfing. I have Firefox Focus for occasional emergencies to open the unknown web.




Refusing to install software for video calls is a good policy. Also, having a throwaway workstation for such things (also Skype, which is spyware of the worst kind) is useful too, for when it’s a pre-sales call and security can’t outweigh closing a six+ figure deal.


and I am in the crowd of mac users who tape over their camera. when it comes to video conferences at most I have ever seen the desktop shared. what type of work do you do that uses the video for portions other than the presentation?


You weren't asking me, but I run into this same thing.

In my business -- project management software -- I'm in online meetings a LOT (say, 20 hours a week?) because everyone in my company is remote. We have never, ever used video. It just doesn't come up. Nobody wants it internally, and none of our customers ask for it in external meetings. I don't think any of them use it internally, either (and many of our customers are large, distributed organizations with offices all over the place).

This seems normal to me.

My neighbor is an IT VP for a health care concern. She travels a lot (30-40%), and when she's home she's in online meetings pretty much all the time. And in her company, video is ALWAYS included. I have no idea why, and neither does she; it's a cultural thing.

The upshot, though, is that I work in t-shirts and cargo shorts, and she has to be "office ready" even though she works at home. However, I will note that, if I run into her outside when she's walking the dog, it's not unusual to see her in a nice blouse, hair and makeup done, but wearing yoga pants or whatever. Which is its own kind of hilarious.


Sounds like false security thiugh- at least the camera has a light (which last I heard has been hardware level synced with the camera) so you know if someone's watching but what you have no control over is the microphone


Just audio is still an improvement over audio and video.

Video meetings are so much more effective than audio meetings. I went from a company that always uses video to a company that rarely uses video and the difference is huge.

Often the most important parts of meetings are nonverbal.


> what type of work do you do that uses the video for portions other than the presentation?

My department (of 400 people) is split between two cities. I am regularly in meetings with people from the other city.

Google Meet is a big part of our culture. It helps with team cohesion and collaboration to actually see each other's faces when we meet.

It is of course not _required_ but I really believe it is better than just audio.


To ubermonkey's point, some of this can be a company culture thing.

Certain teams at my workplace use webcams all the time, others never. My team leverages them quite a bit, as our team is all over the world. It helped solidify our team members not just as random voices on a phone line, but as actual people who we will likely never meet in person.


HN part of the unknown web?




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