Your world has been turned upside down. Everyone is falling into new routines and new tools. Over the past week we received a lot of questions about video chatting. We're analyzing some of the most popular services out there to let you know to what extent they respect your privacy. We hope it will help you make informed decisions about which tools suit you best. In the mean time we have one tip: Jitsi.
You can use Jitsi Meet in your browser or by downloading an app onto your smartphone. You don't have to download anything and you don't even need an account. Jitsi Meet has standard videoconferencing functionality such as group chat and private chat, screen share, the possibility to blur your background or share a YouTube video. You can adjust the image quality to match faster and slower internet connections, and of course you can also use the tool without enabling your camera.
What about security and privacy?
Safe and private communication tools share a few characteristics: they're easy to use, open source, respect your privacy and encrypt your traffic. Jitsi Meet scores relatively well.
User friendly: when you use Jitsi Meet in your browser, you can create your own URL and others can join your "channel" without needing to create an account. Easy!
Open source: this means that the service's source code is open. In theory, anyone could look into the code and check if the service really does what it says it does. It can also contribute to vulnerabilities in the code being found as soon as possible.
Encryption: you really want your online communication to be end-to-end encrypted. This means that your message can't be read by a third party while it's traveling from you to another person. Jitsi Meet isnot end-to-end encrypted (contrary to, for instance, Signal and WhatsApp). The organisation that hosts Jitsi Meet can see the content of your traffic. Your communication is encrypted while traveling from you to the hoster, and while traveling from the hoster to the people you're chatting with.
Share your additions or improvements to this blog in the comments below, and feel free to share your tips and experiences!