Is cobrowsing safe?

Is cobrowsing safe?

If you work in customer support, we’re here to tell you that there are far better ways to collaborate and solve user issues than video conferencing, email and chat. 

In the last few years, a few companies (including ours!) have launched cobrowsing products — platforms that combine the ease of video conferencing, the speed of chat and the collaboration power of remote access software to create an unparalleled customer support experience.

But, as with any newer technology, one question looms large: exactly how safe is cobrowsing? Especially given all the remote access scams we keep hearing about lately. 

But first: what is cobrowsing? 

Cobrowsing is a technology by which two or more people can use multi-cursor screen control to browse a website or web app together in real time. Each can see what the other is doing and interact with web elements. 

Some solutions also include chat and annotation tools. 

Cobrowsing is most commonly used in customer service, especially since online customer support has exploded in the last few years, with a whopping 90% of companies offering some form of online support, whether that’s through email, chat or on social media. 

The volume of support queries has also increased dramatically. Intercom reports that 53% of support teams have seen an increase in support queries since the pandemic started. 

Cobrowsing just makes it that much faster and more efficient to solve those tickets — especially for complicated support inquiries that are hard to explain and solve over email and chat. 

Is cobrowsing safe?

So, is cobrowsing safe? Yes. While there are some legitimate concerns, using a trusted cobrowsing vendor can mitigate those issues. Cobrowsing, in contrast to traditional remote access or screen sharing, is by far the safest option for collaboration. 

If you’re considering adding cobrowsing to your support arsenal, the most important thing to do is to make sure you are using a cobrowsing solution that is reputable and takes data privacy seriously.

We’ll talk a little more about some of the most common concerns when it comes to cobrowsing and how Fullview’s cobrowsing solution addresses them in the following sections. 

Data privacy concerns

One of the primary concerns when it comes to cobrowsing is data privacy and GDPR. When you use cobrowsing, the person or people you are cobrowsing with essentially have access to all of the data visible on your screen. 

And this isn’t just a concern for individuals: companies are often hesitant to offer cobrowsing because of concerns around GDPR. 

So, what can companies and individuals do to mitigate the risk? 

The best thing to do here is to use a cobrowsing solution that takes privacy and GDPR compliance seriously. And one that is transparent about how it protects and processes your data — like Fullview, for example. 

As one of the only cobrowsing solutions based in the EU, all user data is stored on EU servers, making Fullview 100% compliant with GDPR regulations. We also utilize the highest levels of encryption and security. 

Companies are completely in control of the data they choose to collect and censor during cobrowsing calls. GDPR-sensitive information (like passwords, emails, payment information, addresses and phone numbers) is automatically censored. Additionally, we’ve made it very easy for companies to customize other types of data they would like to censor during cobrowsing calls.

That’s what makes cobrowsing much safer than screen sharing over tools like Zoom or Google Meet, where it isn’t possible to censor any data. 

Remote access scams

Another risk people have concerns about is the possibility of malicious actors trying to gain access to sensitive information. While this is more a concern with traditional remote access software, we’ve covered some best practices companies and individuals should keep in mind when giving someone access to their systems: 

  • Never give access to someone you don't know and always verify the identity of whomever it is that is requesting access. 
  • Don't share login or password information. And never ask for it during cobrowsing calls. 
  • Trust your gut: if a situation feels off, it’s probably best to exercise caution.  
  • Train your support agents in cyber security best practices. 
  • Keep the lines of communication with your users open and educate them on how to spot remote access scams. 

Although remote access scams are something you should take very seriously, here is something to ease your mind: 

Unlike remote access software, which grants someone control over your entire system, with a cobrowsing solution like Fullview, agents only have access within their own web app

What that means is that if an agent from XYZ company initiates a cobrowsing call with a user, that call takes place within the XYZ app and agents only have control in the XYZ app. They are locked out of other parts of the user’s system. 

This significantly mitigates the risks associated with traditional remote access software — for both companies and end users. 

Additionally, with a cobrowsing solution like Fullview, your users will not be sent links they have to click on or downloads they have to install in order to cobrowse with you, which also makes the process a whole lot safer. 

Once you have implemented Fullview’s API, cobrowsing calls are initiated within your app and your user doesn’t have to download anything: they only have to click accept to start the cobrowsing session. 

Wrapping things up

While people understandably have some concerns around cobrowsing, given how remote access software has run into tricky territory recently, companies and individuals can rest assured that, unlike traditional remote access and screen sharing, cobrowsing is by far the safest choice when looking for collaboration tools in customer support. 

Just make sure to choose a reputable vendor that is fully GDPR compliant, takes data protection seriously, and is transparent about its security policies — like Fullview!

Author

Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager

Contributor