In these “quarantine times”, web conferencing, specifically Zoom has become our new way of life for work, school and connecting with family and friends. As many businesses and schools moved to the platform, so has our social lives. Happy hours, weddings, dates, family dinners, etc. are all being hosted via Zoom. The web conferencing company has reported monthly users of its video conferencing app surged from 10 million in December to 200 million in March as nonessential businesses, schools and universities across the country were closed for the foreseeable future for the prevention of COVID-19. With Zooms popularity and booming growth, hackers have targeted and disrupted sessions with inappropriate and lewd comments. This recent trend has been dubbed “Zoom Bombing” and has become a viral on Twitter and Tiktok.”Zoom Bombing” has prompted the FBI to issue a statement warning people to password-protect their Zoom meetings. The main issue is Zoom allows all participants (not only the host) to have the ability to share their screens; so if an unwanted guest were to join, they could share any inappropriate thing that they wanted just by sharing their desktop. The company has been facing a lot of criticism recently due to “Zoom Bombing. People have serious concerns about Zooms security.
Although “Zoom Bombing” is very inconvenient, there are multiple ways to protect your sessions against unwanted guests or “zoom bombers”. Below I listed a few recommended ways to secure your sessions:
- User Registration for Sessions:
This will require users to register with their First Name, Last Name and Email address in order to join the session
- Lock the Meeting:
When you lock a meeting, no new participants can join, even if they have the meeting ID and password.
Note: Participants can get kicked out a Zoom meeting due to internet speeds. Be careful when selecting this option as you may lock out students from returning to a session. You’ll need to “Unlock” the session for them to join again.
- Remove a Participant:
Removing a user from your participants list will expel a participant from the meeting. That participant can return, however, unless you select “Lock” after removing them?
- Authenticated Zoom Users Only:
This will require users to sign into a Zoom account in order to join a meeting. Enabling the setting will disable any unwanted guests from attempting to join as they will need a valid Zoom account to get in the meeting.
If you’re interested in more ways to protect your sessions, check out this guide-“Best Practices for Securing Your Zoom Sessions” I put together for Fox!
Recently, If i’m not on Zoom for work or school, I’m using it to connect with my friends and family on the weekends. As Instructional Technologist for Fox, my entire job pretty much revolves around the platform. Zoom is an amazing tool for connecting with others whether it be co-workers, class or just with friends on the weekends. As for any online application, it is always important to make sure you know how to protect yourself and your data.
Is Zoom your go-to web conferencing application?
Do you feel Zoom is secure? Why or why not?