Is Zoom Safe?
It’s almost five months since the first case of Coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China and a lot has changed since then, the number of infected cases is increasing daily and social distancing and working from home is becoming the new norm. Schools, Recreational Centres, and Businesses have had to be closed to curb the spread of the disease. Only the essential services have been allowed to operate. Lockdowns, social isolations and other strict measures by different countries have made it hard for workers to go to work. This has led to the closure of many businesses and the retrenchment of many workers.
Some organizations have continued operating and offering the necessary services to their clients by allowing their staff to work from home. This has resulted in the adoption of different types of virtual conferencing services such as Skype, GoTo Meeting, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, BlueJeans and many more.
The rise of Zoom
A few months ago, Zoom was not the most common virtual conferencing application but since the COVID 19 pandemic, it is gaining more popularity daily. In 2019, Zoom had a total of 1.19 million user base but in the past few months, the application has added 2.2 million monthly users which is more than the number they had recorded for 2019.
This number was not projected and because of this Zoom has faced several criticisms due to many security vulnerabilities and poor data security services. Zoom through its developers has had to work hard to fix all the security loopholes but new cases are arising every day.
As the developers work towards ensuring that Zoom is safe for your meeting here are some tips that you may follow to ensure you have a private and secure meeting.
7 Essential Steps to Secure Your Zoom Meetings
1) Password protection
The best way to ensure that your meeting is secure and also lockout unwanted attendees is by setting up secure passwords for your meetings. The passwords can be set for the individual meeting, group, user or account level for all your meeting sessions. For this to be achieved, first sign up to zoom if you are not a member or login in if you already have an existing account and head over to the setting tab and enable “Require a password when scheduling new meetings”. This will ensure a new password is generated each time you have scheduled for a meeting. All the participants will have to use the password for them to join the meeting.
2) Update your application
There is no perfect application, Hackers are always looking for security loopholes to attack the application, and Zoom developers are always looking for those loopholes and fixing them to ensure that the client enjoys the service. Therefore to ensure you enjoy secure video conferencing, you should regularly update your Zoom application. A good example is an issue with the Windows operating system that could allow hackers to steal user’s logins, the issue was highlighted and fixed with the April 1st update.
3) Do not share Zoom details on any public forum.
This is an important point in ensuring that your meeting is secure, sharing your link to public forums such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other forums expose your meeting to hackers. Most of the meeting has a public link if clicked on anyone is able to join. People with malicious intentions might share the link to hacking groups or darknet and zoombombing and causing other problems in your video conferencing.
4) Protect your meeting IDs
If you have the tendency of hosting public meetings using your meeting ids rather than the links, ensure that you use a randomly generated ID. Adopting this measure will ensure that you prevent meeting hijacking by the hackers or any intruder.
Most of the people find it more convenient using the meeting ID especially for regular meetings held with the workmates. If the meeting id is leaked to the public, the meeting can be joined by any person who has the link and thus crushing the small space at any time.
5) Enable Waiting Room.
As the name suggests, the waiting room is the virtual waiting space where people are put on hold as you vet all the participants accepting the invited participants and rejecting those who are intruders. This prevents intruders from accessing your meeting without your acknowledgment. According to zoom, this setting might be soon a default setting for the application.
6) Restrict permission and screen sharing
Being the host you have the power to restrict what a participant can do or not do during a meeting. For an effective meeting, you should be able to mute and control who talks and who to mute. You can also prevent your participants from screen sharing. Screen sharing gives a chance to the intruder to access your meeting and sometimes they may end up spoiling the meeting.
7) Disable “join before host” and also “allow removed participants to rejoin”
No participants should be allowed to join the meeting before the host has joined. To prevent intruders from accessing the meeting, the host should first join the meeting and vet the participants he or she had invited for the meeting.
You should also disable “allow removed participants from rejoining”, some participants and intruders might be a nuisance by trying to rejoin every time you remove them from the meeting. Disabling the feature ensures once a participant has been eliminated from the meeting he or she can no longer be able to join the meeting.
The tips highlighted in this article will help you in ensuring you have a secure meeting on Zoom. However, this does not guarantee 100% security of your meeting, if you are planning a high confidentiality meeting Zoom might not be the ideal virtual conferencing software. This is because it is yet to implement fully end to end encryption which guarantees the highest level of encryption. Zoom might still be able to access your unencrypted meetings without your knowledge. The application is gaining more popularity and the majority of its users contend with the security and the services they are offering.