During the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have fallen in love with Zoom video conferencing. From a formal one-on-one meeting to a relaxed happy hour with colleagues, the applications are vast. In fact, the demand for this practical yet fun technology will most likely carry forward once the rules for social distancing are lifted. However, like with any software, it is important for users to recognize that there are certain security measures that must be taken when using Zoom or any other video conferencing technology.
While the spotlight has been on Zoom’s simplified use and remarkable infrastructure, a new trend has emerged that is casting a little shade onto the platform, Zoom Bombing. This is when bad actors break into meetings with the sole purpose of causing disruption and havoc. The negative attention has naturally raised questions about potential privacy and security issues.
There are no guarantees that your next Zoom meeting will be troll-free, but there are measure that you can take to increase your privacy.
Don’t use your Personal Meeting ID for public meetings. Instead, Zoom recommends using a Per-Meeting ID that is exclusive to single meetings, this will allow only invited attendees to know how to join your meeting.
Require a password to join. Create a unique and strong password for each meeting to make it harder for unwanted guests to barge in.
Manage participants. Zoom has many way to manage who is able to participate in your meetings. Check your app settings to notify you when participants join, you can also preset requirements for attendees to register before joining.
Lock the meeting once it starts and assign a minimum of two co-hosts. By doing so, you will have others that are able to help you in the event that someone is able to enter your meeting.
Enable the Waiting Room feature, this will allow you to see who is attempting to join your meeting before access is allowed.
Disable other options to limit the chaos that can be made if unwanted guests show up. Join Before Host, Screen Sharing for Nonhosts, File Transferring, Annotations and Remote Control Function should all be turned off unless needed.
Finally, update your software frequently. There are sure to be constant updates, security additions and bug fixes as the software evolves so be sure to keep your software up-to-date.
What If I Get Zoombombed?
In spite of your best efforts, a well-versed bad actor can make their way into a Zoom meeting with the proper know-how or perhaps there is an off chance that an overlooked security measures can be exploited. These things happen. Here are a couple steps to take if Someone decides to Zoombomb your next meeting.
Do not engage. Do not waste time and engage with the bad actor. Chances are you will be encouraging or provoking them to kick their actions up a notch. Instead of engaging, immediately take action.
Remove them from the room using the Participants List on the navigation sidebar. From Participants List, scroll down to More, click Lock Meeting and you will then be able to remove participants.
You or your co-hosts can also Mute them by again using the Participants List. Scroll down to the bottom, and click Mute All Controls. While this option mutes the uninvited guest, they can still be disruptive and distracting to other guests so it is always better to remove them when possible.
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