Be Aware of Security Flaws During Your Next Video Call
April 7, 2020
While “zoombombing” poses a threat to those who are using the platform Zoom to work remotely, there are ways users can protect themselves.
Intruders are reportedly hijacking some video calls and posting hate speech and offensive images, such as pornography, during video meetings. That has prompted the FBI to warn about security glitches, including the potential for hackers to spy through a computer’s webcam or microphone.
Zoom has become increasingly popular as more Americans work from home. In March, Zoom says 200 million people used its app on a daily basis, up from 10 million in December.
On April 4, Zoom enabled new security settings that require a password for personal meeting IDs. Passwords are also now required when scheduling new meetings and webinars, instant meetings, and for participants joining by phone.
A recent Forbes article outlines key ways Zoom users can improve their security.
- Make sure you have the latest version of Zoom installed, because the company has been adding new security updates. It’s also a good idea to make sure your operating system and browser are up to date.
- "Never share the link or meeting ID on public platforms and try not to use the personal meeting ID–instead allow Zoom to generate a random ID for each meeting,” Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at ESET, told Forbes.
- Don’t share your meeting passwords publicly. Security researcher Sean Wright told Forbes that users should enable two-factor authentication for signing in.
- For smaller group meetings, Zoom's waiting room feature is an option, allowing hosts to screen everyone entering the meeting.
- Users can also set parameters, such as allowing only the host to share their screen and disabling the file transfer feature.
- Always scrutinize emails with links that purport to link to Zoom, because phishing scams may cause people to inadvertently download malware. “If users are ever suspicious, they should copy just the ID from the link provided and enter it in the official application to join,” Moore says.
Zoom has been increasing its security measures in response to concerns. It published a guide on how users can protect their meetings.
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan wrote in a blog post last week that the company is delaying working on new features so it can focus on fixing privacy and security problems. “We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s—and our own—privacy and security expectations,” Yuan wrote. “For that, I am deeply sorry, and I want to share what we are doing about it.” Read his blog post.
“A Must for Millions, Zoom Has a Dark Side—and an FBI Warning,” NPR (April 3, 2020); "Use Zoom? Here Are 7 Essential Steps You Can Take To Secure It," Forbes (April 3, 2020)
Updated: April 21, 2021