With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, many companies have turned to working from home. There are also many who are under quarantine orders, lock downs or just prefer to stay at home. Hence, video conferencing has become increasingly popular. Among the video conferencing services, Zoom has become a rising star by allowing generous free personal usage and affordable price plans for companies.
Zoom Video Communication Inc, or Zoom in short, is a relatively new company. It was founded in 2011 by an engineer who was previously working in Cisco WebEx business unit. Zoom's services officially started in 2013 and they launched their IPO in 2019 with a valuation of US$16 billion.
Securing your Zoom calls
With the rise of Zoom and the stark increase in usage during this period, naturally Zoom's services caught the eyes of hackers online. While Zoom has some innate vulnerabilities that they are fixing or have fixed, these vulnerabilities mostly are on their MacOS client. However, most of the issues highlighted on mainstream media are related to Zoom-bombing. Zoom-bombing is basically uninvited participants crashing your meeting by guessing your meeting IDs. This is a hot topic even in Singapore as students doing home-based learning were shown obscene photos by zoom-bombers.
Despite all the raging debates on Zoom's security, the security of your meetings are actually in your own hands. So here I am going to list out some security features to secure your Zoom calls and avoid being Zoom-bombed. Note that these recommendations are more applicable if you are the host of the chatroom. Also I am using a personal pro plan so there might settings that are only available under this plan.
Simple yet often overlooked. In most zoombombing cases, hackers were able to intrude the meeting because there were no passwords set. Hence, the intruders or pranksters can just keep trying different meeting IDs and if they are lucky, they will be able to get into one. With so many calls ongoing due to the pandemic, the 10 digits meeting ID is never going to be strong enough to thwart these zoombombing attempts.
To enable passwords for your rooms by default, head over to your profile -> settings and you will be able to find the following options.
Simply enable them all.
Lock your meeting room once everyone is in
Not expecting more participants to join? Lock the meeting room so no one can crash your meeting after it has started. While in a meeting, under the Security control -> Check Lock Meeting.
You can unlock your meeting anytime by unchecking the option.
Enable waiting room
As the name suggest, you create a waiting room so that you can choose who you want to allow into the meeting. While in a meeting, under the Security control -> Check Enable Waiting room.
Zoom is merely a tool and like all other software, there will be vulnerabilities and the onus is on the company to fix them. However, it is also your responsibilities to make use of the security features provided to ensure your meeting is secure. Being shown dick pics might be least of your concerns as compared to a potential competitor lurking in the background and listening in to your trade secrets.
For more tips to secure your meetings, check out this post by Zoom themselves. As usual, stay safe and healthy!