Today, many colleges, primary schools, and businesses are utilizing online tools and services amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and quarantine. One of the challenges these entities have and continue to face is being able to communicate and speak with other people. To solve this problem, there has been a massive rise in the use of video call sites and apps. One of the most commonly used video conferencing platforms is Zoom.
What Is Zoom?
Zoom is a virtual video calling service that is available online and in the App Store, Google Play, and Chrome Web Store. Most people use the free version of Zoom, but there are several different plans depending on what features you will be using and if you will be using it for education, telehealth, development, and more. Currently, schools, employees working from home, and businesses who regularly talk one-on-one with customers find the Zoom app useful and valuable.
There are a number of features Zoom users have access to including:
- Host A Meeting with video on, video off, or share screen only.
- Make a meeting accessible via link sharing or password protected entry.
- Zoom Meeting recordings, which can be done by the host.
- Chat with meeting attendees.
- Asking the meeting host(s) questions.
- Share files with meeting attendants through the chat feature.
- Hide and unhide the videos of meeting participants.
- Mute audio of yourself and participants.
- Use virtual backgrounds to hide what’s behind you. Ex: Kitchen.
Zoom Privacy & Security Settings
To protect its users, Zoom has various privacy and security settings which they continually adjust and update with the times.
With an online account, security is of the utmost importance. Zoom recently added Two-Factor Authentication to accounts on Desktop and Mobile. Using this setting reduces your account’s risk of being exposed to hackers, identity theft, and security breaches. Once you’ve enabled this setting, you will need to provide two forms of authentication to log into your account. This may include a password, phone number, or voice recognition.
When setting up a Zoom meeting, users can set an option to “Require Encryption for 3rd Party Endpoints”. When this is enabled, it will require all meeting attendees to have encryption before joining the meeting. This encryption protects any meeting recordings, files, and other user data from being accessed and viewed by an unauthorized individual.
Password Protected Meetings
Another security feature you can enable when setting up a meeting is password protection. You can require your meeting participants to enter a specific password before they are able to join in.
Disable File Transfer
It’s common for online criminals to infiltrate a Zoom meeting and share files that contain malware or links to infected sites. To prevent this from happening to you, disable your participants from being able to share files through chat.
Before your meeting attendees join in, you can require them to be directed to a waiting room. This enables meeting hosts to manually allow users to join in on the meeting. So, in case someone you don’t know wants to enter your meeting, they will not be allowed in unless you approve them.
Remove Meeting Participants
It’s always great to see that your Zoom meeting got a good turnout. However, sometimes, there are people that join that you didn’t invite, are trying to cause trouble, or turn out to be online criminals. Thankfully, meeting hosts have the ability to remove any participant.
Put A Meeting Participant On Hold
If a participant is not being conducive to your meeting, but you don’t want to remove them completely, you can put them on hold. This will turn off their audio and video temporarily.
Report A User
If a meeting participant seems suspicious in any way, you can easily report them to Zoom. Follow these directions to learn how to do so.
Risks of Using Zoom
It cannot be denied that Zoom, just like most online services and apps, has had its fair share of security and privacy issues. The below problems should not be taken lightly or overlooked by any user.
Zoombombing is the latest trend where people find meeting ID numbers and join in on a meeting uninvited. They look to disrupt the meeting by sharing their screen and posting inappropriate comments, media, and files. Currently, there isn’t a way to prevent this other than making a Zoom meeting private, password protected, and having a waiting room.
Video End-To-End Encryption
Over the years, Zoom has prided itself on its excellent encryption. However, it was recently revealed that video calls don’t actually have end-to-end encryption (E2EE). Actually, transport encryption is used, which isn’t as secure as E2EE.
As we stated previously, all online accounts and services are open to being exposed to data leaks. On Zoom, this could occur from people zoombombing meetings and the lack of end-to-end encryption. Otherwise, if an online criminal were to obtain a user’s Zoom login information, they could get access to the user’s data such as their full name and email address.
Even with these Zoom threats, Zoom has included many features that ensure the safety of its users. To protect your account, make sure to use these settings and stay up-to-date with Zoom security and privacy updates.