As the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) spreads around the world, businesses and employees are forced to adapt. Business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders are making work-from-home the new normal and we are all caught unprepared.
As of this writing, there are over 3 million infections around the world with the United States, France and Spain being the hardest hit nations. Many companies are adopting remote or virtual alternatives in order to prevent company operations from stopping. Email and VPN use are not enough because companies need to hold meetings too.
Skype, Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans, and GoToMeeting are familiar names when it comes to virtual conference solution. But now we have Zoom. Almost overnight, many companies and businesses have adopted the platform as the go-to option to hold lessons, business meetings, and sensitive discussions.
In 2019 Zoom had 1.9 million users. However, in 2020 it now has over 2.2 million new monthly users, making it the new “go to” meeting app for many teams and businesses. However, this surge in popularity has also created security ramifications. Severe security issues have hackers hijacking meetings, lessons and other online activities leading many users to question Zoom’s safety and privacy policies.
Keeping unwanted attendees from hijacking meetings is preventable if you follow the following advice.
Password Protect Meetings
The safest way to prevent hijacking is to password protect meetings. Passwords can be used to protect individual meetings, user, group or account level for all sessions. To do this, sign up with Zoom and set up a password at the individual meeting level. Go to settings” tab and enable “Require a password when scheduling new meetings”.
Zoom has a feature where only the host needs to set up an account in order to use the app. Attendees don’t need to sign up because all they need was the ID meeting or the host’s name in order to participate.
Secure meetings by only allowing signed-in users to participate.
Join Before Host
Do not allow attendees to join the meeting before you (the host) has arrived. You can enforce this by going to “account settings”.
Once everybody has “arrived” the meeting has begun, go to manage participants>more and then choose “lock” to prevent others from joining even if they know the meeting ID.
Turn Off Screen Sharing
Zoom has a participant screen sharing feature but nobody wants a porno sharing Zoom bomber to hijack meetings. Disable screen sharing by attendees by going to “Security” tab in active sessions.
Use Randomly Generated ID
As much as possible, avoid using a personal ID for your meetings. Opt for a randomly generated ID when creating a new event. Additionally, don’t share your personal ID publicly. This will prevent pranksters from disturbing your meetings.
Avoid File Sharing
Be careful with sharing files while on Zoom even if you know the attendees. Instead of using Zoom use other services like Drop Box and Google Drive for file sharing as they are a more trusted service.
Use A Waiting Room
Waiting rooms are useful since it is a feature that allows you to screen participants before they are allowed to enter the meeting. This is a good feature not only for meetings but also for interviews and online lessons.
Remove Nuisance Attendees
Just like normal face-to-face meetings that we used to have, only the people that attend the meetings are those that need to be there. In virtual meetings you can remove nuisance attendees by going to the more tab and then removing unwanted participants.
Check For Updates
Whenever security issues crop up, patches are deployed and functions are disabled. This is why Zoom needs to be updated regularly. Click on your profile in the top-right, and select “Check for updates” to ensure that you have the latest version of Zoom running.
Zoom is easy to use and set up which is why many people like using the platform. While they have a lot of security issues that need patching up, following our advice can help make your meetings, lessons and social gathering safe from hackers and hijackers.