While working from home and social distancing have become the new normal for the vast majority of people, Zoom has become a staple tool for work teams, teachers, students, and anyone who would like a little face-to-face time with a friend or loved one. However, the increase in videoconferencing has subsequently lead to an increase in hackers. The new term “Zoombombing” has become synonymous with hackers’ attempts to access information, disrupt calls, and share inappropriate material. In a recent blog post, Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan announced that the company would focus primarily on the improvement of its security and privacy issues over the next 90 days. Free training videos and webinars are available for new users as they acquaint themselves with the platform.
In the meantime, here are a few things you can do to protect your meeting:
1. KEEP YOUR PERSONAL MEETING ID PRIVATE
First, it is best not to share your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) online or on social media, as it can become relatively easy for anyone to find it and join a meeting that you are hosting. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to invite guests directly from Zoom and refrain from posting your meeting information on a public platform or social network.
2. CREAT A UNIQUE ID FOR EACH MEETING
Using your Personal Meeting ID for every Zoom meeting runs the risk of someone finding it and causing disruption. Generating a unique ID for each separate meeting helps ensure that unwanted visitors stay away. Added Bonus: it also helps make sure that attendees from your next meeting aren’t joining in too early.
When you click the Schedule button on the Zoom app, leave the Generate Automatically tab selected under Meeting ID. Once you click the second Schedule button at the bottom of the page, you’ll be taken to the calendar app you selected or given an invitation to the link if you selected Other Calendars.
You can also log into Zoom from the web to ensure that you are never using your PMI when scheduling meetings. Go to nyit.zoom.us, sign in using your New York Tech credentials, go to Settings, and make sure the Use Personal Meeting ID tab is disabled.
3. USE A PASSWORD
In addition to having a unique ID generated for each meeting, requiring a password adds an extra layer of security. The password will be visible to anyone you email the meeting information to.
When you click the Schedule button on the Zoom app, make sure the Require Meeting Password tab is selected.
4. DISABLE GUEST SCREEN SHARING
By restricting screen sharing to the host, you can avoid anyone else displaying what is on their computer. This restriction ensures that hackers aren’t able to take over the meeting and show inappropriate material.
While in a meeting, in the menu bar, select the ^(caret) to the right of Share Screen, click Advanced Sharing Options, under Who can share?, click Only Host.
To make this standard for all of your Zoom meetings, go to nyit.zoom.us, sign in using your New York Tech credentials, select Settings, go to In Meeting (Basic), go to Screen sharing, under Who can share? click Host Only.
5. DISABLE “JOIN BEFORE HOST”
Zoom provides the option to start meetings when the first participant joins, even if it’s not the host. This option can be helpful if you’re hosting a meeting but unable to start on time. However, it’s best to turn this off to avoid potential hackers from taking control of your meeting.
When scheduling a meeting on the Zoom app, under Advanced Options, make sure Enable join before host is disabled.
To disable this option for all of your meetings, go to nyit.zoom.us, sign in using your New York Tech credentials, select Settings, go to Schedule Meeting, and make sure Join before host is disabled.
6. ENABLE THE WAITING ROOM
When you enable the waiting room feature, the host has to manually admit all participants who attempt to join the meeting. While this can be cumbersome for meetings with a larger number of people, it gives you complete control over who can attend and makes it easier to keep potential hackers out.
When scheduling a meeting from the Zoom app, under Advanced Options, make sure the Enable Waiting Room option is checked.
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