There have been a lot of posts recently about harassment and ‘Zoombombing’ incidents over the Zoom platform. Leading many people to assume the platform is inherently unsafe. This is a misleading statement. Like with any application, there are steps that you can take to keep yourself protected in an online environment.
What is Zoombombing?
Zoombombing is the practice whereby someone hacks into or crashes a Zoom session. Sometimes this is harmless, like Hamish Blake’s “is there Zoom for one more?” online pranks. Others are more sinister, whereby people expose themselves or share inappropriate content.
So how can you protect yourself and your participants from these attacks?
Here are six tips to keep your Zoom meetings secure:
Set up a meeting Password
While not completely foolproof, having a meeting password can restrict most unwanted drop-ins on your session. Send out your meeting password to participants in a separate email for greater security.
Keep Zoom up to date
Zoom sends out updates to the app when they recognise and resolve any issues, including security and bug fixes. When using the Zoom app, it will automatically check for updates and prompt if it needs updating. Be sure to install updates as they become available to ensure you have the latest version.
Restrict Screen Sharing
You can choose to restrict screen sharing to only the host. This will mean that attendees will not be able to share content unless the host enables sharing within the meeting. This will stop random attendees from sharing inappropriate material via the screen-sharing options.
Only allow authenticated users
Change your settings to only allow authenticated users; this means those entering the meeting MUST have a Zoom account. While this is not entirely foolproof, it does restrict unregistered guests from entering the meeting.
Require participants to register for the meeting
You can set up a meeting to be for registrations only. This means attendees need to complete the registration form before they are sent the meeting invitation link. The meeting invitation links are unique to each user that registers so if the link is made public, it can be traced back to who shared the link.
Enable the Zoom waiting room
Having the Waiting Room enabled means Attendees cannot join the meeting until a host admits them individually. Note that if this is enabled for your meeting, your attendees cannot enter the meeting before the host arrives.
Using the Waiting Room and Authenticated Users together will provide you with one of the best options to keep your meeting secure. Basically, it works like a bouncer checking IDs before allowing entry. You will be able to check attendees before admitting them into the meeting room.
So where do you find these settings? In the Zoom application, click on the settings cog on the right. Then click the View More Settings link which will take you to the settings page on the Zoom website. Go through the list (it’s a long one) and become familiar with the restrictions you can enable to protect you and your attendees from harassment.
For more information on what Zoom is doing to address these issues, please see their ‘message to our users’ blog post.