Keep the 'Zoombombing' Hackers Away
Zoom software on a laptop.

According to Apptopia, Zoom remains the No. 1 most downloaded app in the Apple and Google app stores. Zoom usage went from 10 million in December to 200 million in March. With such popularity comes security lapses and the new trend of "Zoombombing" - crashing public meetings with obscenities and worse. Zoom has fixed many issues to prevent such but we'd like to highlight a few key areas to curb Zoombombing and more.


1. Be wary of links 

Zoom meetings start by creating a meeting and copying a URL that is generated by Zoom. You are then instructed to send it out to participants. "I would not click through any link I got from a Zoom invite as that could be a potential phishing scheme," says Mark Ostrowski, a security analyst for Check Point Software. One of the oldest tricks in the book from scammers is sending out a malicious link in an e-mail that usually leads to malware that can take control of your computer. 
 

So when you start a meeting, you get to invite people and send out a link that starts with looks like this: https://zoom.us/ followed by a long string of numbers, letters both capitalized and lower-case. We have a safer way to invite people.  
 

At the top of the screen where you go to get the link, instead jot down the meeting ID, which is noted in the middle, and the password, at the bottom right. Put those in an e-mail with a personal note, to make your guests feel a lot better about the security of this meeting. They can either go to http://www.zoom.us to log into the meeting or open the app.

2. Adjust the screen share options immediately

Instead of letting anyone share your screen and engage in "zoombombing" – that's when uninvited attendees break into and disrupt your meeting – the host has the option of adjusting the settings. They're hidden, so take note. On the general Zoom settings app window, there is an option for screen sharing. Click it and select Advanced settings. There you instruct Zoom to only let the Host share the screen. And now your major privacy issue has been solved.

Those two tips should take care of 90% of the issues. But be aware of these tools as well: 

3. Use Waiting Rooms

This is the most hidden, secret security feature in Zoom. Get out your searchlight to find it. What it does is let the host prescreen the guests before the meeting starts for an extra layer of security. To get there, go to your master account settings, (under "My Account" at the top right of the main screen), click Settings, go to the Meetings tab and scroll all the way to the bottom, where you will find the Waiting Room options. Once clicked, this will be the default on all your meetings. 

4. Create a webinar instead of a meeting

This is a presentation to a group that doesn't bring in participation, and thus, less likely to be hacked. It's only available to paying customers. Zoom is free to anyone for meetings under 40 minutes. Paid plans start at $14.99 monthly. 

5. Remember that everything is being recorded

Don't say anything or add text to a chat window you wouldn't want your mother reading. Common sense, right? And finally, some good news. Speaking of the boss, Big Brother isn't watching anymore. One Zoom feature that got many people riled was "attendee attention tracker," which let the boss know if you weren't paying attention during a meeting, and wasting time tweeting or checking out some other website during a meeting. Zoom says that feature is now disabled. 


Check out our latest blog where we recognize our plastics shop team for stepping up to the plate during this pandemic: