Have you heard of Zoom? The popular video conferencing platform has become a buzzword these days. Recently, everyone is trying to adjust to a new social norm. Rather than taking the light rail to work, employees are connecting with their coworkers over video conferencing platforms like Zoom. Friday night happy hour? Catching up with your parents? Seeing friends that you’d usually meet over the weekend? Now, due to social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders, people are doing all of this over Zoom.
In December, Zoom reported that 10 million people used the app daily. Now, with everyone doing their best to socially isolate themselves, over 200 million people are using the app daily. All this attention is popularizing Zoom as a method of communication that people might not have known about otherwise. With that attention comes problems, though.
People who need to use Zoom are hearing about it. So are companies that are navigating a rough transition to remote work. But hackers know about it, too. The world is heavily reliant on the Internet right now, and that might not change for a little while.
The dangers of Zoom, especially with so many people using it, have to do with hackers, privacy, and security. Zoom was never meant to be a foolproof, ironclad platform. It was meant for quick connections, communication, and convenience. That means that Zoom is lagging when it comes to Internet security.
Hackers taking over Zoom calls have been happening more and more in recent weeks. Even the FBI is warning users about it. In a recent quote from the FBI’s office in Boston, they stated that “The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language.”
Other stories include hackers crashing calls as a prank. They include pornographic images and slurs being scrawled on a presenter’s screen, and similar issues. However, those issues can be minor compared to security risks. What if you accidentally share your screen and your banking information is displayed? What if your camera is turned on and you don’t know about it?
If you have security risks when it comes to using Zoom, here are five tips to help you out.
Only join meetings that you’re sure of. Not sure about that sketchy link that someone emailed you? Did you find it on an online forum or in a chatroom? If so, it might be wise to get someone else to check it out.
Don’t share your screen. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Maybe you’re presenting in a meeting and want to share what you’ve been working on. But it’s worth it to take the time to familiarize yourself with the settings. That way, you don’t accidentally share your screen.
Don’t give out your Zoom password to anyone. As a general rule, it’s much safer to keep your passwords to yourself.
Don’t publicize your meeting link. Don’t just post the link on Facebook or some other social media platform. Instead, try texting or emailing it to a specific group of people.
Be aware of your camera and microphone. Are they on or off? Keeping an eye on those settings will help you avoid any issues.
Switching the way you communicate can be a major challenge. But during these uncertain times, it’s definitely worth it. That way, you can stay in touch with colleagues, family, and friends even if your other social options are limited.