Beware of Zoom-bombers.
It’s easy to understand how Zoom has managed to transform from a mere niche application to the default video conference platform of most companies. It’s user-friendly, has a more professional vibe, and is flexible enough to accommodate more participants. Most of all, free to use.
Timing couldn’t also be more perfect. Zoom entered the scene at the most crucial of times when businesses and schools were forced to embrace the proverbial work-from-home and online learning culture for contingency. The next thing we know, more and more people began to migrate onto the platform, regardless of whether it’s for business, learning, routine catching up, and even for attending events like gigs or special occasions.
As Zoom continues to be among the top trending tech product, all the more it becomes vulnerable to potential gate crashers and trolls, known as Zoom-bombers. These uninvited guests tend to virtually disrupt, bombard, and attack the entire conference by any means necessary. These online intruders prey on Zoom event links that are publicly posted on social media and other sites.
To avoid getting pestered by these Zoom-bombers, here are a few tips on how to keep your Zoom meetings safer and more secure:
Avoid posting your Zoom meeting link online
Searching “Zoom.us” on Facebook and Twitter will show multiple results of Zoom meeting links. Anyone who has access to these links will automatically allow them to enter the meeting. If the conference is deemed private, it is highly suggested to send the link exclusively to invited participants via email or DMs.
Use the Waiting Room
If you feel the need to send out the meeting link for a public event (online gigs, free webinars, etc.), then it is best to enable the “waiting room”. This way, meeting hosts can decide whether to let the participants in. This may be a bit tedious and a bit time-consuming. but in exchange, this will give you an assurance that everyone who’s in the meeting is an actual participant.
Use a unique meeting ID
It is also wise to avoid using your personal ID. Once a person gets ahold of this, they can have access to your personal meeting room at any time. Make it a point to change and use different meeting IDs and passwords frequently, regardless of whether you’re holding a regular meeting schedule. Assign a unique password to add extra fortification. Make sure to send them privately to your invited participants.
Tweak your Advanced Options
Zoom’s Advanced Options offers customization that can help you reinforce the security and privacy of your meetings. On the Schedule section, you can change preferences such as setting the Waiting Room, generating unique meeting IDs automatically, switching video capabilities to On or Off, changing meeting password, and prompting the system to mute participants upon entry and notify you when someone attempts to enter the room. It’s also a good thing to disable Allow participants to join before host feature to avoid early bird attackers from biding their time in the meeting room.
Lock, kick, and suspend
Once your expected participants are all in the meeting room, the next best thing to do is to lock your meeting. You can do this by clicking the Security icon at the bottom of the screen. Here, you can also restrict them from unmuting themselves, turning off file transfer and annotation, renaming their nicknames, managing screen-sharing, and using the chat features to avoid interruptions during your #InTheZone presentations. For rude and misbehaving participants host can kick them out of the room by clicking the “Remove Participant” option. For grave offenders, you can click suspend all activities to stop all their activities, remove them from the meeting, and send a report to Zoom’s Trust and Safety Team.
Being one of the trending tech products of the past two years, Zoom’s popularity poses as an eye candy to mischievous attackers and cyber-offenders. As a user, knowing these proactive steps will level up your privacy and security, and be able to have worry-free meetings with colleagues, as well as family members, and friends.