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How to be Safe and Secure with Zoom

Be secure with Zoom at this time of heightened online activity and ubiquitous hacking activity.

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, we knew Zoom had some security and privacy issues. But since everyone and their cat have been using Zoom while in lockdown throughout the world, the people behind Zoom have fixed any security issues that existed pre-COVID-19.

There are plenty devils out there ready to Zoombomb your client meeting or family get together with unwelcome and often unsavoury images and video.

There is some debate about what hackers can do, here are some possibilities:

  • Spam the chat with links to undesirable content
  • Control your meeting by becoming the host and unmute/mute everyone as they please
  • Over-share some personal data
  • Access files on your computer
  • Start a presentation to promote a product

Zoom is really easy to access (by computer, smartphone or telephone), it’s easy to install and very affordable. A free account still offers almost unlimited time for two people chatting and up to 40 mins with three or more people. And you can even record a session with a free account.

Here are some ways for you to continue using Zoom and stay safe:

  • Don’t share anything personal in conversation or chat. Third parties could be recording the session without you knowing, and will glean data from the call afterwards.
  • Set a password for all meetings that you schedule. *This is now a default setting
  • When you’re setting up the meeting, click the option to mute all participants upon entry.
  • Also check the setting so that participants can’t share their screen, this stopping them from taking over.
  • If you see someone you don’t recognise as a participant, remove them from the call.
  • Don’t share your Zoom links in public places such as public social media pages or groups, forums or your website.
  • Once a meeting has started, and you’re confident everyone is there, lock the meeting down so no one else can enter (there’s an option to do this once the meeting has started). If you prefer, when setting up the meeting, you can check an option that puts people into a waiting room that only the host of the meeting can then open to let them access the meeting.

Please keep using Zoom for your online meetings; it’s a great tool, especially now. I’m sure that once you’ve started running parts of your business with it, it’ll be a tool you return to, long after the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

And don’t forget you can add a virtual image or a video background in Zoom. I’ve been having fun with this recently…

In another life I was a primatologist. The waterfall was a video.
I won’t make a decision until I’ve consulted both the Angel and the Demon. #goodomens

By David P. MacGregor

Living and working the good life in France with my wife and dog.