Tips To Protect Your Zoom Calls

With all the acknowledged security failings of the now immensely popular communication app, Zoom, it was only a matter of time before users login information became available on the dark web. Recently some 500,000 Zoom accounts went up for sale with all the login information required to take over these accounts.

This is just the latest hit to the video chat app, after reports earlier revealed it was vulnerable to all kinds of security breaches; including security flaws in the Windows 10 build of the platform’s software, iPhone user data being sent to Facebook whether or not they had an account with the social media network, and a bug in URL generation that permitted attackers to eavesdrop on private conferences, even weak protection which allowed hackers to gain access to calls and “Zoombomb” them. Perhaps the worst was a severe security issue in which Zoom opened up webcams to persistent spying and compromise; a bug that stayed in place even if the software was uninstalled due to a leftover local web server.

Basically; it’s problematic. Or was, the developers say they are working tirelessly to fix these issues. And in truth some of the problems have been patched, but it still has hosts of issues to contend with, and without proper use could potentially open a user up to some unfortunate consequences.

Obviously with the knowledge that accounts are being stolen and sold a simple thing would be to change your password information. But that isn’t going to be enough to protect you, so here is a list of 10 tips that you can follow to make your Zoom meetings a little bit safer for everyone involved.

1. PASSWORD PROTECT YOUR MEETINGS

The simplest way to prevent unwanted attendees and hijacking is to set a password for your meeting. Passwords can be set at the individual meeting, user, group, or account level for all sessions. In order to do so, first sign in with your account at the Zoom web portal. If you want to set up a password at the individual meeting level, head straight over to the “Settings” tab and enable “Require a password when scheduling new meetings”, which will ensure a password will be generated when a meeting is scheduled. All participants require the password to join the meeting. Subscription holders can also choose to go into “Group Management” to require that everyone follows the same password practices. 

2. AUTHENTICATE USERS

When creating a new event, you should choose to only allow signed-in users to participate. 

3. JOIN BEFORE HOST

Do not allow others to join a meeting before you, as the host, have arrived. You can enforce this setting for a group under “Account Settings.” 

4. LOCK DOWN YOUR MEETING

Once a session has begun, head over to the “Manage Participants” tab, click “More,” and choose to “lock” your meeting as soon as every expected participant has arrived. This will prevent others from joining even if meeting IDs or access details have been leaked. 

5. TURN OFF PARTICIPANT SCREEN SHARING

No-one wants to see pornographic material shared by a Zoom bomber, and so disabling the ability for meeting attendees to share their screens is worthwhile. This option can be accessed from the new “Security” tab in active sessions. 

6. USE A RANDOMLY-GENERATED ID

You should not use your personal meeting ID if possible, as this could pave the way for pranksters or attackers that know it to disrupt online sessions. Instead, choose a randomly generated ID for meetings when creating a new event. In addition, you should not share your personal ID publicly. 

7. USE WAITING ROOMS

The Waiting Room feature is a way to screen participants before they are allowed to enter a meeting. While legitimately useful for purposes including interviews or virtual office hours, this also gives hosts greater control over session security.

8. AVOID FILE SHARING

Be careful with the file-sharing feature of meetings, especially if users that you don’t recognize are sending content across, as it may be malicious. Instead, share material using a trusted service such as Box or Google Drive. At the time of writing, Zoom has disabled this feature anyway due to a “potential security vulnerability.”

9. REMOVE NUISANCE ATTENDEES

If you find that someone is disrupting a meeting, you can kick them out under the “Participants” tab. Hover over the name, click “More,” and remove them. You can also make sure they cannot rejoin by disabling “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin” under the “Settings: Meetings – Basic” tab.

10. CHECK FOR UPDATES

As security issues crop up and patches are deployed or functions are disabled, you should make sure you have the latest build. In order to check, open the desktop application, click on your profile in the top-right, and select “Check for updates.”

Hopefully these tips will help protect you should you choose to, or be required to, continue using Zoom. Consider if you can, however, any of the other video communication applications available which have had much longer use and much more vigorous security testing.

Source: ZD Net.

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