No business tool has seen the explosive popularity that Zoom has seen, with shelter-in-place orders keeping millions of Americans working from home. We’ve embraced it at HIS, from internal meetings to member events and training.
Zoom is incredibly easy to use, compared to traditional videoconferencing applications, and since its basic features are free, it’s a compelling option, for work and for play!
Zoom Security in the Headlines
Zoom has also been in the news for a variety of security issues, from security flaws to ‘zoombombing‘ pranksters, with some large companies banning its use altogether.
Unfortunately, any popular piece of software will be the target of hackers and scammers, be it an operating system, game, or web service.
If you choose to use Zoom, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you’re as protected as possible while using the software.
What is Zoom Doing?
Zoom has moved quickly to fix these problems, from changing default settings to creating a dedicated web page for Zoom security information. For event organizers, there is also a new, dedicated ‘Security’ control panel to put all related settings in one place:
What can you do to ensure security?
1. Keep your Zoom software up to date.
To take advantage of improvements and bugfixes, you need to make sure you’re running the latest version of Zoom. In the past week alone, there have been four updates.
When you launch Zoom, you should be prompted to upgrade if there’s an update available. If you’re unsure or feel you’ve missed a prompt, you can always download the latest version directly from Zoom.
2. Use a meeting password.
This is now the default setting for Zoom, but it’s still a good idea to check that it’s in place for your events. “Zoombombing” was the result of pranksters being able to find meeting numbers generated by Zoom. and joining any active meeting.
Fortunately, your attendees will most likely not need to know or enter your meeting password. It is encrypted automatically into the “Join” link they receive from Zoom, so all they need to do is click the link. A password simply adds a second factor that would be much harder to guess than a meeting number alone.
3. Use a ‘Waiting Room’
Zoom allows you to set up a ‘Waiting Room’ where people joining your event are held until you approve their entry. This is a great feature for small meetings of people you know personally, or for meetings discussing sensitive information, because nobody can join your event by surprise. Learn more about this feature here!
4. Don’t re-use passwords.
You may have read that Zoom account passwords were being sold online. This was not the result of a data breach, but of a technique known as credential stuffing. Hackers take usernames (usually email addresses) and passwords from larger data breaches, and then systematically test them on other websites. If you re-use a password on multiple sites, all of your accounts are vulnerable, not just your Zoom account.
What are alternatives to Zoom?
If you don’t want to use Zoom, or your company has a policy specifically preventing its use, here are a few of the most commonly used alternatives.
- Google Meet: If you and your colleagues are comfortable with Google products, Google Meet is the most widely used alternative to Zoom.
- Microsoft Teams: Similarly, if your company uses Office 365, Microsoft Teams is a solid option. (A consumer version is coming soon.)
- GoToMeeting: Part of the Citrix family of products, this is an extremely popular paid option among businesses, with a lot of robust options. We use GoToWebinar for our REsearch training classes each month.
- Group Facetime: If everyone you meet with uses Apple hardware, Group Facetime is a solid, simple option.
Remember, no system is 100 percent secure, and there will always be tradeoffs between convenience, security, and price. But we hope this overview helps you feel more confident and safe as you work #safeathome!
More to come from Hawaii Information Service!
Hawaii Information Service is committed to keeping the market moving and supporting you in your work. We will be showcasing a variety of tips and tools to help you run your business virtually, setting the stage for success while #safeathome!