COVID-19 has transformed our relationship with technology. Although states are scaling back stay-at-home orders, we remain dependent on Zoom and other video conferencing systems for work, school, and even happy hour.
Zoom may now be the de facto method of virtual interaction, but it’s far from perfect. As more and more people join the app’s growing user base, new security concerns become apparent. A practice known as “Zoom bombing” has attracted the most attention, with uninvited troublemakers showing up in meetings and causing disruptions. Unfortunately, this represents only the beginning of a long list of issues. Other concerns include:
- Accounts that are registered to cybercriminals and used in phishing attacks.
- Information scraping abilities that leave participants vulnerable to spear-phishing attacks.
- So-called end-to-end encryption that isn’t fully supported by the app.
- Malware corruption within Zoom installer files.
- Limited technical support for free users.
Despite these issues, Zoom remains a safe option in most situations. It is by no means the only video conferencing system to suffer security problems in recent weeks – just the most talked about. For now, the benefits of video conferencing far outweigh the potential downsides.
As with any app or program, Zoom security can be improved easily by implementing a few basic precautions, as highlighted below.
Ramp Up Your Password Protocol
Password protection is just as vital to security on Zoom as it is for email, social media, and every other internet account. Despite this, many people continue to hold Zoom meetings without implementing even the most rudimentary elements of password protection. This leaves them vulnerable to Zoom bombing and a whole host of other security concerns.
Thankfully, Zoom makes it easy to adjust password settings. Passwords can be implemented not only for individual users but also at a group and account level. They should form the basis of your overarching Zoom security strategy.
Implement Two-Factor Authentication
While password protection can make a huge difference for your meeting’s general security, it should represent the most basic element of your strategy for preventing attacks. The next step? Implementing two-factor authentication. This advanced login process uses a generated mobile code to form another barrier against would-be attackers. As an account administrator, you can enable and require two-factor authentication for accessing the web portal.
Stick with Zoom’s Web Interface
Many of the most urgent concerns related to Zoom security can quickly be addressed by minimizing your use of the app. Instead, stick to the browser version. The web edition lacks many of the most damaging permissions associated with the installed application. This, in turn, limits data sharing and other worrisome practices.
In some cases, it’s all but impossible to avoid installing the app. Should this scenario arise, consider installing it on a rarely used laptop or another secondary device. This simple step will limit access to sensitive data.
Don’t Let Participants Join Meetings Before You’re Ready
Zoom provides the opportunity for meeting participants to join sessions before hosts. This feature may seem convenient, but it opens the door to a variety of security concerns.
As a host, you’re better off leaving participants in the app’s waiting room until you’re ready to start your scheduled session. This option allows you to screen users before your meeting begins. If you make the most of the waiting room, you’re less likely to suffer unwanted surprises.
Avoid Screen Sharing When Possible
Zoom grants users the ability to share their screens with one another. This option can be useful in many contexts, but it’s not strictly necessary for work or school functions – and it increases vulnerability to Zoom bombing and other types of attacks. Depending on the purpose of your meeting, you and your fellow participants may benefit from disabled screen sharing, which leaves the host solely responsible for presenting content.
How NerdsToGo Irvine Can Level Up Your Remote Work Security
As you navigate new security concerns and other remote work complications, don’t hesitate to seek help from an expert IT service. NerdsToGo Irvine is your ultimate resource for all things tech. We can help you implement a variety of tools and technologies to make your home or workplace more secure. Once we’ve examined and adjusted your setup, you can feel confident as you host or participate in Zoom meetings.
Why wait for assistance? The sooner you improve your network’s security, the better. A proactive approach will minimize the potential for phishing, ransomware, and a wide array of other issues. That’s why NerdsToGo offers remote support – a quick and convenient option that takes the concerns of COVID-19 into account.
Our certified Nerds are ready to take on your greatest security headaches. Contact us today to learn more!