13 Apr Security Advice for Zoom Videoconferencing
Written by: Sean Cox, Esq.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread shelter in place orders have, temporarily at least, changed how humans interact. Luckily, there are more options today than ever before which allow many to maintain a modicum of normalcy. Companies, schools, churches, families, and friends have turned to videoconferencing solutions to stay in touch in these difficult times. One application, Zoom, has seen astronomical increase in popularity.
Likely due to its sudden growth Zoom has experienced growing pains and has received much criticism for its security holes. There have been reports of unwanted trolls joining school or church sessions and disrupting the sessions with obscene and hate speech. Zoom has heard the criticism and responded by educating its members on security features, making the features easier to locate, and introducing new features. The following are just a few of the features that we recommend considering for any meeting:
- Do not use personal meeting ID (PMI) to host public events. The PMI is unique to the user and is used again for many meetings. In the event you are hosting a public meeting where the event ID will be open to the public or people you may not know well, it is recommend to generate a single-use meeting ID and distribute that ID.
- Enable the waiting room feature. The Host should enable this feature which requires the Host to permit each user to enter the Zoom meeting after the user attempts to connect.
- Require that users be signed into Zoom. Zoom allows users to participate in a conference even if they have not signed up for an account. This flexibility is great, but also allow bad actors to join and remain anonymous. Requiring all users to be signed in can prevent this and is unlikely to prevent wanted user from attending since free Zoom accounts are available.
- Lastly, there are options available to the Host that will help prevent any disturbance even if an unwanted guest makes it into the meeting: disabling screen sharing for all but the host; muting other users; disabling group chat; disabling file sharing; and kicking out bothersome guests.
Hopefully, the world will return to normal soon, but video conferencing will continue in importance. These security tips will remain relevant long after the pandemic is just a memory.