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How to Keep Your Online Meetings Secure and Avoid "Zoom-Bombing"

The use of video conferencing has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic. It has become an important way for companies to stay connected. Especially with a large part of their workforce working from home.

Zoom is one of the most popular online meeting services. The company has experienced a daily active user count increase of 378% from this time last year.

But, with the increased popularity of their platform has also come security issues. A big one is the newly reported phenomenon named for the software, called “Zoom-bombing.” 

Zoom-bombing is when someone that isn’t invited joins a public Zoom meeting. This is usually for the express purpose of disruption. An example is the user displaying or shouting things that are inappropriate. This can be anything from hate speech to pornography.

FBI Norfolk has warned that they’ve received reports across the country about this. It seems “gate crashing” of online video conferences has become a nationwide problem. 

When it comes to information security, most organizations focus on things like firewalls and antivirus. Yet, having an unauthorized person on a company video call can also result in a security incident. Especially if you’re discussing sensitive information 

The makers of Zoom and other video conference services have worked to address this issue. They’ve increased the defaulted security options and are giving users more control. But it’s important to know which settings to use to ensure your meeting isn’t hi-jacked by an interloper.  

Video Meeting Security Settings to Know

Things have changed since the increased reliance on video meetings due to COVID-19. Before that, meeting apps generally focused on ease of use and how fast meetings began. 

This meant, apps often defaulted to less secure settings. For example, having no password and automatically putting everyone into the meeting room.

With the new scrutiny on these cloud services due to Zoom-bombing, security has become a key focus.

Here are several important ways to ensure online meetings in Zoom, Skype, and other platforms are secure and protected from uninvited guests.

Use a Meeting Password

One of the most basic safeguards is to need a password for your meeting attendees to join. Zoom used to default to no password. But, when you try to start a meeting now, using a meeting password is the default.

If a troublemaker guesses your public meeting ID, but doesn’t know the password, they’re not going to be able to get in.

Don’t Use a Personal Meeting ID (That Stays the Same)

Another feature that many online meeting platforms use to make recurring meetings easier, is a personal ID that says the same. This can keep you from having to resend the meeting information every time. But it also makes it easier for Zoom-bombers.

You want to generate a new ID for each meeting, instead of using your personal meeting ID. This makes it more difficult for someone to get back in if they’ve broken into your meeting before.

Treat Your Meeting Details as Confidential

Don’t post your meeting information in a public area, like LinkedIn or Facebook. Someone looking to disrupt video conferences could easily find and exploit it.

Treat your online meeting details like you do any other sensitive information. Send them directly to the meeting attendees, rather than posting them in a public place.

Keep People in the Waiting Room

When you set up a meeting, you have the option to allow people into the meeting when they join. A more secure setting is to keep them in a waiting room. 

You should only allow the host directly into the meeting, and have all other users sent to the waiting room. This allows you to approve who can join the meeting and keep anyone in the waiting room that you don’t recognize.

Lock your Meeting Once it Begins

Once everyone has joined your video call, Zoom allows you to lock the meeting. When ready, click to manage participants and click the lock option.

This keeps anyone from joining your meeting, even if they have the password.

Limit User Functions (Screen Sharing, Annotating, etc.)

Some incidents of Zoom-bombing include the interloper taking over the screen sharing function. This is often used to show inappropriate content.

You want to default your meetings to restrict user activities.  This includes screen sharing or annotating (also called “doodling”). This blocks the action unless you expressively give them permission during the meeting.

Make Sure You Update Your Application Regularly

Make sure you have the most updated version of Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, or any other app you use. Most of these software developers are pushing out important security measures in the wake of Zoom-bombing.

You need to update regularly to ensure you have any new security features on your system. This also protects against any found vulnerabilities by applying update patches.

Get a Holistic Information Security Solution

From firewalls to SSL to compliance, our ZZ Servers experts can help you with all your cybersecurity needs. Don’t leave your data unprotected!

Contact us today to schedule a free security consultation. Call 800-796-3574 or reach out online.

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