Who’s Zooming Who?

Who’s Zooming Who?

You can avoid Zoom-Bombings with a few preventative measures.

Zoom is currently the most-utilized video conferencing platform with a huge influx of subscriptions happening due to our continued shelter-in-place orders. The consequence? Adding many remote workers and home-schoolers to cyberspace alongside those of us who were already using it as a major means of communication.

Are you on Zoom too?

According to TheGuardian.com, Zoom has experienced a 535% increase in daily traffic to its app download page, and the Zoom iPhone app has been ranked as the most downloaded app in the country for weeks.

It seems everyone from government officials to your third grader is on the platform primarily due to its easy user interface and the free-forever, unlimited use for one-to-one calls. 

But security researchers are calling it a “privacy disaster”.  New York Attorney General Letitia James recently sent a letter to Zoom inquiring how they were addressing the security concerns and consumer complaints stating that Zoom had been slow to address issues.

While Zoom responded that it “takes its users’ privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously”, many were not satisfied with the company’s steps to address the many concerns. 

So the big question is where does that leave us in establishing a sense of security on this and other video conferencing platforms? 

We’ve already heard about, if not experienced, the zoom-bombing that occurred frequently in the recent weeks. 

Most of this has been attributed not to the lack of security of the Zoom platform, but to the lack of new users’ understanding of the features of the platform.  

Since those early experiences, Zoom has taken steps to make the security features more visible to users so their meetings are less vulnerable. Click the Security icon located on the left side of the meeting toolbar and have an immediate opportunity to “Lock Meeting” to more attendees, and “Enable Waiting Room” to vet each waiting attendee prior to admission. This menu also gives the facilitator important options to help manage the meeting by controlling whether the participants have the options of Screen-sharing, chatting and attendee renaming. 

Issue with your Connectivity? Call or email for solutions.

More security steps you can take before you launch:

Beyond the cybersecurity concerns you might have and the features native to the platforms, there are steps you can take to heighten the security before you even launch the application:

1. Get familiar with the features of Zoom or any platform you and your colleagues are using. Most have tutorials that introduce the safety features. Zoom has many tutorials available on their website as well as YouTube. Many of the features can be set up with a default setting so that you never have to think about them again; it will keep your settings until you change them.

2. Use a different meeting number and password for each meeting; distribute the meeting number and password only to those who need to attend. This is especially true for a recurring meeting which may remain on the attendees’ calendars for weeks or months. 

3. Utilize the Enable Waiting Room feature on the scheduler so that no one enters the conference without your permission. This can be selected as a default so you don’t have to remember to set it up at the last minute.

4. Lastly, be aware of your surroundings. 

Try to call from a quiet room to eliminate the chance of your children or spouse being viewed by your virtual guests. Make sure there is nothing sensitive on the walls viewable by the camera. Make sure the camera is angled up at your face and not at your desktop where you might have sensitive documents. Or angled straight up at your ceiling; no one wants to watch your ceiling fan whirring for an hour.

Remember that you have many choices, and with a little patience and time, you will find the (almost) perfect platform for your needs among the growing crowd of contenders: Skype, GoToMeeting, Cisco Webex, and Google Hangouts to name a few.  Each has features, benefits and pricing structure to suit the needs of a great variety of businesses. 

A solid and consistent mode of communication with your staff and customers will go a long way in relieving some of the headaches of this pandemic-riddled business environment in which we are forced to navigate.

More Resources

Discovered you have connectivity problem? Contact Cantrell’s Computer Sales & Service or call 925.827.1200.

Want to look your best in a virtual environment? Read Speaking Coach Catherine John’s blog Fancy Meeting You Here.

Top-Rated Video Conferencing platforms 

Zoom Video Conference PlatformMicrosoft Skype

Google Hangouts

Cisco Webex

GoToMeeting

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