Video calls in Zoom: Security tips so you don’t get sabotaged

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Zoom video calls have become popular during the pandemic of COVID-19 that the whole world suffers. Online classes, parties with friends or simply chatting on the screen have become our daily bread. However, in the same way we have known that many of these meetings have been abhorrently interrupted.

In the United States it is known as “Zoom bombing”, and it is about people who break into public chat rooms or who have not been properly protected, with the aim of spreading messages of any kind, although in most cases they are simply annoy and terrify. It is not a virus or malware that is installed on your computer, they are people who access video chat for the sole purpose of disturbing others.

Zoom bombing became famous when two classrooms in Massachusetts, United States, were interrupted by unidentified people who connected to it and shouted offenses and information from the teacher who taught the lesson. But it cannot only happen in schools: a reporter from The Verge kept his WFH (Working from Home) space in Zoom, a video chat open to the public, when attendees began sharing their screens with inappropriate messages; likewise, in New York, trolls invaded Alcoholics Anonymous boards shouting “alcohol is sooooo good.”

Now that you know what can happen to your video conference, these are the security tips you must follow to keep video calls at Zoom without interruptions of this type, according to the company on its website.

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You can give or remove participation options to all the people who connect to your video call and also block it so that no one else accesses it.

Zoom

Block your video call from Zoom

Zoom video calls can be blocked once they start, to prevent others from accessing it. It is as if you close the meeting door in the office once everyone is in the meeting. To do this you must click on the “Participants” area at the bottom of your video call, and then press the “block conference” button. You can read more on the Zoom website.

Control the shared screen

One of the problems presented with Zoom in the last days is that by default, all connected users have practically the same rights over the call, unless you configure it before initiating it.

A good security tip when using Zoom is the possibility of preventing others from sharing what they have on their screen if you already know in advance that this will not be necessary. To do this you must access the “Share screen” section in the lower area of ​​your Zoom video call, and configure it as “Host only”. You can give individual permissions when necessary to each user. Check more details here.

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The waiting rooms will show a blank screen, although you can configure it with your logo or meeting details.

Zoom

Set up a waiting room

One of the best ways to protect your video call, according to Zoom, is by setting up a waiting room. It is like when you receive someone in the office in the lobby or a separate room. People will be able to get to the video call, but they will have to wait until they are given access, and only those who have that access will be able to enter.

When you activate it, there are two ways to manage the waiting room.

  1. All participants are sent to the waiting room and you can admit them manually or all at the same time.
  2. Visiting participants are sent to the waiting room, but previously invited participants have access to the video call in advance.

Zoom said that accounts such as those in schools will have the waiting room automatically activated from April 2.

Before Zoom’s popularity exploded for the coronavirus, the company had already had some more serious privacy issues: In 2019, video conferencing software experienced a webcam hacking scandal and a bug that allowed snooping users to join meetings. of video to which they had not been invited. This month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation warned users working from home about the software’s built-in privacy features.


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