How Safe is Zoom?
Zoom is a US-based video conferencing platform that has been providing video telephony and online chat services since 2011. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which has affected the entire globe over the past few months, this video platform has experienced exponential growth in users. So much so, that its free version increased its user base by over two-thirds compared to the same time last year. The platform’s rapid growth in popularity has piqued our interest to research its characteristics a bit more. In this week’s Zlog, we’ll take a more in-depth look at Zoom’s security features and share with you some tips on how to stay safe when using this video conferencing platform.
The Problem With Zoom’s Encryption
While Zoom has generally upheld a reputation of being safe and secure, there is an issue that came up recently. The platform has always marketed its communication software as protected by end-to-end encryption. This means that it would be impossible for anyone, including Zoom itself, to see the data being exchanged by users. However, it was recently revealed that this was just a marketing tactic and that Zoom doesn’t apply end-to-end encryption.
While this doesn’t automatically make all of your calls vulnerable, it does mean that the company has access to all of the information exchanged on its platform and could disclose it to third parties if pressured to do so. Additionally, it also opens the door for malicious third parties. This leads us to the next point.
How to Make Your Zoom Meetings Safer
Every time a service is suddenly exposed to a more significant number of users, some people purposely cause disruptions by taking advantage of certain security flaws or lack of features. So, if you’re using the free version of Zoom for personal or business online chat services, here are a few quick tips on how you can make your Zoom meetings safer and more secure.
Always Create a Unique Meeting ID and Password
For convenience, Zoom automatically adds passwords to accounts, and these passwords can be embedded in the links to the user’s rooms. Anyone you send that link can easily access the room without having to use different passwords or go through any other steps. The problem with this is that if this link gets into the wrong hands, anyone can join in the call. For this reason, you should adjust your settings in the My Account tab of the platform and make sure to check security settings such as “Require a password.”
Use the Zoom Waiting Room
Using the virtual waiting room will allow checking the user’s identity before including them in the call. Then you can simply decide if you want to let them in or keep them out. Of course, this means that you’ll have to approve everyone who wants to join in, but the few more clicks are worth making sure that everyone who’s in the room actually belongs in the conversation.
Take Advantage of Zoom’s Additional Settings
Zoom has a couple of additional security setting which can come in very handy, especially for larger groups of people, when you have to manage settings quickly. Here are the ones we like the most:
- Share Screen – Depending on the nature of your meeting, you can check or uncheck the “Share Screen” option with just one click.
- Lock Meeting – If everyone who should be in the meeting is present, you can use this feature to lock down the session. When you do this, no one can join, even if they have a valid ID and password.
- Remove – If someone who wants to disrupt your conversation gets in, you can use the “Remove” or “Put in the waiting room” option to exclude them from the room.
Use a VPN
When we consider Zoom’s software in its entirety, it is a stable and convenient online chat service, but one that isn’t without flaws. If you plan to continue using their communication services, then adding a VPN service is a full proof way of making sure you’re as secure as you can be when conducting business over this popular video conferencing platform. At ZoogVPN, we offer you an uncompromising service that emphasizes on your safety and privacy. With zero logs, unlimited bandwidth, and a well-distributed network of servers, you can always rely on anonymous and unrestricted browsing. Sign up today and enjoy all of the advantages of a premium VPN service.