As social distancing measures have forced schools and businesses to move their services online, the FBI has now issued a warning of teleconferencing hijacking known as “zoombombing”.
Zoom meetings are not encrypted end-to-end which means intruders can intercept your meeting and join your call, malware can be installed and windows passwords can be stolen.
In the next 90 days, Zoom is working on fixing some of these security flaws with a new release update but in the meantime, please be vigilant when receiving zoom meeting links in your email and please tighten up your Zoom security settings.
How to avoid being hijacked
There are some easy settings you can change before your Zoom meeting begins that will allow you to reduce the likelihood of intrusion by uninvited guests, and generally bolster your privacy overall.
1. Don’t use your Personal Meeting ID for the meeting. Instead, use a per-meeting ID, exclusive to a single meeting. Zoom’s support page offers a video walk-through on how to generate a random meeting ID for extra security.
2. Enable the “Waiting Room” feature so that you can see who is attempting to join the meeting before allowing them access. Like many other privacy functions, a skillful disrupter can sometimes bypass this control, but it helps to put another hurdle in their route to chaos.
3. Disable other options, including the ability for others to Join Before Host (it should be disabled by default, but check to be sure. Then disable screen-sharing for nonhosts, and also the remote control function. Finally, disable all file transferring, annotations and the autosave feature for chats.
4. Once the meeting begins and everyone is in, lock the meeting to outsiders and assign at least two meeting co-hosts. The co-hosts will be able to help control the situation in case anyone bypasses your efforts and gets into the meeting
What to do if your meeting is taken over
It happened. Despite your careful efforts of prevention, some jackal has gotten into the meeting to cause chaos for kicks. Short of ending the meeting entirely, here are a few things you can do to try and get rid of them.
1. Lock them out. Go to the Participants List in the navigation sidebar and scroll down to More. Click Lock Meeting to stop further participants from entering the meeting and to be able to remove participants.
2. Shut them up. Have yourself or one of your co-hosts go to the Participants List, again scrolling down to the bottom, and click Mute All Controls. This makes it so the unwelcome participant can’t use their microphone to disrupt your audio.