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Zoom is a cloud-based communication platform that offers various features such as instant messaging, audio calling, and video conferencing. It utilizes high-end encryption software, enabling private and secure conversations and meetings. As per Zoom Video Communications, Inc., privacy and security are their top priorities. They aim to provide a safe platform where anyone can virtually meet with their data and privacy protected. Zoom utilizes 256-bit TLS and AES-256 encryption to ensure all exchanged content cannot be easily accessed by hackers. Both its Basic (free) and Pro plans offer unlimited access to 1:1 meetings.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost everyone to switch to digital communication methods like utilizing Zoom. After all, such software offers a convenient and accessible venue to meet with friends, colleagues, and loved ones. There are, however, Zoom security issues that arise as this virtual meeting software attracts more users. While some users are satisfied with new security updates and safety protocols being implemented, some Zoom users have questioned the safety of their passwords, personal information, and meeting content.
Are There Security Issues With The Zoom App?
Zoom is among the many communication software platforms that have skyrocketed in popularity during these trying times. But how secure is the Zoom calling app exactly? Are users safe? Is sensitive data secure?
Most tech experts say no software or application is 100% safe. Zoom and similar apps have caught flak from security experts as security breaches have occurred. Here are some of the security and safety issues this platform has faced.
Zoom has a unique ID meeting number system in place. However, users can easily enter a random meeting by guessing the meeting number. As a result, pranksters have and continue to join meetings and wreak havoc.
End-to-End Encryption Controversy
In the early part of 2020, the app was heavily, and falsely, advertised for its end-to-end encryption. It was later found that Zoom employees can see everything and law enforcement can have access to data when requested for. The app did roll out true end-to-end encryption in the later part of 2020.
Zoom is not exactly at fault here but was nevertheless caught in the middle of it. Online snoopers can acquire user passwords which is why it’s unsafe to enter pertinent details into accounts while videoconferencing.
Other Security Flaws
There seems to be an endless flow of security flaws for Zoom – from forced malware installations to shady data collection to its unsecured desktop app. To be fair, the app does roll out updates regularly and resolve issues promptly.
Is It Safe To Use The Zoom Calling App?
Is Zoom still safe to use after all the safety and security issues it has and continues to face? In most cases, it is still very much safe to have a Zoom account. There’s not much risk unless you’re discussing corporate or sensitive personal information during meetings. After all, with how rapid technological advancements are, there’s no single digital platform or software that’s 100% safe and secure all the time.
Nevertheless, you have to remember that prevention is always best. Reduce the risk of hackers accessing your account and personal data by consistently following best practices and protocols. Setting strong passwords, for instance, may seem basic but passwords are a great first line of defense.
How Do I Ensure My Safety When Using Zoom?
Zoom’s safety has been extremely challenged during the pandemic when the demand for it has spiked. Zoom security flaws have been exposed and security concerns have been raised. Some unauthorized and/or excessive access to data shared within Zoom has even led to legal and criminal cases.
Nevertheless, Zoom didn’t let any of these waver their determination. Instead, Zoom security updates were released, new safety features were added, software safety loopholes were patched, and extra meeting host controls were offered. Here are some tips to make your Zoom meetings and accesses safer.
Zoom Built-In Safety and Security Tools
Several software updates were released amidst the increasing safety issues being raised. Be sure to utilize all built-in features to make your next meeting safer.
- Set passwords for your meetings.
- Enable encryption on every meeting.
- Lock your meeting after all expected participants have joined.
- Enable the Waiting Room feature for better screening and validation.
- Turn off participant’s screen sharing access or enable screen share watermarks.
- Kick/remove disrupting participants or nuisance attendees.
- Turn off annotation.
- Mute participants.
- Disable private chats.
Personal Safety Precautions
In addition to the app’s built-in safety protocols, be sure to religiously practice these safety precautions.
- Enable two-factor authentication; Set strong passwords.
- Don’t share your login credentials (especially passwords) with anyone.
- Be cautious in clicking links, downloading files, or accessing shared content.
- Validate meeting IDs being shared with you before joining (for participants).
- Authenticate users before allowing them to join your meeting (for hosts).
- Use a randomly generated ID, and never disclose your private ID or personal information to anyone.
- Avoid sharing files as much as you can.
- Immediately install any new software update.
Third-Party Security Tools
There’s no harm in taking precautions when it comes to safety and security. On top of the above-mentioned tips, utilize third-party security tools such as antivirus software or monitoring apps. It also won’t hurt to run a basic background check on your participants or host before joining a meeting. You won’t need to go to the FBI to do this. You may use trusted online people search engines like kiwisearches.com for this.