Best Practices to Prevent Zoom-Bombing
As businesses, academic institutions, and individuals across the globe have shifted to virtual communication in response to COVID-19, video conference platforms have rapidly become an essential part of staying connected. The free video conference service Zoom has seen over 150 million new members since March as people aim to connect with colleagues, classmates, and loved ones while practicing social distancing. Unfortunately, this rise in popularity means that attackers have found a new target for their schemes.
Zoom-bombing is a term used to describe the phenomenon of trolls intruding into virtual meetings for the purpose of bombarding them with explicit images or statements. Zoom has responded to these issues by implementing new privacy settings to help secure virtual meetings, including password-protecting all meetings and creating a new virtual waiting room where participants will be placed by default before being granted access.
While these security measures will help prevent any unwanted participants in your meeting, it is always best to err on the side of caution. When using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, or any video conference service, consider the following recommendations to ensure that your meetings are as secure as possible from trolls and hackers:
- Refrain from announcing meetings on social media or other public media channels. Instead, send messages only to the appropriate participates using email or another secure messaging system. This will help prevent any unwanted members from joining your private meeting.
- Use a “waiting room” or “lobby”. This setting prevents anonymous users from being allowed into a meeting until receiving approval from an internal meeting member. Additionally, don’t allow the meeting to begin until the host joins to ensure that any unwanted participants are able to be ejected.
- Lock meetings once they are in progress. This can help prevent unauthorized users from joining meetings. To do this [on Zoom], click Manage Participants using the controls on the right of a meeting window, select More > Lock Meeting. This setting also allows an organizer to mute participants, remove participants, and prevent select participants from appearing by video.
- Carefully inspect the list of participants whenever possible to ensure that no unwanted members are a part of your meeting.
- Disable features you don’t need. If your meeting does not require a chat, file sharing, or screen sharing, consider disabling these features to help prevent any unwanted files or malicious links from being shared.
For more information about how to prevent eavesdropping and protect privacy on virtual meetings, visit https://www.nist.gov/blogs/cybersecurity-insights/preventing-eavesdropping-and-protecting-privacy-virtual-meetings