Zoom Conferencing – is it safe?

The risk is real

There was a lot of buzz yesterday about Zoom security.   Admittedly the company does not do as much as it could to secure its platform favouring ease of use over security.   However, consider how the product is used by you and the real security risk.  Zoom offers a lot of security options, you just need to use them.

The Zoom sessions subject to hacking are those that are widely advertised and do not use any of the security features available for meetings.  Think of it like you are having a discussion outside with a bunch of people on the sidewalk (oh, the good old days) and someone walks up an joins the conversation who you don’t even know.  They could then say anything they wanted to!   But, if that conversation was secured, in a specific office in a specific building with security at reception to prevent anyone from entering, then the chance of someone doing the same thing would be lessened dramatically.

How to use Zoom securely

We feel that Zoom is good for meetings if you heed a few precautions.  Please note that any web based application, Zoom or otherwise, that allows you to log on using Facebook or Google is allowing that company to get some aspect of data from you.   Never use a Facebook or Google account for these purposes, create an account specific to the application, in this case Zoom and log in with that account to set up the meeting.  Also, if you are really concerned about data going to Facebook et al, make sure you log out of those accounts and that you do not save your passwords as defaults for logging in.

Increased security adds extra work so you need to strike a balance between what you use and how difficult it is for your clients to connect with you with Zoom.  Use a paid account.  Consider the following options when setting up a meeting, each adding to the security of the meeting:

Options when scheduling a meeting

Set a password for the meeting:

Consider requiring registration:

Limit the callers to the country expected:

Consider using the authentication option to allow only authorized users to join and use waiting rooms so that you can screen users before they join:

Learn about the options in Zoom, including security, by using the help provided:

We feel that Zoom is safe to use for conversations with clients, small and medium sized groups if you use the inherent features in the software when setting up a meeting.  Keep in mind that there are other conferencing platforms and they may be as exposed as Zoom but may not yet be written up in the same way.  Zoom’s faults are known so you can work around them.

Please note that we do not teach Zoom!  Use the Help provided in the application’s website to learn more.

Charles Bennett is the Principal Consultant at Triella.  We are a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium-sized firms. Charles can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to our blog page. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Webroot Reseller.

© 2020 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.

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