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The 10 Zoom Web Meeting Safety Tips that You Need to Know

All over the world businesses and professionals are coming together through remote work. It may still be risky to gather in the workplace, but through the availability of high-speed home internet and cloud-based software – we can keep the wheels of commerce rolling. A big part of our global transition to remote teams working from home has been Zoom and other video meeting platforms. While there are dozens of platforms available, Zoom, like Slack and WordPress before it, has become the go-to industry standard for any business quickly transitioning to online remote meetings.

This has also upped the ante on securing these meetings. A few months ago, Zoom was a casual video chat site, used mostly by private consumers along with a small collection of businesses and virtual classrooms. Now that there are millions of professionals and thousands of businesses coming togther for Zoom video meetings, both the platform and the user-base must step up to defend our meetings from the hackers inevitably drawn to this trend.

From the opportunity to steal information to the opportunity to bother people at work, it’s just too much for the hacker community to resist. So it’s up to us to implement the 10 Zoom safety measures that everyone should know.

1. Use a Randomly Generated Meeting ID

Meeting IDs are an important part of the Zoom infrastructure and are how both members and hackers can find your meeting. Always use a random ID for your work meetings. The random ID is more secure than either your MemberID or even an ongoing meeting ID. Here’s why:

Your personal MemberID doesn’t change, and the video room associated with that ID is always the same. This means that once a hacker knows your memberID, they can open and revisit your personal room at any time. So don’t let that get out. An ongoing meetingID can also be re-opened and hacked once known.

So for each Zoom meeting, generate a new random Meeting ID and send it specifically to the people who should attend. Never publish your meetingID or share it in a public or even a shared private space. Only email them directly.

2. Password-Protecting the Zoom Meeting

The most common Zoom hacks only work on meetings without a password entry. So toggle that password-requirement on and allow Zoom to invent a new password for you each time. Email this password separately from the meetingID to each expected attending member. With a unique meetingID and a unique password, hackers will not be able to guess or intuit the ‘location’ of your Zoom meetings to bomb or spy on them.

3. Require Work-Email Accounts and Limit Member Email Admission

Zoom has upped the security in terms of email-account access for meeting attendees. You can and should rquire that all meeting attendees have an email-registered Zoom account. You can even allow only email addresses from your business’s email domain so that no outsiders (without a darn good hack) can even try to enter your meetings. You can also use white-listing and black-listing to keep out unwanted meeting-crashers.

4. Use Waiting-Room Member Approval

A waiting room prevents new attendees from jumping right into a meeting. Known on other platforms as the “green room”, the waiting room functions like an antechamber where the meeting host approves each new member.  By turning on the waiting room, you have a chance to identify and inspect each person who joins the meeting. Suspicious camera doubles, unknown meeting crashers, and even the unacceptably tardy can all be neatly kept out of the workflow.

5. Limit Screen Sharing to Host-Only

Screen sharing is a big part of the zoom-bombing strategy. If screen sharing is turned on, a hacker can ‘take over’ the shared screen of your meeting and drown out the rest of the content with unpleasant videos. If screen sharing is automatically set to Host Only, then only the meeting host can use this meeting-dominating feature.

From there, you get to decide when this feature is shared, and only when you are certain that all meeting attendees are legitimate non-hacker members.

6. Designate a Co-Host

Along those lines, you don’t have to do all the hands-on meeting management yourself. Most teams have a lead and a deputy-lead, a manager and an assistant-manager, someone to take over when the boss is busy or away. Nominate your second-in-comand as your co-host. They will be given most of the host-only privileges and powers, including waiting room management and screen sharing control.

If you don’t yet have a second-in-comand, nominate whichever team member has shown natural leadership skills in the online-meeting environment. Some people are just talented online hosts and can be trusted with the room.

7. Share Documents, Never Share or Click Links

Links are risky. If a hacker has hacked into your zoom meeting, they might start sharing on the chat without otherwise appearing in the meeting. This can result in malicious links that meeting members might click without thinking. Don’t let this happen. Instead, make it a policy to limit link and document sharing through a document-manager that only team members have access to. Keep all your secure or link-based communications limited to a separate and more secure platform that doesn’t do video chat.

8. Warn Against ‘Zoom App’ Downloads

Zoom has an app and a web interface, but Zoom only has one app. There are many fake ‘Zoom apps’ advertised to access, enhance, or improve the Zoom meeting experience. These apps cannot be trusted as many -if not most- of them are made by hackers to steal Zoom logins and access meetings the easy way – by letting the meeting members do the accessing for them.

Warn your team to avoid Zoom apps. Send them a direct connection to the real Zoom app and advise to avoid any other Zoom-related apps or advertisements.

9. Lock the Meeting when Everyone Has Arrived

When every one of the invited and expected Zoom meeting participants has arrived – lock the meeting. There’s no need to leave admission open while you are conducting the actual business. If a hacker hasn’t managed to sneak in by the time the meeting starts, why give them the opportunity? Lock your meeting as soon as everyone arrives and if a member is tardy, make them send an email to be admitted for security’s sake.

10. Know How to Mute and Remove Members

Last but not least, know your moderator tools. Just in case a suspicious attendee appears in your Zoom meeting or an univited audience member gets beligerant – know how to boot someone. The “Mute” feature can cause a member to no longer be audible, and you can also darken a member’s camera. the “Remove” feature disconnects a member from the meeting entirely and refuses them re-entry. This way, you can actively audit who is allowed to stay in your meeting.

Does your team need increased Zoom security? We can help! Let us secure your system and train your people so that your remote meetings can be conducted securely. Contact us today to consult on your online meeting security needs!