Basic security tips for Zoom videoconferences

Zoom invention end video call

Initially developed as a videoconferencing platform oriented to the professional environment, with the confinement originated by the pandemic, Zoom became almost the paradigm of virtual forum where to meet virtually with friends and family.

The Zoom Waiting Room allows for pre-screening of videoconference participants

With the meteoric growth of this video calling app, Zoom’s shortcomings in matters such as security and privacy became apparent, issues that were progressively resolved by the platform’s developer, which even added various functions aimed at limiting and preventing the intrusions of potential trolls.

But even with the time that has passed and the accumulated experience it is convenient to highlight three elementary and simple tips so that to have maximum security and privacy in video conferences with Zoom. They are as follows:

-Use of ID and password for videoconferencing: Zoom automatically provides passwords to accounts that can be included in invitations to participate in virtual meetings, so that in a single communication the invitee has the link to the videoconference and the password to access the videoconference.

It is advisable to resort to this formula instead of relying on the personal ID for all meetings, since this would increase the chances of someone getting to know that ID and “self-invite” to a meeting in an unwanted way. This has led Zoom to now assume that the user prefers a unique ID to be generated per session, which improves security.

-Virtual waiting room: This anteroom to the meeting allows you to filter the participants in the videoconference, thus neutralizing any attempt to access the meeting by someone unauthorized.

The participants will receive a message inviting them to wait when accessing the meeting and the organizer of the virtual meeting will receive the notification and by means of a sidebar will visualize the participants that are accessing the waiting room, being able to admit them, reject them or send them a private message. For large virtual meetings it can be a nuisance to accept participants one by one, but this is the price to pay for controlling access and maintaining the security of the videoconference.

-Room locks, screen locks, and other security measures: Once the videoconference starts and all guests are already inside, it can be locked so that no one else can participate in the videoconference. This would prevent access even to those who have an ID and password.

Another possibility is to uncheck the “Screen sharing” option, which would prevent annoying intrusions in case someone unwanted accesses the room and shares annoying content from their computer. If a videoconference guest does not behave appropriately, it is not necessarily necessary to expel him/her, it may be sufficient to send him/her to the Waiting Room.

This can be done by the administrator and creator of the videoconference by clicking on the “Participants-Send to Waiting Room” icon at the bottom of the screen. In recalcitrant cases the annoying participant can be expelled and even, for extreme cases, the participant’s activity can be suspended, which means that all the participant’s activity (audio, video, chat, notes, screen sharing, recording…) can be suspended for the duration of the suspension

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