April 9, 2020

Zoom Safely

Zoom Safety Tips

If you are going to Zoom then Zoom safely, well, as safe as you can! Working from home is not easy, so we understand the need for teams to stay in contact, and let’s be honest, Zoom is a simple and effective application for doing that, so if you are going to use it, please consider the below options and Zoom safely!


Meeting Options You Should Set

Make sure your meetings are password protected. A key way to ensure meetings can be accessed only when someone has the password is to ensure that “require a password for instant meetings” is turned on in the user settings. Even when the setting is turned off, there’s the ability to require a password when scheduling a meeting. Meeting organisers should always set a password for Zoom meetings. See this link on how to turn these settings on.

Use the Waiting Room option to admit participants. This will help prevent the admittance of unwanted attendees.

Don’t announce meetings on social media or other public outlets. Send meeting messages only to the participants, ideally using email.

Carefully inspect the list of participants periodically, whenever possible. This can be done by the organiser or trusted participants. Any users who are unauthorised should be removed.

Control screen sharing. The user settings allow organisers to set sharing settings by default. People who rarely need sharing should turn it off altogether by sliding the button to the right to off. In the event participants require screen sharing, the slider should be turned on and the setting for only the host to share should be turned on. Organisers should allow all participants to share screens only when the host knows and fully trusts everyone in a meeting.

Disable the Join Before Host setting so that organisers can control the meeting from its very start.

Lock the meeting once it’s underway. This will prevent unauthorised people from joining later. Locking a meeting is as simple as clicking Manage Participants and using the controls that appear on the right of the meeting window. Manage Participants also allows an organiser to mute all participants, eject select participants, or stop select participants from appearing by video.


Further Considerations

Beyond the above advice, Zoom users should consider using an iPhone or iPad if they can, and if they can’t, then use a browser (and ideally Google Chrome) to connect to meetings rather than the dedicated Zoom app. It is much safer on an Apple device and a browser means you don’t have to install any Zoom software on your computer.

If you do need to install the Zoom application on your computer, make sure you check for updates regularly. Zoom have committed to updating the security of the service in the next few weeks. So do keep checking for updates.


Be wary of Zoom links

Zoom meetings start by creating a meeting and copying a URL that is generated by Zoom. You are then instructed to send this it out to participants. “I would not click through any link I got from a Zoom invite as that could be a potential phishing scheme,” says Mark Ostrowski, a security analyst for Check Point Software.

One of the oldest tricks in the book from scammers is sending out a malicious link in an e-mail that usually leads to malware that can take control of your computer. 

So when you start a meeting, you get to invite people and send out a link that starts with this: 

“https://zoom.us/ followed by a long string of numbers, letters both capitalised and lower-case”

A safer way to invite people; when you set the Zoom meeting, at the top of the screen where you go to get the link, jot down the meeting ID, which is noted in the middle, and the password, at the bottom right. Put those in an e-mail with a personal note, to make your guests feel a lot better about the security of this meeting.

They can either go to http://www.zoom.us to log into the meeting or open their Zoom app. 

Much safer.