Since the start of the Covid 19 lockdown, people have needed to find alternative ways to communicate with friends and family. Many are using Zoom – a popular video conferencing application that has seen a meteoric rise in popularity since the pandemic began. Unfamiliar users can leave themselves vulnerable to ‘Zoom Bombing’ where uninvited users gain access to the meeting for nefarious purposes. This guidance has been prepared following a particularly unpleasant incident that took place in Sussex.
How do you use Zoom?
The Zoom app is available on a multitude of devices, enabling communication between a range of devices. Subscribers can use a paid-for licenced version or a free version which has some restrictions. Upon registration, users are allocated a Personal Meeting ID (or PMI) which they can use to host meetings. It is not necessary to register with Zoom to participate in a meeting – all you need is the meeting ID which is made available by the host and the Zoom software. If inadequate settings are applied to the meeting, it may be vulnerable to Zoom Bombing. As a result, the host must take some basic precautions.
What precautions should I take?
Before starting the meeting, hosts should ensure the following settings are applied: –
Make the meeting private. This can be done in 2 ways – (1) by requiring a password to access the meeting and (2) by using the ‘Waiting Room’ to control the admission of participants. In the latest version of the Zoom software, the default setting for the ‘Waiting Room’ feature is set to ‘enabled’ and passwords are also issued by default.
Manage your participants. Remember – links to meetings (invitations) should only be sent to those individuals you wish to participate.
Consider other options like video and audio use and set your requirements accordingly.