Zoom is such a great tool for remote working, but is it secure enough to be used in your business?
That is what we’re going to look at in today's blog post.
Since remote working became a thing, businesses have needed a way to communicate with staff, partners and customers.
In many cases Zoom was the obvious choice. It’s really easy to use and has a free version where you can host a 40 min meeting for up to 100 participants.
It has even been used by the British government for their cabinet meetings. What’s not to love about Zoom?
In December, before we started working from home - Zoom reported that it had 10 million daily meeting participants
Fast forward 5 months and it now has 300 million daily participants. That’s a huge rise.
But there have been some concerns and reports about the security and privacy issues of the Zoom application. So what does that mean? Is Zoom secure?
The first thing to talk about is zoom bombing. Yes, it’s a thing!
This is where people who aren’t supposed to join a meeting, join it. And these people have very mischievous intent.
Take for example the Zoom meeting arranged for fans of the BBC 4 series, the Archers.
Unfortunately the meeting has to be abandoned after it was zoombombed with pornographic images.
Zoom bombing is now popular. Zoom meeting IDs are getting shared in online forums and the results of the event getting posted on Tik Tok and Youtube.
This is not what you need if you’re trying to have a corporate meeting.
Another potential problem with the Zoom application is the encryption. Zoom had long since advertised that it offered end to end encryption in its product.
In simple terms, this means that communications cannot be intercepted and decrypted.
But unfortunately, when this end to end encryption was tested by an independent security company, a much lesser form of encryption was being used.
So, if you love Zoom - how can you use it securely?
Firstly, Zoom has recently released a brand new update to it’s product which does address the encryption problem.
The update means that it now offers end to end encryption
So that’s good, but there are some other steps you can take within the application itself.
Like every other bit of the technology you use in your business, you have to work out how to use it securely.
1- Make sure you enable the Waiting Room feature.The waiting room feature allows you as the host of the meeting to keep all attendees in a virtual waiting room.
As the host of the meeting you can choose to admit the other attendees one by one.
So if there is anyone there who you don’t recognise, don’t let them in.
2- Turn off screen sharing
Now do you remember my story from earlier about the Archers zoom bombing?
Well for my second tip, you can help prevent this happening by turning off the ability for other meeting attendees to share their screen.
Screen sharing in Zoom is a great feature, it allows you to make presentations for meetings or sales. But you often don’t need everyone in the meeting to be able to share their screens too.
As the host, you can still share your screen if needed.
Tip number 3 is about webinars.
I know some people who are really using Zoom for the purpose of hosting a webinar. But, a webinar is different from a meeting.
With a webinar people are coming together to see some kind of presentation. Whereas, lots of people usually participate in a meeting.
You can host webinars with Zoom with their webinar feature. But the webinar feature is not in the free version, it’s in the paid version.
And some people don’t want to pay for their zoom.
So if you are using zoom for webinars, please upgrade to the paid version.
The reason I talk about webinars is because I see people post links to their Zoom ‘meetings’ on social channels.
You shouldn’t do that. Instead, use direct messaging to let attendees know how to join the meeting.
Let’s just talk about free versions of software in general. They are generally designed to tempt you to use it.
But the paid versions of the software usually contain more features and controls to help you stay secure.
This is the same with Zoom. So if you are a business and you see Zoom as part of your communication strategy moving forward, then please use the paid version.
Finally, as I talked about earlier, Zoom have addressed some of their security problems with the latest version of their application.
So, if you haven’t already, make sure you upgrade to Zoom version 5.
I asked at the outset if I thought Zoom was secure for business. I think the answer is yes, but you should have the paid version and you should tweak the settings.