Zoom has faced several privacy and security concerns as more people turn to it for a way to communicate. Businesses, including SpaceX, have begun telling employees to stop using the service, while others, including consumers, have started opting for alternatives. But what if you still need to use Zoom? We’ll teach you how to increase your privacy and security on what is quickly becoming one of the web’s most popular video conferencing services.
Update your Zoom software
Zoom has begun to handle a large number of its security flaws, already jumping to enable passwords for conference entry with digital waiting zooms, and stopping its mobile iOS app from sending data to Facebook in the background. Most of these changes take place in the cloud, but some require you to update your software. To update the Zoom client, follow these instructions:
Mac or PC
Open the Zoom desktop app.
Click on your profile in the upper right corner.
Select the Check for Updates option.
Click Done once finished.
iOS (iPad and iPhone)
Open the App Store.
Search for the Zoom app.
If an update is available, the button will say Update.
Tap the Update button if available to begin.
Update meeting settings
Zoom is working on updating privacy bugs and issues such as zoombombing, when an invited individual drops into an unlocked meeting and broadcasts violent or pornographic content. We recommend ensuring the following settings are altered to protect your session against these types of attacks. Please note that as Zoom is quickly rolling out updates, some of the defaults below may change, but double-checking them can never hurt.
- Ensure that your room has a password required for joining.
- Disable the Join Before Host setting to avoid lurkers waiting to cause issues.
- Disable the File Transfer option to prevent the spread of unwanted material.
- Disable the Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin option so that any unwanted visitors can’t access the video call once removed.
To update any of the settings noted above, the host can make changes by opening the desktop client’s Settings menu, obtained by clicking on your profile photo. While in a meeting, some privacy settings can be adjusted via the Share Screen button, but most control is offered in the main Settings menu.
Switching away from Zoom
The best way to keep yourself protected from Zoom? Don’t use it. If you can make the change, opt for other meeting solutions such as Skype or Google Hangouts. If your entire team or family uses Apple products, you can also opt for FaceTime — a solution that is fully end-to-end encrypted. Mobile users can also consider Duo, a solution that works on both Android and iOS devices. For a full list of options, be sure to check out our guide on the best video-conferencing software and find what works best for you.