How to stay safe and secure when using Zoom

By Christina Bentley on May 27, 2020

Protect your virtual meetings

Zoom’s ease of use has made it an essential part of lockdown life. As more advisers and their firms use Zoom to communicate with their clients and teams, they must do their part to protect their businesses.

With the right knowledge, you can ensure that your Zoom calls are safe and secure from malicious hackers and unwanted guests. In this guide, we’ll show you how Zoom is keeping its users safe and the steps you can take now to protect your meetings.

Is Zoom safe to use?

Zoom’s popularity places it in the spotlight and makes it an attractive target for cybercriminals. This attention isn’t restricted to Zoom – criminals will exploit any security vulnerability given the opportunity. But as you read this, security experts are discovering new ways to keep hackers away.

If your firm uses Zoom, you don’t need to be a tech expert to keep your meetings private. There are many precautions you can take to protect yourself and your clients.

Zoom’s CEO Eric S Yuan explained in their latest ‘Ask Eric Anything’ webinar:

“With a recent influx of first-time users, we are focusing on providing security settings that are easy to use for both first-time users and existing enterprise customers to give everyone an experience that is both frictionless and highly secure.”

How to stay safe with Zoom

Zoom’s security updates are meaningless if you don’t put them into practice. This is why it’s essential that you’re using the latest version of Zoom to enable them on your device.

To update on Mac or PC:

  1. Open the Zoom app.
  2. Find your profile in the top right corner and click on it.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select ‘Check for Updates’.
  4. If an update is available, click the ‘Update’ button.

To update on iOS (iPhone or iPad):

  1. Open App Store and search for the Zoom app.
  2. You’ll see an update button if an update is available.
  3. Begin the update by tapping the ‘Update’ button.

Another good place to start is Zoom’s advanced settings. You’ll find them when you click on ‘View More Settings’ in the dashboard.

Here are our top 10 security tips to help you secure your meetings:

  1. Password protect your meetings: In the settings section of your personal account, enable ‘Require a password for instant meetings’ and ‘Require a password when scheduling new meetings’ to ensure the right people join your meetings.
  2. Don’t share meeting ID or links: Never post these details on social media or other public platforms unless you want to open the door to unwanted guests. The better option is to let Zoom generate a random ID for every meeting you set up rather than reusing the same one.
  3. Disable One-Click Join: This feature can make it easier for your colleagues and clients to join your meetings, but it also removes a barrier for hackers. You can change this in the advanced section of your admin settings.
  4. Disable Join Before Host: Unticking this option can help you keep unwanted guests out when you start your next call. You’ll find this setting in the settings section of your personal Zoom profile.
  5. Lock your meetings: Prevent participants from joining your meeting once it starts, even if they have your meeting ID and password.
  6. Create a virtual Waiting Room: Zoom’s Waiting Room feature gives you the power to screen anyone that tries to enter. This can be useful for public events such as company webinars.
  7. Turn off file transfer: Allowing this feature can put you and your guests in danger of unsolicited images, videos, and other content.
  8. Set up two-factor authentication: Stop hackers from guessing your random meeting ID by requiring a password to join.
  9. Share your meeting passwords securely: Ensure private details only reach your guests by sharing them via an encrypted channel such as WhatsApp.
  10. Be wary of unsolicited Zoom meeting invite links: Fake links are one method attackers use to lead victims to malicious websites and malware. If you’re suspicious, don’t click unknown links. Copy the ID from the link and enter it into the Zoom app to see if it’s real.

How Zoom is updating its security

Zoom is the video conferencing tool of choice for the UK government and millions of users all over the world. With the number of people using its service growing larger each day, the company is taking greater measures to protect its customers.

Here are some of their latest updates for basic users:

  • Passwords now required for all meetings (new and previously scheduled meetings and those using Personal Meeting IDs)
  • Only hosts can screen share during calls
  • Waiting rooms are automatically enabled for extra security

The company has also recently acquired Keybase, a secure file-sharing and messaging startup, specialising in end-to-end encryption. This partnership will mean even greater protection for your meetings in the future.

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