These days, more and more business people are turning to Zoom and similar platforms in order to conduct meetings online. The problem is that such meetings can be easy pickings for nefarious individuals who want to steal information or just disrupt things for the sake of causing trouble.
“There are ways to avoid being ‘Zoom bombed,’” says cybersecurity expert Adam Levin, the former Director of Consumer Affairs for New Jersey, founder of CyberScout.com and Credit.com, and the author of Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves.
Levin, no relation to the author, offers five tips for business people to avoid getting Zoom bombed.
First, Levin says, require a password to enter the conference meeting—no one is to be allowed in without a password.
You don’t let people into your building without passing through security,” Levin says. “Now you have to do the same thing online. The days of just simply sending out an invite with a Zoom address are long gone. You’ve got to play it safe.”
Second, Levin advises, assign a co-host to the meeting as a “virtual bouncer” with the ability to mute attendees as well as to remove and block them.
“Your virtual bouncer doesn’t have to be 6 foot 4 inches, 250 pounds, and covered in tattoos,” Levin laughs. “It just has to be someone adept at using the controls to keep unwanted people out of the meeting.
“I recommend having a co-host perform this function, so that you are not distracted in your role as host and presenter at the meeting.”
Third, Levin advises, disable the screenshare feature to block users from sharing videos and graphic imagery.
“Unfortunately,” Levin says, “the custom background feature on video appearance can still allow bombers to display NSFW images. But disabling the screenshare feature goes a long way toward protecting your meeting from such imagery.”
Fourth, Levin advises, lock the meeting once all the attendees have logged on, to prevent unwanted guests.
“Again, it’s an issue of simple security,” Levin advises. “Now that you’ve got all these bad actors Zoom-bombing meetings, why would you leave the door open to them? Take attendance. Once everyone’s inside, no one else gets in. It’s that simple.”
Finally, Levin suggests, disable the “allow removed participants to rejoin” option to block unwanted attendees from rejoining after being ejected from the meeting.
“You don’t want to have to kick the same people out over and over again,” Levin counsels. “One unwanted interruption is enough. Once you’ve got them out of the room, keep them out. The last thing you need is to have the same person interrupting over and over again.”
Levin advises that if you take all five of these steps, the likelihood of your Zoom meeting being interrupted or surveilled drops considerably.
“Unfortunately, there’s no perfect way to keep every single intruder from every single Zoom-type meeting,” he says. “But if you take these steps, you have a much better likelihood of being able to conduct meetings safely and peacefully. And in these times, that’s absolutely vital.”