How to protect your Zoom calls from hackers

Florida attorney general offers tips

ORLANDO, Fla. – Using video teleconferencing software has been increasingly popular for meetings and virtual group hangouts now that social distancing is a must to stop the spread of coronavirus.

With the increase in usage also comes news of Zoombombing, or hackers entering a private session, sometimes to commit an obscene act.

That’s exactly what happened to a group of Orange County students who were learning online only to have their lesson interrupted by someone who got into their virtual classroom and exposed himself, according to authorities.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said she recognizes the threat these hackers can pose.

“To practice social distancing while we continue to operate, my staff and I, like so many other agencies and businesses, are using technology to hold important meetings. My son, just like most students in Florida, is also participating in Zoom virtual learning with his teachers and classmates. So, I want Floridians to be aware that these meetings can be hijacked by hackers, but thankfully, there are some steps you can take to increase privacy and prevent Zoombombing,” Moody said.

She offered the following tips to keep meetings safe:

  • Create separate passwords for each virtual meeting.
  • Establish a Zoom waiting room for meeting participants.
  • Lock down the meeting once everyone invited to attend has joined.
  • Do not publicly post meeting links on social media or any other public forum.

Meeting hosts are also urged to check their settings to prevent unwanted guests from sharing the screen. To do this, click on the settings menu, choose the “screen sharing” option, look for “who can share?” then select “host only.” Be sure to save the changes so they go into effect for future meetings.


About the Author: