Zoom Changes Due To Zoombombing

With all of that is going on in the world, video conferencing has become the way to keep in touch. Zoom is quickly becoming to de-facto video conference choice. Unfortunately, due to some “bad people”, Zoom is changing some default security settings to protect your meetings.  The Zoom changes in the default security settings is effective April 5th, 2020. This post will review the Zoom changes, and what it actually means to you. Zoom Changes Due To Zoombombing

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Zoom Changes Due To Zoombombing

As noted in the March 30th Tech Geek and More post, From Zoom To Zoombombing, Zoom has added more users in the first 3 months of 2020, then in all of 2019 (Stat according to CNBC). With the explosion of popularity, you also get those who wish to draw attention, and cause trouble. In the case of Zoom, the bad people have started doing what is called Zoombombing.

If you aren’t familiar with Zoombombing

  • Zoombombing – A new form of trolling in which a participant uses Zoom’s screen sharing feature to interrupt and disrupt meetings and classes.

One of the latest victims of Zoombombing is NHL player K’Andre Miller was participating in the NY Rangers team’s “Future Fridays” chats. The Rangers were forced to shut the session down after just 17 seconds, and released a statement Friday night.

Because of Zoombombing, the maker of the Zoom software has announced that they are making changes to the default settings in Zoom.  Starting April 5th, Zoom will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID, as these may be guessed or reused. Meanwhile, it will change virtual waiting rooms to be on by default so hosts have to manually admit attendees. So how does this work?

How Does Zoom Changes Directly Affect Me

There are 2 main changes to the settings being done by Zoom.

  • First change involves requiring you to enter a password to join a meeting.

Zoom meeting log in w pwd

Up until now, by default, if you knew the 9 digit meeting ID number, all you needed to do was go to the Zoom website and enter the meeting ID number and you were basically in the meeting.

Zoom join meeting

With the addition of the password, it is hoped that it will work as deterrent, as it would be a different pass code each time.  You would just have to make sure those who you wish to join, get the correct pass code for the meeting.

  • Second change involves the Zoom waiting room. The change Zoom is making is to have the virtual waiting room on by default. By having the virtual waiting room on, when the host joins they will then see a list of those who would like to join the meeting and the host will need to admit each user to the meeting.

Zoom waiting room add

Once a user is admitted, the Host has options with each one of the users in the meeting. The users can be made Host/Co-Host, which would give them admin rights in the meeting. They could also be put back in the waiting room, if you want to move people in and out of the meeting.

Zoom user choices

The host can also remove the user, and once removed, the user would not be allowed to rejoin the meeting.

Zoom remove

Zoom is making these changes to default settings, but users will still have an opportunity to “put things back”. If you visit the Zoom page and look for Settings under the section called PERSONAL.

zoom settings

Final Thought

Once something becomes popular on the internet, there will always be (insert your favorite curse word here) idiots who will try and exploit things to get attention, or whatever their intentions are. The steps Zoom is taking with changing the default settings will help, but it will not be the end all / be all solution. Like with everything else in life, anything created by one human can be exploited by another human. If you use Zoom, don’t just assume everything is EASY.  Pay attention to your settings and how you announce any meeting. In addition, make a plan ahead of time, so that if you are unlucky enough to run into a situation like Zoombombing, you know exactly what to do without even having to think.


Zoom Changes Due To Zoombombing

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