Telecommuting has become the norm with many companies now employing a remote workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many businesses have turned to Zoom to fulfill their need for virtual meetings, webinars, and chats. Answering the needs of businesses worldwide has also made Zoom a target for hackers, putting businesses and their data at risk. Below, ORAM Corporate Advisors offers tips to keep you secure while using Zoom.
Follow Zoom Security Recommendations
Zoom recommends anyone using its teleconferencing software to take certain security precautions. Use unique meeting numbers and personal identification numbers for each meeting, conference, or webinar. Employ multiple layers of security for each meeting and attendees and close entry to others.
Getting Started with Zoom
Zoom also offers a free guide for users, Best Practices for Securing Your Zoom Meetings. ORAM recommends anyone using Zoom review the guide. It includes everything you need to keep your video meetings secure.
As a Zoom administrator, you will be provided with a personal meeting identification (PMI).
Your PMI will be the default when you launch meetings on schedule or ad hoc. This PMI doesn’t change unless you change it and is an easy way for people to reach you.
For public meetings where there are too many individuals to invite or for those that are required to be open to the public such as school board or city council meetings, you will want to schedule your meeting using a randomly generated ID. You also have the ability to use a randomly generated code instead of turning off your PMI through your profile settings when starting an instantaneous meeting.
Before You Meet
Investigate the security menu on Zoom and learn what each feature does and how to use it. All essential security options are located under one button in the “in-meeting” menu. Security features you’ll want to learn and employ include lock your meeting, control sharing, and chat permissions for those attending.
Once your guests have arrived, you can lock the meeting from the security menu and prevent others from joining. Be sure to enable your waiting room to control who enters your meetings. Finally, decide who is able to share information as well as chat options.
The Waiting Room
One of the first things you’ll want to do if you’re hosting a Zoom meeting is to turn on your waiting room feature. You can set this feature to be on by default which is especially useful for educators and others wishing the highest level of control. If you don’t wish to use the waiting room as a default, you can set it for individual meetings.
The waiting room feature allows you to customize the title, logo, and description of your waiting room. This will be what people will see when they arrive so you may wish to incorporate a business logo so they know they are attending the correct meeting. You can also provide additional information such as guidelines or rules you wish participants to follow.
Require a Password
To make your meetings even more secure, ORAM Corporate Advisors recommends requiring a password. This feature can be applied to all meetings so only those with the password will be able to attend meetings you schedule. To learn more about implementing passwords, visit Zoom’s help center.
Allowing Registered Users & Domains
To push meeting security to the next level, you can require attendees to register with Zoom or utilize only certain domains. When you set a meeting, you can require invitees to register. This is valuable for private meetings within your own business using your company’s email domain while keeping others out. The page where they register can be customized with your business banner and logo.
As Your Meeting Begins
Once it is time for the meeting to begin, Zoom will notify you of the arrival of attendees. You’ll also be provided with a list of those in the meeting as well as those still in the waiting room that are awaiting your approval to join. This allows you complete control over who attends.
If attendees are in your waiting room and your previous meeting has gone over, you can message everyone in the waiting room to let them know what is happening. Another advantage of the waiting room feature is that once you have allowed attendees into the meeting, you can return them to the waiting room or remove them from the meeting completely. You can even stop them from returning.
To Share or Not To Share
As an administrator, you can allow individuals in the meeting to share information. This is valuable for collaboration and can also stop participants from sharing information with the entire group. Zoom also allows you to decide if you want others to have the ability to screen share. You can turn this feature on and off throughout the meeting. In addition to screen sharing, you can enable or disable chat as you wish. You can also allow participants to mute themselves to cut out distracting background noise during meetings or you can mute participants to just one speaker at a time.
Who’s In Charge?
With Zoom, you decide who is in charge of meetings. It can be just you or you can invite a co-host. If you enable a co-host, they will have access to the same security features and controls you have. You can learn more about the difference between a host and co-host from Zoom. As a host or co-host, you can also remove people from your meetings and even choose to keep them from rejoining. This is ideal when a guest exits a meeting that then becomes more private or if someone becomes unruly.
Select a Data Center Region
Zoom account owners and administrators with paid accounts can customize the data center region used for hosting meetings and webinar traffic. You can opt-in or out of each data center region. Your default region, the region in which your account is provisioned, will be locked. Pro, Business, and Education accounts can select a data center region while those with free accounts are locked to the default region where their account is provisioned. ORAM recommends limiting your data center regions to U.S.-based servers. Learn more about selecting a data center region from Zoom here.
Keep Zoom Software Updated
Be sure to keep Zoom software updated to the latest version. Just like other software and apps, Zoom responds as quickly as it can to new threats. As a result, watch for patches and updates to the software. Your IT department or third-party provider can push these out automatically. Zoom just updated its software to Zoom 5.0 on April 27, 2020, so be sure to update your app.
Learn More About Zoom
There are several ways to become more familiar with Zoom. The company offers an online Help Center so you can see one-minute quick start videos or get questions answered by chat. Zoom also provides free, interactive training webinars on a daily basis to get you ready to use the software. You can pick a meeting that is best for you in a number of time zones. Finally, you can read the Zoom Blog to keep up on what’s happening with Zoom, updates, and customer stories.
For more information on Zoom as a virtual meeting and webinar platform, contact ORAM Corporate Advisors at (617) 933-5060 today.