Protect your privacy in Zoom. Zoom-bombing can ruin a meeting, learn how to block potential Zoom bombers with these Zoom security and privacy.
How to Secure Your Zoom Meetings:
A Lesson in Zoom Security and Privacy
- Zoom and video conferencing fails. Some of them are epic. We've all seen them by now, streaming through on Facebook or on YouTube, the lady in the Zoom call bringing her notebook into the bathroom or this dude, who as much, as funny as it is for the guy, seeing the pure joy on his co-workers faces as he stands up and he didn't wear pants to the meeting. And dude on the left, just his. I wish, I hope at some point I can bring that much joy into somebody else's life. Hopefully, they aren't too embarrassed by it and they can laugh along with us at them. But these fails are just one aspect of what's happening in the video conferencing world. There are plenty of other , far more serious issues relating to our online security dealing with video conferencing. And that is what we're gonna be taking a look at. Today, we're gonna be talking about keeping your meeting safe and secure on DottoTech. Steve Dotto here, how the heck you doing this fine day? And today we're gonna be talking about Zoom security and basically online meeting security. But we're gonna be talking about it from I guess three different aspects. There's a privacy aspect, there's an actual, physical security aspect, and then there's an etiquette aspect. Now the videos that we looked at off the top, are more along the etiquette line where people were just not being as careful and not really recognizing the potential embarrassing disasters that can happen as a result of being on a live video stream in a meeting. I know that I have often enough with him, had issues in my own live streams that have caused me plenty of embarrassment. Now it's one thing to be slightly embarrassed by something happening within your own environment that causes you some embarrassment and causes your coworkers a little bit of joy or your viewers a little bit of joy at your expense. But there is now a phenomenon that they're calling Zoom-bombing where people are jumping into meetings with the intent of disrupting them. And they're disrupting them in some very disturbing ways. Racial epitaphs are being flown, we see lots of video of people exposing themselves and threats being made. We see a very ugly side of a disruptive nature happening when we don't set up proper defensive mechanisms into our Zoom calls or any of our online calls in order to prevent people, unwanted attention from people who just want to disrupt. Now in a lot of cases, the meeting is something which is fairly social and fairly light hearted. But increasingly we're using Zoom and video conferencing for far more serious conversations. For example, PhD students are now defending their papers before a jury. It's the culmination of a decade of academic work. And for something like that to be interrupted by some petty vandalism of somebody jumping in and disrupting it, could be very devastating to the poor student that is presenting their content. I'm just gonna cut in here for a moment. I've been editing today's video that I shot earlier today but I have to tell you what happened just after I finished recording the video that you are now watching. I opened the Zoom room, you will see in a few moments, I will be opening a Zoom room in this video to show you some of the menu options, and I open my own personal Zoom room when I did that. And once I finished the recording, I left the room open for a few moments while I was organizing things and saving files, et cetera, and getting everything organized, when all of a sudden I heard a voice on the other end of the Zoom room. And low and behold, somebody had Zoom-bombed me live at that moment, they had come into the room. Now it turns out that they were actually a fan of the show and they picked up my personal ID number from a previous video that we posted here on YouTube and they were letting me know that they could do it and that the number was out there in the wild and that I should do something about that. So they were actually trying to help me which is interesting. But that is the real world. I mean, it is art impersonating life at this particular point. As soon as we finished recording, the demo which you are watching right now, I got Zoom-bombed. There are three areas I think that we can increase our security in Zoom. We can increase our privacy, we can increase our physical security, the security of the meetings themselves and the people in the meetings and then also we can improve our etiquette so we don't make silly little mistakes that tend to embarrass us. And we're gonna begin the conversation with talking about establishing privacy. Not letting others into calls that are not wanted. And it all begins in your Zoom settings. Once you open an account with Zoom, when you open your My Account menu, you have down the left hand side, two different areas. Well actually there's three different areas that we can control access and privacy within our meetings. The first is our global settings, the second is meeting-specific settings, and the third is when you're actually in a meeting room, what you can do to protect your privacy at that point. And we'll touch on all three of those aspects right now. But we're gonna begin by asking you to go into your settings. And here we can go in and we can establish a whole new set of parameters to help make our meetings more private. Now I should point out here one note, that Zoom is responding, and I imagine all of the other video conferencing applications are responding, to these new, to this new phenomenon of people trying to hack into the meetings and they are constantly now evolving and changing the way that they present their meetings in order to thwart these sorts of attacks. So some of the things that I'm going to show you now, some of the menu options might be a little different or some of the pre-determined settings might be slightly different. For example, Zoom now insists or sets up the default that you have what's called a waiting room for each meeting so that people are not automatically entered into a meeting, and you actually have to manually flip that switch in order to allow people into meetings. So they're constant making, they will be constantly making some changes depending on when you view this video. Let me take you through the different settings here. Now these are global settings that you set up. Now you can bypass some of these settings in individual meetings but these are the global settings that you'll put in place. And the first one is Join Before Host that we see here. If you enable this, it means that people can enter the room before the host is in the room. That is generally considered to be bad form. You want to have a responsible adult in the room before anybody else enters the room. You as the meeting host are the responsible adult, so we recommend that you leave that turned off. That way nobody can be in there being abusive, doing anything that you don't know about if you aren't in the room. Only Authenticated Users Can Join Meetings. And this one can be a little bit confusing, but here's essentially what it is. Is you need to have a Zoom account in order to enter the meeting. Now that might seem a little bit arduous, forcing people to have an account, but it creates accountability. Now you can have a free Zoom account, and a free Zoom account will be an authorized user. But it means that you then know the email address and access to everybody who enters the room and if somebody is disrupted, they can be dealt with accordingly. So you can turn that on. Of course the negative side is, that if somebody doesn't have a Zoom account, they have to go through the process of signing up for a Zoom account before they can join in your meeting. But that is a good security measure that you can put in place. You can also require a passwords in different ways for meetings. And you can share those passwords with individuals that you're gonna be letting into your meeting where you share a Zoom link, you can come into the meeting, but before you enter the meeting you have to enter a password. You can also, if you choose to, embed the password in the meeting link. As you go to share the meeting link, so that it makes it a little bit easier for people to enter. But that is another setting that can be put in place if you feel that your meetings require a password. If the URLs for example, by their very nature have to be shared a little bit publicly, it's a way for you to recapture a little bit of security by requiring passwords. Now you don't have to do all of these, these are just the settings that you have available to you. Chat. Now chat is a powerful tool within Zoom meetings, allowing people to share ideas off to the side, allow them to share links and to share ideas back and forth. And you can chat either to the entire room or if it's enabled, you can chat privately person-to-person. Now teachers for example, probably want to go in and they want to turn off the allowance for Private Chat. Why do they want to do that? 'Cause they don't want students talking amongst themselves. I remember when I was in school, if I had a note and I passed it to another student, which is essentially what a private chat is, the teacher always wanted to know what was in that note, so teachers can turn off private chat. Adults might decide to leave it on, allowing people to sidebar a little bit and have conversations, but you have control over that. You could also set how you want to have the chat saved because it could be saved as a text file, and you can choose to have it saved, automatically saved or not saved at all. All of those settings are here for you as well. File Transfer allows you to put a link into a meeting and allow people to download a file to their computer, which is great if you're sharing spreadsheets amongst your team. But if you're doing a more public-facing meeting, then you want to disable file transfer because you don't know, this would be a place for Trojan Horses to be able to be inserted. Where people can say, "Here, download this file," and then it can plant something nefarious on people's computers. So you want to turn off file transfer for security. Now one of the ways that Zoom-bombers have been taking over meetings is they've been jumping in meetings and they've been immediately screen sharing. They've been taking something on their screen, usually something offensive, usually something involving some sort of nudity, and they are sharing it so the entire meeting sees their screen. You can disable screen sharing at start. And it's something that you can enable later on within the meeting if there was a reason for you to be screen sharing. But if you have public-facing meetings or if you're educators and a teacher, you probably want to disable screen sharing for all of your participants and then enable it in a case-by-case basis when it's needed. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Far End Camera Control, allowing another user to take control of your camera during a meeting is probably a bad idea. No, I would say is always a bad idea. I don't even know why they have it in there, but make sure it's left turned off. Now we get into the interesting part which is dealing with the waiting room. And this is changing a little bit with Zoom as they evolve things. But the waiting room ends up being a terrific defensive mechanism to prevent people from disrupting your meeting. So, with this you choose which participants have to go into the waiting room and here's what can be a little bit confusing. Is when you start a meeting, if all of your participants are in the waiting room, they can still see you, they can still hear you, they just can't participate in the meeting themselves. They can't talk, they can't, their video is not seen until you admit them in the room. But if you've got students, say, and you've started your lesson and some of them are late, you don't have to worry about admitting them all for them to be able to see the content as you're delivering the content. They will be able to see it, they just won't be able to respond to what you're asking until you bring them into the room. So you have all of those settings right here. Once you've set up your global settings, you still have some options when you go to set up an individual meeting to set a few different privacy and security settings as you create each individual meeting. So if I go to Schedule A New Meeting, a planned new meeting, as I go through all of the different options that I have, I can turn on and off registration here, which will then reflect based on what I've set up in my overall settings. I can also require a meeting password here, should I choose to. I can also turn off participants video if I happen to have it turned on. And I can do a few other options such as enabling the Join Before Host if I choose to. If say it's a small group of family members that you're meeting just to have a family visit, you might be able to enable that before the host joins because it's going to a very small group of people who you trust. But when you're actually having a business meeting or you're a teacher having a meeting, you don't want to enable the join before host. So as you can see we have several different places to set all of these privacy settings because every meeting is not created equal. Some of them are personal and just for family and that trusted group, other ones you don't trust the attendees as much so you want to clamp down a little bit more with the privacy settings. Now I've launched a Zoom meeting to show you that even once you've launched a meeting you still have control over many of the different privacy settings within a Zoom meeting and here is an example. Down here in the Share Screen area, if I click on the carrot to pop it open, if I go into my Advanced Sharing Options, and this is for sharing your screen or sharing a whiteboard, you can choose who can share screens and who can't, from this point even within a meeting. So if you've got the default set so that nobody can share, you can turn on and off sharing within this setting. Additionally, that's kind of a global setting, but if you go under the view menu in Zoom, you can show and manage participants. Now there's gonna be no participants in here right now, but this window here allows me to mute and unmute other people who are in a meeting with me at any time. So you can be turning on or off people's microphones. Now you can turn off people's video but you can't turn their video on automatically. You have to ask permission to turn it on. As a matter of fact, I hosted a Zoom meeting just a few days ago with our mastermind for B school, and take a look, you can see here the management screen where we've got everybody's video appearing at the same time and we're in gallery view here, so we have about 15 or 16 participants in this meeting. But you can see down the right hand side here that I can turn on and off their audio and if you look along the very bottom of that screen, you can see that they also have the ability to be able to give me feedback using the same screen of giving me thumbs up or thumbs down or asking me to go faster or slower, within a presentation in the participants, it's called the Manage Participants Window within Zoom. So that gives us a little bit more functionality within the meeting itself, but also a little more control over the privacy and security within a meeting. I have to jump in one more time now before we finish editing this video, which I mentioned off the top of the video how we actually got Zoom-bombed when we were recording today's video. I want to show you if you do happen to have your private meeting get out in the wild so that people can Zoom-bomb you if they choose to, and you can't hold your own personal meetings in your personal room because that cow has left the barn. If you go into your Zoom settings, in your profile, you find here your personal meeting ID. You can change this number. This number is arbitrarily assigned to you by Zoom, but you can actually go in and you can edit it and you can make a change to that actual number and put in your own, now what is it, six, 10-digit number. You can put in your own 10-digit number which will then be your Zoom room ID if you happen to be quote, unquote, hacked. There's been a lot of conversation and YouTube comments where people have been asking me about some of the security breaches. Where are the data from? Zoom calls is being routed through Chinese servers and other people are talking about how Windows passwords can be hacked in certain instances with different types of meetings. And recognize that Zoom is right now the darling of the online world and everybody is looking at it from a journalistic point of view as well as from a nefarious point of view. People are looking to hack in and take advantage of the popularity. Zoom is not standing still while all this is happening, and anytime a security hole is being identified, they are as quickly as possible closing that hole. So I think most of what we hear now is a little bit of just kind of hype, where most of the stories really aren't going to impact us, and we have to trust that Zoom is gonna be closing those holes and closing those security breaches as we go along. But having said that, it behooves us to be diligent and to make sure that we protect ourselves as best as possible. One of my community members sent me this fantastic email from the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell. It's quite a mouthful. But these folks put together, I think, one of the most concise documents and what you should be doing in all video conferencing environments to protect your privacy. And I'm gonna share the text of this document as well as a link to their site in the notes below or in the blog post, depending on where you're watching this video right now. But well done on them. This is a nice, concise document that I think if we follow these guidelines, as well as what I've talked about in this video, we should be safe, we should be good to go, and we shouldn't be putting ourselves or our community at risk while we take advantage of the fantastic new opportunities included in the world of video conferencing. Now if you found this video to be useful, I have a few favors to ask. If there's somebody who can utilize this information, who might not know about the DottoTech channel, please share this video with them and while you're at it, how about giving us a nice thumbs up on the video, as well. And if you have any comments or suggestions, I look forward to reading them. I read each and every comment that's posted in YouTube comments, even if I don't have time to reply to every one. And finally, if you're not yet a subscriber of DottoTech, what are you waiting for? Please subscribe to our channel and ring that notification bell. 'Til next time, I'm Steve Dotto, a fun storm in a castle.
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