Beware of Zoom-bombers

With social distancing mandates in order until at least the end of April, huge parts of normal life have now moved to an online format.

Visits, meetings, classes and more are continuing over videoconferencing apps, with Zoom being the most popular. The app was downloaded 62 million times during the third week of March, and 60% of Fortune 500 companies are now using Zoom.

Zoom’s simplicity is likely the reason for its popularity — and its vulnerability. The FBI is warning of a new kind of scam in which criminals join Zoom meetings with malicious intent.

Without protective measures, like passwords and screen-share locks, anyone can join a Zoom conference. “Zoom-bombing” is happening more and more often, with hackers hurling racial slurs or displaying graphic content in the middle of classrooms and business meetings.

Some criminals take it one step further by creating bogus domains that impersonate Zoom. These hackers will then use this opportunity to steal personal information and sell it or use it for criminal purposes.

The bureau recommends that Zoom users take these extra steps to protect their conferences from being Zoom-bombed:

  • Make meetings private by requiring a password or using the waiting room feature.
  • Share teleconference links directly with participants instead of posting them in a public forum, like a social media page.
  • Control screen-sharing by choosing “Host Only” in the screen-sharing options.
  • Make sure all participants are using updated software.

Video conferencing apps like Zoom are helping millions of Americans maintain normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you follow the FBI’s guidelines for secure video conferencing you should be able to avoid getting into any trouble. Stay safe!