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How To Secure Your Zoom Calls From Hackers

By Mellonie Francis Wed Apr 15

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How To Secure Your Zoom Calls From Hackers
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The key to the success of any office or organization lies in an effective communication system. Any organization with a compromised communication system cannot function smoothly. Today, Zoom has become one of the most important platforms that people and businesses use to connect remotely. As the lockdown forces people to stay home, organizations have turned to platforms like Zoom for effective team collaboration through call and video conferencing while under isolation. There are a lot of guidelines as to how to best use Zoom for video conferencing.  This has also lead to a question, is your Zoom secure?

However, as Zoom becomes more popular with remote teams, organizations, teachers, and everyone who needs a virtual face-to-face time, it’s now a prime target for hackers. Fortunately, it’s not impossible to stop hackers and third parties from taking over your zoom calls. With these six (6) tips below, you can protect your zoom calls from any hacker out there.

1. Disable guest screen sharing 

Turning off guest screen sharing will give only the host the control to stop any participants from being able to share what is on their desktop. By restricting screen sharing to the administrator, it will at least prevent anyone from joining your meeting from sharing inappropriate material and taking over the meeting.
Instructions: Go to Zoom.us/[your profile]>Click on your profile on top right corner>setting>in the meeting (basic)>screen sharing host only [check box]>save

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2. Require the host to be present 

The ‘’Join before host’’ option on Zoom allows a meeting to start when the first person joins, even in the absence of the host. To stop anyone from being able to start your meeting without you, it’s best to turn off this feature. Doing this will allow you to protect your meeting from anyone (including the hackers). To do this, you just have to make sure the ‘’Join before host’’ is turned off.
Instructions: Setting>Navigate to the Meeting tab> verify that the Join Before Host setting is enabled

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3. Keep your personal meeting ID private 

If you share your personal meeting ID (PMI) online, you are providing anyone with access to the internet the chance to find it and join your meeting. It’s relatively easy for hackers as well to find it and join any meeting you are hosting. The best practice is to keep your personal meeting ID private and ensure ‘’Use Personal Meeting ID’’ is turned off when scheduling a meeting. Also, using a unique personal meeting ID for each separate meeting you plan to schedule can prevent hackers from joining and taking over your meeting.
Instructions: Sign in to the Zoom web portal>click profile>next to Personal Meeting ID, click edit>enter a 10-digital ID>click the check box if you want to use your PMI for instant meetings>click Save Changes.

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4. Use a password 

The best way to keep hackers away from intruding your meeting is to set a strong password. Although passwords are now enabled by default on Zoom for new users, it’s important to disable this setting to secure your zoom calls from hackers. Always remember to protect your meetings with a secure password and only share it with the people you are expecting in your meeting. Keep your password private and don’t make the mistake of sharing it online, otherwise, it fails to achieve the purpose it’s supposed to.
Instructions: Sign into the Zoom web portal>as the owner or admin click on Account Management then click Account Settings>navigate to the Meeting tab and verify that the password settings that you would like to use for your account are enable.

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5. Use the waiting room feature 

Waiting room feature is another option on Zoom that gives the host control over who gets in. When this feature is enabled, it places every guest in a virtual waiting room until you start the meeting. When the meeting is about to start, then the host will have to manually admit your invited guests. The ‘’Waiting Room’’ feature gives the host ultimate control over who can attend the meeting and it is a reliable feature to use to keep unwanted guests out, including the hackers.
Instructions: Sign in to the Zoom web portal>in the navigation menu, click Account Management then Account Settings>navigate to the Waiting Room option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.

Note:  If the setting is disabled, click the Status toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change. 

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6. Lock the meeting after it starts

This special feature allows the host to stop people from getting access to the meeting once it starts. Host can capitalize on this feature to keep out some gate-crashers. Although this may be unfair to latecomers who are good members when enabled, it’s still a great way to stop hackers from taking over the meeting. To do this, locate ‘’Manage Participants’’ at the bottom of the host screen and then click ‘’Lock Meeting’’ right after the meeting starts. After the lock meeting is enabled, no new members can join again. 

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Conclusion 

As there is an upsurge in the use of Zoom for making calls in meetings by organizations due to the ongoing lockdown experienced globally, hackers have spotted an opportunity to take over the platform. However, just following the tips above would make it easy for any Zoom user to secure their call from anyone including hackers. These tips are simple to follow but effective in preventing bad actors from taking over your zoom calls.

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