COLORADO SPRINGS — Zoom has exploded in popularity as people turn to video calling software amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
So many people are finding Zoom to be an easy way to stay connected in this time of social distancing, school closures, and work-from-home routines.
With all the extra attention, Zoom is now facing a huge privacy and security backlash as security experts warn that Zoom’s default settings aren’t secure enough.
FOX21 News has been using the app for daily news meetings. Children and pets can even join but not everyone is using the necessary security.
“People that are setting up the default meetings, where you just kind of click the link and you’re in the meeting, those are being hit by something called zoom bombing,” Certified Chief Information Security Officer, Certified Ethical Hacker Rodney Gullatte said.
Each meeting comes with an I-D and the option for a password, which is highly recommended.
“When you’re setting up a brand new meeting, there are some settings to look into,” Gullatte said. “One of them is to have it generate a different meeting code every time you have a meeting and not use your personal one. You’ll see that in your settings when you’re creating your meeting. The other one is the use of a password in order to get into the meeting.”
A YouTuber called NELK Boys has gone viral with his classroom pranks. Kyle Forgeard has been crashing lectures with bizarre outbursts.
“How long you think we’re gonna be like quarantined like this Steve? You’re not supposed to call me Steve,” Forgeard said.
“You’re interrupting professor Phillip, sorry sir,” one of the videos stated.
“That’s causing some issues, especially if you have like large group meetings or a chamber of commerce meeting or something important,” Gullatte said. “You don’t want somebody hijacking your meeting.”
While those guys’ appearance was not welcome some interruptions have been a welcome surprise.
“I just wanted to drop in and say hello to all the fellow communication students,” Peyton Manning said crashing a University of Tennessee Zoom meeting.
Experts say it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
“One of the other awesome benefits of a Zoom is a feature called a waiting room,” Gullatte explained. “So you probably want to enable that so people don’t just come straight into your meeting but go into exactly what it says, a waiting room. So you get to verify the attendees of your Zoom meeting before you let them into the meeting. So the waiting room is a great feature to use as well.”
Gullatte suggested avoiding sharing your meeting link on social media or other public forums, that makes your event extremely public. Anyone with the link can join your meeting.