Zoom enables meeting passwords and virtual waiting rooms by default as it attempts to beef up security

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Zoom's skyrocketing popularity in recent weeks has been both a blessing and a curse for the company. Clearly it welcomes the additional users and, presumably, the income generated, but the company has also found itself under the spotlight resulting in startling revelations about security and privacy.

Having already apologized for a series of issues, Zoom is not taking steps to improve security. In an email sent out to users, the company explains how the virtual waiting room feature will be enabled by default, and meeting participants will now be required to use passwords to join.

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The changes take effect from tomorrow, April 5, and the new on-by-default setting for virtual waiting rooms is aimed at stopping the problem of Zoombombing. Zoom explains that the waiting room is simply a "virtual staging area that prevents people from joining a meeting until the host is ready".

When it comes to password-protected meetings, Zoom explains:

Going forward, your previously scheduled meetings (including those scheduled via your Personal Meeting ID) will have passwords enabled. If your attendees are joining via a meeting link, there will be no change to their joining experience. For attendees who join meetings by manually entering a Meeting ID, they will need to enter a password to access the meeting.

For attendees joining manually, we highly recommend re-sharing the updated meeting invitation before your workweek begins. Here’s how you can do that:

Log in to your account, visit your Meetings tab, select your upcoming meeting by name, and copy the new meeting invitation to share with your attendees. For step-by-step instructions, please watch this 2-minute video or read this FAQ.

For meetings scheduled moving forward, the meeting password can be found in the invitation. For instant meetings, the password will be displayed in the Zoom client. The password can also be found in the meeting join URL.

You can see the video here:

As Zoom's CEO Eric S Yuan explained in his apology to users the other day, there will be no new features added to the video conferencing tool for three months while the company focuses on addressing existing privacy and security issues.

Image credit: Konstantin Savusia / Shutterstock

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