Zoom is taking steps to improve privacy and security, and to prevent Zoombombing
The various security and privacy issues that have plagued Zoom in recent weeks have not only caused users to look at the video conferencing software differently, but also forced the company to take a long, hard look at itself.
Having already apologized for the numerous issues people have experienced, as well as making changes to the way the service works, Zoom has now also taken steps to prevent users from being Zoombombed. The change is a relatively minor one in the scheme of things, but it's an important one.
- American schools are banning Zoom and switching to Microsoft Teams
- Zoom issues an apology for privacy and security issues, will enact a feature freeze to focus on fixes
- Google bans Zoom and the US senate warns against its use
There were a few factors that made it possible for people to Zoombomb – joining meetings not intended for them with a view to causing disruption. The first was that it was possible for people to just jump into a meeting without the need to provide credentials. This was addressed in recent days when Zoom enabled not only meeting passwords, but also the virtual waiting room feature.
Another problem -- as illustrated by UK prime minister Boris Johnson -- was that meeting IDs were displayed prominently in the Zoom title bar. While useful for those taking part, this became problematic when people started to share screenshots of their home-working, Zoom meeting setups. Images shared online that showed these IDs made meetings prime targets for Zoombombing.
Now, as of version 4.6.10 of the software which was released a few days ago, meeting IDs are no longer displayed, as Zoom explains in the release notes detailing changes:
- Remove the meeting ID from the title bar
The meeting ID will no longer be displayed in the title bar of the Zoom meeting window. The meeting ID can be found by clicking on the info iconat the top left of the client window or by clicking Participants, then Invite.
- Invite button under Participants
The button to invite others to join your Zoom meeting is now available at the bottom of the Participants panel.
- Local file transfer in meeting chat
The feature file transfer in meeting chat has been re-enabled. Third-party file transfers and sharing clickable links are still disabled.
The update also includes another important addition to improve security:
Security icon in host's meeting controls
The meeting host will now have a Security icon in their meeting controls, which combines all of Zooms existing in-meeting security controls into one place. This includes locking the meeting, enabling Waiting Room, and more. Users can also now enable Waiting Room in a meeting, even if the feature was turned off before the start of the meeting.
Make sure you've updated to the latest version of the software to benefit from these security improvements.