by Walter Boomsma (webmastermainestategrangeorg) ,
MSG Communications Director
More and more Granges are using Zoom as a way of getting together and actually conducting meetings. That’s great news!
But with the good news comes a necessary concern about the security of virtual meetings. There have been documented incidents called “Zoom Bombing.” It’s similar to photobombing but much worse.
Zoom Bombing happens when a complete stranger joins a meeting and shares pornographic images or uses threatening or hate language. Schools have experienced it and the FBI has issued warnings after several schools saw their online classes hijacked.
The more good news is there are some steps you can take to prevent this. One obvious one is to share the link to the meeting only with invited participants or people you know. I recently saw a meeting posted on Facebook that not only included the link, it even included the password needed to join the meeting!! Zoom has implemented a number of security features and controls but they aren’t much good if the host invites the world to attend the meeting!
Please, if you are hosting a Zoom Meeting–especially one where children are involved–recognize that as a host, you have a responsibility for the security of that meeting and protecting participants. Do not post the meeting ID, link, and password on social media. And, as a host, become familiar with the tools available to help secure your meeting. For example, you can use the “waiting room” feature whereby attendees aren’t admitted to the meeting until recognized by a host. Even more impressive are the “in meeting controls” such as “share screen” and mute buttons that allow the host to manage the meeting responsibly.
These controls are not highly complex. The even more good news is that Zoom Tutorials are very easy to access and understand. There is a ten-minute “Zoom Meeting Controls Overview” that should be required watching for anyone hosting a meeting.
Please do not fear the technology of virtual meetings. Most activities in life include an element of danger and risk, but we still do them. Zoom meetings should be no different. Use common sense and access the many resources available to keep yourself and your meeting participants safe. If I can help you, please let me know.