Your security can be a concern when making video calls. Read on to find out how to secure your Zoom video chat.
Use A Password To Stop Others From Accessing Your Chat
The first and easiest thing you should do every time you set up a Zoom video chat is to secure your room with a password. You can do this by going into the Zoom settings. Once in the settings, you will find you have several options.
- Require a password to set up new Zoom meetings
- Require a password to set up instant Zoom meetings
- Need a password for a PMI (Personal Meeting ID)
- Embed a password into the link for your Zoom meeting
- Enable passwords for members joining your Zoom meeting by phone.
Although all of these may seem like fairly decent ways of securing your zoom video chat, there is one that should never be used if security is your top priority, and that is to embed a password into the link for your Zoom video chat. The reason for this is that anyone who can get access to the link, can also get access to the password and therefore gain access to the chat.
Use A Waiting Room For Your Zoom Video Chat
If someone manages to gain access to the link to your Zoom video chat, the next best layer of defense is to enable a waiting room. The option to do this can also be found in the Zoom settings. We recommend always using a waiting room as it means that whoever joins the chat will be placed into the waiting room until they are given permission to enter the chat. They will not be able to see or hear anything until you decide they are safe to enter.
Lock Your Zoom Video Chat
As soon as you see everyone that is coming onto the video chat is there (and none that are not supposed to be there) you can go ahead and lock the Zoom video chat. You will find it easy to spot the security icon at the bottom left of your screen once the chat is active. By clicking this icon, you can then select the option to lock the chat. Doing this prevents anyone else from joining.
Turn Your PMI (Personal Meeting ID) Off In Public Meetings
One thing that can be easy to miss is the fact that your PMI (personal meeting ID) will be always ‘on’ by default. This is not good for your security when in public meetings. As soon as another user has access to your PMI, they will then be able to hop straight into any other meetings that you are in in the future. In order to turn your PMI off, go to the Zoom settings.
Deny Access To Unauthenticated Users
Another great feature that can be found in the Zoom settings is the option to prevent access to unauthenticated users. This means that only people with authorized email addresses will be able to join the meeting. The other users will then have to register their name and email address in order to be granted access to your Zoom video chat.
Remove Unauthorized Users
If someone happens to gain access to your Zoom video chat despite all of your best efforts to secure it, do not panic. You can easily kick any user out of your meeting by clicking on the word ‘more’ that appears when you hover over their name, then clicking on ‘remove’.
Remove Communication Features For Other Users
If you are the host, there are actually several options you have to further protect the privacy of everyone else on the call. If you go to the communication settings, you will see that you are able to disable several things for the other people on the call. These are Private chat, screen sharing, annotations, mute all other microphones (attendee speaking), file sharing, and virtual backgrounds. This is a good thing to consider as if you have someone on the call who is not supposed to be there, they may try to mess with these features to disrupt your Zoom video call.
Turn Off Join Before Host
If you have concerns that another user may try to join your Zoom video chat before you are able to join, you can find the ‘join before host’ option in the settings. By turning this option off, it prevents anyone from joining the chat before you arrive, meaning you can check everyone else that is joining once the room opens.
Ensure You Have The Latest Version Of Zoom Installed
You should always install the latest version of Zoom whenever you see one is available. By doing this, you are protecting yourself further without actually having to do anything. Zoom will often include bug fixes and also fixes to known exploits and security exploits with their updates. For instance, ‘Zoom-bombing’, which emerged before the 5.0 update which rolled out earlier in May 2020, was addressed by introducing 356-bit encryption.
Finally, perhaps the most important tip we can give you is to stay alert and always pay attention to what is going on in your Zoom video chat. Just because the meeting is in full swing and has been active for half an hour does not mean that someone else will not join at any moment if you aren’t paying proper attention (although if you’ve been following our tips so far it should drastically reduce the chances of this happening).
Security will unfortunately always be an issue when it comes to anything done over the internet, so it is important to remain vigilant and trust your own instinct if it seems like something may be off. Hackers are always looking for new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in software, if there is a way to trick the program, they will do it. This is why there really is no better defense than to stay alert.