Feeling Secure on Zoom?

Kimani Dodd, Staff Writer

       Zoom is a “cloud-based video conferencing platform that can be used for video conferencing meetings, audio conferences, webinars, meeting recordings, and live chat.” Since the start of online school, there has been an increase in its usage. Numerous schools are making use of it in order to maintain student and teacher interaction. However, it has been far from a smooth transition. Security has been a major concern and has given some people reservations about using the service. In fact, there was a case of a Zoom bombing last Wednesday which involved an uninvited guest appearing on the call with the sole purpose of disruption and harassment. The Connecticut teen joined a variety of classes, causing trouble. Teachers say this individual was “intentionally disrupting them with obscene language and gestures.” Officials were able to track the teen and make an arrest. The individual was charged with committing a fifth degree computer crime, fifth degree conspiracy to commit a computer crime, and a breach of peace. As a result of this incident, Madison Public schools have decided to stop the use of Zoom. Madison Superintendent Tom Scarcie sent a letter to parents saying, “We have decided to suspend use of Zoom for whole group instruction until the district can have more assurance that Zoom has addressed security concerns.” A similar incident happened in Orange County happened a few weeks ago. A man hacked into a Zoom call and exposed himself. The matter is being handled by law enforcement and Orange County Public Schools officials offered no further details.  Users on social media shared their negative experiences. In response to the criticism, Zoom has decided to take some protective measures. They stated that security is taken very seriously and that any incidents should be reported directly to Zoom. The company suggested that if people host large meetings, they should confirm they are the only ones who are able to use specific features and share the screen. Furthermore, they have made a post called “How to Keep Party Crashers from Crashing Your Zoom Event.” This post offers some tips on how settings can be adjusted. It remains uncertain if these measures will address all the security concerns.