The new online video conferencing application, Zoom, has been making strides all across the world in establishing a space for people to get connected in this time of isolation and quarantine. The video-chatting app has been especially applicable in schools, colleges, and universities worldwide and even locally at Jones College. Even though Zoom has good intentions, many issues have risen regarding privacy and safety of their users.
Although Zoom has been around since 2011, the app has seen some tremendous growth in its usage as a result of social distancing due to the onslaught of COVID-19. The instantaneous growth might have been too much for Zoom to handle at first. Zoom users across the nation have been having many issues with perpetrators committing an act known as “zoombombing.” Zoombombing is when a hacker invades a video conference and abruptly disrupts the conversation in many villainous ways to purposefully inconvenience participants. Because the platform is still new to having millions and millions of people using their platform at once, changes have had to take place to keep the application up-to-date.
In response to the criminal activities, Zoom has made numerous fixes to ensure the safety of the plethora of users. Formerly, Zoom would establish a data connection with Facebook which would allow them to send information from Zoom onto Facebook, who has not had a great reputation with retaining the privacy of their users. This connection could even be established with users who have never used the Facebook application. Zoom has fixed this issue so that users do not have to worry about Facebook problems interfering with connecting with their loved ones or coworkers.
Users have also come together to find solutions to prevent any further zoombombing. Entrepreneur Alex Miller tweeted the following tips to aid hosts of video conferences on Zoom.
“Give yourself some moderation help by enabling ‘Co-Host’,” Miller said. “This lets you assign the same host controls to another person in the call.”
This is a useful tip for those using Zoom for business calls or even casual users trying to get connected with friends and family. Miller also advised users to go into the Zoom settings and disable the option “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin” which will hinder perpetrators from rejoining a video conference after being kicked out.
Knowing that Zoom is taking all steps possible to make their video conferences function properly and safely has given their users a new faith in something becoming a part of their daily lives. As times go on, the application will definitely be remembered for stepping up to the plate and providing a service for the entire world to use. With the constantly changing atmosphere that the coronavirus has caused, a sense of security is what humanity needs most.
by Michael Blanks