With the majority of the population working from home due to the current pandemic, we are finding alternatives to communicate with our colleagues virtually. It is sure that no service has flourished more during the lockdown than Zoom. From business meets to interviews and lectures to seminars, everything has been boxed into the screen and Zoom has been the ever preferred location.
But Zoom continues to struggle with security and privacy issues even as its usage skyrockets. How does Zoom pose a threat to your privacy and security?
Here’s what you need to know about the Privacy & Security Challenges with Zoom:
1. ‘Zoom bombing’ is Ever Increasing
“Zoom-bombing” refers to cases of video hijacking in which hackers gain access to video meetings, shouting racial insults or threats or streaming disturbing contents. Several reports have shown an increased range of such cases which proved harmful for the dignified conference.
Zoom meetings can be accessed by a number-based URL, which can be generated and guessed by hackers effortlessly, according to a security firm report.
2. End-to-End Encryption Not Exercised
Zoom has misleadingly advertised itself as using end-to-end encryption, a system that secures communication so that it can only be accessed by the users involved. Zoom confirmed in a blog post on 1st April that end-to-end encryption was not possible at present, on the platform. They apologized for the misunderstanding it caused by “incorrectly” mentioning the contrary.
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3. Security Flaws
A number of security errors disturbing Zoom have been reported previously and recently as well. In 2019, it was revealed Zoom had secretly installed a hidden web server on user devices that could permit the user to be added to a call without their permission.
And a glitch revealed recently enables hackers to take control over a Zoom user’s Mac, including the webcam and microphone. Zoom being one of the highly demanded conferencing platform is expected to eradicate such glitches. These pose a threat to the users privacy and security.
4. In-App Supervision Feature
The “attention tracking” feature in Zoom has been criticized for interrupting privacy. This feature lets a host see if a user has the app in view and is gaze-focused. This feature lets employers check if the staff is really engrossed in a work meeting or if students are actually watching a class presentation.
This certainly interrupts the privacy of the users.
5. Revealing user data
It was found that Zoom sent data from users of its iOS app to Facebook for advertising purposes, even though the user does not have a Facebook account.
Zoom altered some of its policies in response and denied the accusations against the company. But it was found that users’ personal information was being used to target advertisements.
A lawsuit was filed in a federal court in California recently accusing Zoom of failing to protect the personal data of users and also cited one of the reports from Motherboard story.
[Also Read: Zoom, Skype or Hangouts: Which one’s better?]
This has clearly shown that Zoom poses a threat to your privacy and security. So in these unavoidable circumstances, it is necessary to ensure your security online. Zoom has released guidelines in recent days about how to prevent unnecessary users from joining video meetings. You may check out the Zoom blog for the guidelines.
Stay safe Online and Offline! 🙂 Do let us know your thoughts on this crisis in the comment section below!