Zoom security: 10 tips to keep you safe in video conferences

Photo of laptop on desk with video conference meeting on screen

Zoom is a great app – it allows people to video chat in large groups, share screens and lots more. But Zoom security has become an issue. Are you afraid your Zoom meetings could be insecure? Fear not, our tips will keep you right.

You can’t really blame Zoom in many respects. It went from a minority app (I used it myself) with ten million users, to one everyone was talking about. Suddenly Zoom had 200 million users.

Zoom security suddenly started to become an issue

But equally suddenly, security started to become an issue on the platform. Zoom-bombing became a thing where video conferences were suddenly interrupted by a user shouting political slogans, or taking over the screen to show nonsense images, or even worse.

There were rows over the state of its end-to-end encryption and other security flaws. Some organisations banned Zoom use amongst employees and members.

Zoom got the message: it suspended all development and put its people to work on security. These days the platform is much more secure – but you have to use it correctly to get the full benefits.

Here are our tips for safe video conferencing on Zoom:

1. Use the Waiting Rooms feature

The Waiting Rooms feature means no-one can gate-crash your meetings (unless the host accidentally lets them in).

2. Do not allow people to join before the host

This is really important.  Go to Account Settings and make sure this is switched off.

3. Password-protect your meetings

This is another no-brainer. Setting up a password is a great way to deter bad actors. This can be set at user, group, individual meeting and account level. This is mostly done on the Zoom web portal.

Go to https://zoom.us/ and sign in. You can do this in the Settings tab. If you’re a paid subscriber, you can use Group Management to enforce on a higher level.

Photo of two people on a Zoom video meeting

4. Turn off participant screen sharing

There have been occasions when people have been shown political extremism or porn, so the host should go to the new Security tab during a meeting and set the screen sharing functions appropriately.

5. Check regularly for updates

This is also really important as bad actors will try to find holes in old versions. Open Zoom on the desktop, go to your profile and select Check For Updates.

6. Lock your meeting

Locking down your meeting is another useful tool. You do this after the meeting has begun in the Manage Participants tab.

7. Block file sharing

For now, don’t share sensitive files through the platform. Use the likes of Google Drive or Dropbox.

8. Use the randomly-generated ID tool

Try not to use your personal meeting ID. These can sometimes be made public and then exploited.  The randomly-generated ID feature will make your meetings much more secure.

9. Trouble-maker in your meeting? Use this tool to kick them out

If someone is acting the maggot, you can expel them using the Participants tab. Hover your mouse over their ID and click More, where you’ll see where to remove them.

10. Block trouble makers from re-joining

In Settings: Meetings – Basic, you can stop them coming back by disabling the Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin tab.

That’s it – keep to these tips and your Zoom meetings should be safe and secure. The next most important thing is to look professional in your meetings. Don’t worry – we’ve got an in-depth SmartVideo Ultimate Guide to looking your best. It includes tips on camera angles, lighting, sound, equipment, what to wear and more.

Stay safe!