Saturday, August 01, 2020

What’s “Zoom Bombing” and WHY you should care

Avoiding “Zoom Bombing” takes planning. 

Today’s news reported the sad tale of a naked man interrupting a school committee meeting. 

Though such disruptive behavior is referred to as “Zoom Bombing,” literally any virtual meeting platform can be vulnerable. This would include the service you are considering for your society and family group meetings, such as Web-X, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect, Stream Yard, YouTube live streaming, Facebook Live and Webinar Jam - to name a few. 

Avoid such disruptions by careful event set up and employing only tech savvy hosts supported by multiple co-hosts. The number of co-hosts should increase as does the size of your attendee list. Each co-host accepts a specific monitoring assignment. 

For optimum security, be sure the service chosen has the ability to:
— require registration (the perp can be tracked down via law enforcement.)
— require a waiting room
— set “do not readmit if removed.”
— banning
— set attendee webcams to off on arrival
— use webinar (with a dedicated panel, but can turn on mic and/or webcams for an additional panelist one at a time) 
— for high-profile public meetings, use a tightly controlled virtual platform 
— do not permit change in virtual background while live. 
— set so only 1 participant can share screen at a time. 
— set so only host can screen share 
— have multiple co-hosts (1-2 to admit people, 2 to watch chat, 2 to watch attendees profile pics, 2 to watch Q&A, and grow these number as participant list grows, etc. etc.)
— change chat to “host only”
— use Q&A instead of chat
— do not permit renaming one’s profile. 
— etc.
— etc. 

Google Meet is particularly vulnerable for very public meetings, as it has fewer controls than most virtual meeting platforms. However for what we’d consider a select, private audience like an elementary school setting, Google Meet may work well with the added benefit of a Google Classroom integration. 

There are enhanced security settings that can be employed at additional cost:
— permit only domain-specific attendees (everyone uses their company email to register)
— 2-part authentication 
— sign-in with SSO
— logins as required by DOD

There are reasons I’d currently recommend Zoom or Stream Yard. 

In all the years of hosting virtual meetings Cousin Russ and I have had two intruders (audio, chat) that were immediately banned. We’ve never had a streaker. 

I can only surmise that the school committee meeting in the news article didn’t have enough experienced staff to employ built-in Zoom safeguards. It takes a dedicated IT person to keep on top of industry standards. 

We all need a Cousin Russ. 🤗

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Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

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