How to Keep Zoom Meetings Safe from Unwanted Predators
As our world has evolved and adapted to online and distance learning, one of the primary programs educators are turning to in order to create virtual classrooms is Zoom. However, zoom-bombings have become a “thing” unfortunately where hijackers are shouting expletives or even showing video of themselves.
How does this happen?
According to Glen Pounder, Director of Programs for Child Rescue Coalition, “The potential for abuse using the Zoom platform lies partly in the default setting being set to public so that anyone can drop into the “room” and begin trolling or sharing abusive material. From a personal law enforcement perspective, I’ve known Zoom to be used both to share Child Sexual Abuse Material and for the live abuse of a child to be shared with others around the world. We stand ready to share our extensive data to help Zoom protect their platform as well as prevent the abuse of children.”
The FBI has issued a warning on how parents, educators, and adults can stay safe and keep away unwanted predators. Here are the key guidelines to follow when setting up your classroom, play date, or happy hour with friends.
How to Keep Your Online Zoom Meetings Safe from Unwanted Predators
- Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.
- Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people via email or school messaging app.
- Manage screen sharing options. In Zoom, change screen sharing to “Host Only.”
- Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.
We recommend following all of these FBI guidelines to keep citizens safe when they are using the Zoom platform online. And as always if children are using Zoom for virtual classrooms, make sure they are in a common area where parents can keep an eye on who they are talking to.