Many people (and we mean MANY people) are using the web-based Zoom platform to hold their conferences when they can't meet face-to-face because of the COVID-19 threat. Some of those meetings have been "zoom-bombed" by hackers who find it a challenge to cause a little havoc in the world. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox notes that two Billings churches were interrupted recently during their virtual services. Even the Montana Public Service Commission was hacked. What can you do?
Check the options that the Zoom company has made available. Some of the suggestions:

  • Use strong passwords (combo of random letters and numbers)
  • Provide the event link only to participants - not on a public platform.
  • Hosts should use Zoom's "waiting room" to approve those who log on.
  • Disable the option that allows people to join the meeting before the host starts.
  • Use an automatically generated meeting ID for one-time-only meetings.
  • Lock the meeting when it gets underway.
  • Assign co-hosts, who can take over if the host's controls are hijacked.
  • If sharing sensitive information, disable the "participant recording."
  • Other Zoom features to disable - "file transferring," "Annotations," "Disabling mute," and "saving of chat."
  • If the worst happens, the Montana Office of Consumer Protection has an online reporting form or you can call 1-800-481-6896.

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