Sun. May 31st, 2020

Look Ma! No Firewall!

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With nearly every American employee, school, church, and student conducting business over Zoom, it is a bit disconcerting to learn that the reputation of the video conferencing giant has barely survived two steady weeks of privacy scandals, including “Zoom bombing” and sensitive data being zoomed through The Cloud over to China. The Washington Post recently reported a bevy of videos leaked to the public which include private sessions with therapists, business meetings, nudity, and corporate insider information. In addition to ALL THIS, Zoom is also currently under investigation by the U.S. attorney general, and a pending lawsuit has been leveled against the company after information was revealed that data was being sent to Facebook.

Kate O’Flaherty, a senior contributor for Forbes online reported on April 4 that the problem is two-fold.

  • Paid Zoom customers have the option of saving their videos via uploading them to their own, personal Cloud service, and
  • Zoom does not require a user to rename their file when saving to The Cloud

Which means, unless you take care to rename your files, EVERY video you (and everyone else using the service) save to The Cloud becomes easily searchable as they all have the same file name! A security researcher hired to detail the case has found 15,000 examples to date of such files, all uploaded to an unsecured, non-password-protected Zoom storage space.

O’Flahtery wrote a second article entitled, “Use Zoom? Here are 7 Essential Steps You Can Take to Secure it.” Her 7 Essential Steps are:

  1. Keep the Zoom app up-to-date and always use the latest version
  2. Use passwords to protect your meetings and never share your meeting ID with anyone.
  3. Share the meeting password with meeting participants securely
  4. Use waiting rooms
  5. Manage participants
  6. Take control of your own privacy
  7. Beware of phising

For more details on how to incorporate these steps into your Zoom meeting protocol, click here.

And to ensure that your “shelter from home” doesn’t turn into a “helter-skelter from home,” take a lesson from Gollum, and before you fling your Precious {files} into The Cloud hovering over the cracks of Mount Zoom—be sure to rename your file!

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