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When the world transitioned to online during the COVID-19 pandemic, videoconferencing platforms experienced a massive increase in the number of users. For example, from December 2019 to April 2020, Zoom has increased its number of daily users from 10 to 300 million!
This swift rise did not go unnoticed. Many of the newly acquitted users used remote meeting platforms for the first time. Due to high demand, companies rushed to introduce a lot of new applications, software tools, or features, leaving more space for user errors. Cyber-security and privacy incidents rose by 23% after shifting to remote work, and some even got a dedicated term: “zoombombing.”
At first glance, it seems that zoombombing is something related to the well-known videoconferencing platform Zoom. Well, it is partly true! There is a high chance that this term originated during a Zoom meeting - when someone illegally joined the meeting and disrupted its close flow. Yet, it encompasses much more than just the Zoom platform.
In simple words, zoombombing is an occasion when an unwanted person joins a meeting. Many videoconferencing platforms are sensitive to this issue right now - from Zoom to Webex and many others. It can affect any user - educational institutions, businesses, and even governments.
Yes! When the pandemic started, the FBI quickly recognized zoombombing as an illegal action. One of the first reported cases happened during a remote class - an unidentified person dialed into the meeting, unmuted their microphone, and “shouted the teacher’s home address in the middle of instruction.”
Long story short, zoombombing is now considered a cyber-crime, and any victim of a teleconference hijacking can report it as an incident.
Each videoconferencing platform has its own policies to prevent zoomboming. They continuously work to enhance security, so make sure to always update your software to the latest version.
Despite the long-living myth, it is not only governmental organizations and corporations that should take security and privacy measures seriously. Even those who host individual meetings can be hijacked, so make sure to protect your personal data carefully!
Below we’ll provide some of the most common tips that you can use to prevent illegal activities happening in your event:
If you are using Zoom, additional instructions on how to stop zoombombing are available in this guide. If you are using another platform, check which features you can disable for your preferred videoconferencing platform. If you are not planning to use a specific function - simply disable it. Otherwise, hijackers will make use of it, so just take one step further to be ahead of them!
Interactio is a full solution for multilingual meetings where we combine remote simultaneous interpretation with the next-generation video-meeting platform. Since the first launch of the platform in 2015, we have put security and privacy at the heart of our product development.
Learn more about Interactio security and privacy mindset.
Here is what we implemented over the years to increase security and privacy in your events:
Zoombombing clearly shows that many crimes are becoming virtual, and it is crucial to put security and privacy first to protect your personal data.
Remember, building a secure event ecosystem is a shared responsibility of all - event organizers, service providers, and participants.
October 8, 2021