How to Secure your Zoom Meetings with Password

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Zoom has quickly become an indispensable tool for remote teams, teachers and virtually anyone who needs some face-to-face time, even if only virtually. In fact, I wrote this week about how it has quickly become one of the most important applications.

Since the vast majority of people work from home, it’s not surprising that hackers have started working. Apparently, one of their new favorite tricks is blowing up a Zoom Meeting. In some cases, “party crashers” aren’t just there to snoop around your reunion or family gathering, but they take over and share inappropriate material with you.

Enable your zoom account password settings

  • Log in to the Zoom web portal.
  • As an owner or administrator, click Account Management, and then click Account Settings.
  • Go to the “Meeting” tab and check that the password settings you wish to use for your account are enabled.
  • If the setting is disabled, click the Status button to enable it. If a verification dialog box appears, select the Activate option to verify the change.
  • (Optional) If you want to make this setting mandatory for all users in your account, click the padlock icon and then click the Lock button to confirm the setting.

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For your groups:

  • Log on to the Zoom Web Portal as an owner or administrator, click on User Management, then on Group Management.
  • Click on the name of the group in the list, then click on the Settings tab.
  • Now navigate to the “Meeting” tab and make sure that the password settings you want to use for this group are enabled.
  • If you want all members of your group to use these password settings, click on the lock icon and then click Lock to confirm that you want all members of your group to use passwords.

For your meetings and webinars, again:

  • Log in to the Zoom web portal.
  • Go to settings
  • Go to the “Meeting” tab and verify that the password settings you wish to use for your meetings and webinars are enabled.
  • Whether you set passwords for your account, for groups, or for specific meetings and webinars, you will see essentially the same options. For maximum security, I suggest enabling passwords for new meetings, instant meetings, personal meetings, aka PMI, and people who participate by phone.

Pay attention to everything in your camera’s field of view.

Whether you work at home or in the office, there may be charts, drawings, notes, or other things you don’t want other participants to see. Remove them from view of the camera before the meeting begins.

In addition to the above tips, Zoom users should consider using a browser to log in to meetings instead of the specific Zoom application. I prefer this setting because I believe that the attack surface of my system – the number of vulnerabilities an attacker can exploit to compromise my security – increases with each application installed. By 2020, most browsers will be strengthened against attacks. Other types of software are less so.

Zooming makes the web option hard to find after clicking on the “Join a meeting” link. In my tests on a Windows 10 machine, the option only appeared after I uninstalled the zoom client. Even then, Zoom pushed an installation file after I tried to join a meeting. I couldn’t use the browser until I refused to download and selected the “Join” option in your browser. On a Mac, I could find the option even though I had installed the Zoom client by clicking Cancel in the application’s installation dialog box. A chrome extension called Zoom Redirector also makes it easier to find the link (Firefox and Edge versions of the open source addon are here). The permissions required by the extension suggest that this is not a major privacy or security threat.

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