In the age of COVID-19, platforms like Zoom, Skype, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx have been lifesavers for businesses, schools, and families. But, regrettably, the emergence and widespread adoption of these wonderful tools have also enabled the rise of those who would use them to break in uninvited, to steal information and data for their own purposes.
Such video-conferencing hijackers practice what has been dubbed “Zoom-bombing,” or the act of disrupting a virtual meeting with graphic or threatening messages or actions, including hate speech or pornographic images. Beyond being incredibly annoying and hurtful, such intrusions can also cause liability exposure based on the highly offensive harassment.
Protecting innocent users against these disruptions is both a moral and legal obligation, as state and federal civil rights laws require businesses, organizations, and public entities to prevent discriminatory harassment. So how can you avoid being Zoom-bombed? Here are some suggestions:
- Know and test the technology first.
- Use options that require authenticated users only.
- Make all meetings private, with controlled admission.
- Only share the link to the room with those invited.
- Disable the “join before host” setting.
- Restrict screen-sharing options to the host only.
- Use the latest technology with updated security enhancements.
Our society, educational system, and business communities have survived the pandemic by leveraging the incredible power of these video-conferencing tools. Their staying power in a post-COVID world is guaranteed. That makes it all the more essential for users to remain vigilant in protecting themselves and those who they invite to join them online.
Contact The Reschini Group for information on insurance-related matters affecting your organization.
Copyright 2021 The Reschini Group
The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.