“Is Zoom app safe?” now a very much trending topic. Due to the Corona breakdown, the need of the hour is to stay home and maintain lockdown. Social distancing is the main preventive measure. Public gathering place like school, college, shopping- mall, market is closed for the last two months. The demand for video conferencing app is huge for office goers, students, teachers even for social gathering.
The Zoom video conferencing app has become the front runner. As a result, this app experienced exponential growth over the past month. But this development has also resulted in increased scrutiny and a series of open security screw-ups. To go into the detailed discussion, first of all, you have to understand a few things.
What is video conferencing?
Video conference is a technology that allows users in different locations to meet in person without travelling to a single venue.
This technology is particularly convenient for business users and is now popular with online teaching students. It saves time, expenses and business travel hazards.
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About the Zoom app
Today, the Zoom app is the most popular free video-conference app for:
- You can meet up with up to 100 participants. By using its premium edition, the cap can also be increased.
- You can use it on a cell phone or a Mac or PC desktop edition.
- It takes 40 minutes to hold a meeting. You can use it for a longer duration by upgrading your account.
- You can install this app from the play store.
- Then you have to create an account.
Zoom app is a decent app for any type of meeting with good video and audio clarity. Zoom Video Communications is an American communications technology company. The headquarter of this company is in San Jose, California. It operates on the cloud-based Peer-to-Peer Computing Platform for video and online chat services, which is used for teleconferencing, telemarketing, distance education and social connections.
But the question arises “Is Zoom app safe”. The answer is that it is not safe to use. Nevertheless, there are rumours that all calls are routed through their servers in China. And as you know, China is completely entitled to inspect everything within their competence.
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A dodgy installer
Zoom’s installer has some issues, which obtained root access to the user’s computer by taking over administrative privileges. This access could be misused if programs without the user’s knowledge. Not only that, but it can also access the user’s camera and microphone. Collect meeting details and personal info.
A Questionable routing
Next question is that, where Zoom sends the data from your device. There are concerns. Zoom has shown that it sends Facebook info, even if you have not been registered with a Facebook account. Zoom also excused the government this month for the incorrect routing of the internet through China.
The concern about data will become less if zoom uses end to end encrypted video conference. But zoom uses transport encryption which is not safe as end to end. Most of the confusion occurs as we identify a “peak.” Zoom tends to assume its servers are counted as such as customers, operating as intermediaries.
There’s the “Zoombombing” rash too, which has happened. People create or find Zoom Meeting ID numbers online and join disruptive comments or media through the screen sharing features. It is fairly easy, and already automated, to find open meetings that have IDs from nine to 11 digits.
Indian govt has already published a notice for public awareness., the Cyber Coordination Centre (CyCord) of the ministry of home affairs said: ” Zoom is a not a safe platform” in a new 16-page advisory. Later on, other countries like Australia, Newzealand, Germany have also restricted the use of zoom.
India’s nodal cybersecurity agency – Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-in) has noticed some vulnerability of the app. Indian govt already banned zoom for any govt meeting. Ministry of home affairs already issues some directive for personal use.
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Indian Govt directives
The directive as follows-
- Always set a new meeting id and password for different meetings.
- Disable join before host option.
- Lock the meeting room after all participant has joined.
- The host should only enable screen sharing option.
- Disable file or data transfer option among participants.
- End the meeting as a host before leaving the meeting room.
Zoom authority also tries to solve the answer “Is Zoom app safe?”. The authorities replied to the Indian government’s advice that the company is exploring new ways to re-establish Indian customer trust on its website. It also plans to include end-to-end video-meeting protection on the platform that only applies so far to textual conversations.
The new move follows an alert of security problems from the zoom by several firms. Zoom claims many of the safety problems have been fixed. The company also used common sense applications such as password authentication to avoid zoom bombing by default.
If you feel Zoom is not safe then you can also try any one of these apps.
Top Alternatives to Zoom
- Go to the meeting.
- Cisco Webex Meetings.
- Google Hangouts Meet.
- Join me
- Blue Jeans
- Cisco Jabber.
- Team viewer.
- Global Meet Collaboration.
However, if you want to zoom then try to follow govt directives. It is very important never to overlook the value of security and privacy. Retaining your data security must be your top priority. There are several Zoom alternatives available with their unique features. I mentioned some of the above apps that might help you find the best.