March 25th, 2020
What Is ZoomBombing, how to prevent it & protect your home network from hackers
To help limit the spread of COVID-19, millions of people recently made the shift from working in an office building to working from home. With that transition comes growing pains, like how to set up a home office with limited space, to how to prevent ZoomBombing (yes, that's really a thing), and how to make sure your home network is safe and secure.
We understand you need to stay connected now more than ever as we all practice social distancing. Every day, Asurion Experts help our 300 million customers (and counting!) to get the most out of the tech devices they love and rely on, including their home office tech. Here they share everything you need to know about Zoom hacking and tips and tricks to help you keep your home network safe from hackers.
What is ZoomBombing?
Many of us are working from home now and relying on video chat tools like Zoom to stay connected with our classmates and coworkers. While we're all busy at work, unfortunately, so are internet trolls. They've discovered a new way to wreak havoc by slipping into public Zoom meetings and taking over the screenshare to show off disturbing footage to everyone on the call. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to help keep your video calls more secure and on topic and stop Zoom hacking.
How to prevent ZoomBombing hacking
- If you can, avoid using your Personal Meeting ID for public Zoom meetings: It's essentially one never-ending meeting and you don't want party crashers in your virtual space. Generate a random meeting ID by selecting “Generate Automatically” next to Meeting ID.
- Manage screen sharing: If you're the host of the Zoom meeting, you have the power. During the meeting, use the host control bar at the bottom of the screen to adjust the settings. Click the arrow to the right of Share Screen, then Advanced Sharing Options and select “One participant can share at a time.”
- Allow only signed-in users to join: This step will definitely help to keep the trolls out and stop ZoomBomb attempts. Only people who are invited to the meeting and logged in to Zoom can join.
- Kick unwanted people out: Go to the Participants menu, run your mouse over the participant's name, several options will appear – one being Remove. Click it. Once kicked out of a meeting, the participant can't rejoin. (You can adjust your settings to allow removed participants in case you said goodbye to the wrong person).
How to make your home network secure
While ZoomBombing is one of the latest hacking threats to arise, there is always the potential lurking of uninvited guests finding their way into your home network. Here are more steps our experts suggest you take to help keep your network and private information secure.
Protect your home Wi-Fi
Setting up a password is one of the easiest ways to ensure your home Wi-Fi is protected. A password helps stop potential scammers, cybercriminals, or just people in general from intercepting any data sent or received by your laptop, computer or tablet. Make your password a strong one, using a complex pattern of letters, numbers and symbols, and change it often to stay one step ahead.
Don't use the default network password security
The default or factory-set password your Wi-Fi comes with is usually similar to others and easier to guess than custom passwords. So, get creative with your Wi-Fi password. Whatever you come up with, like your favorite vacation spot + your grandfather's birthday + your great grandmother's maiden name, make sure you remember it.
Set login/entry passwords
If you haven't realized it yet, passwords are your best friends. Set a password on your computer, phone, tablet or any device that you use for work or banking purposes. They help protect against unauthorized entry, whether it just be curious kids or if your device has been stolen, and will keep your data safe. For your phone, try using a favorite word as numbers to create a challenging, yet easy to remember, passcode – for example, TECH is 8324.
Two factor authentication is another security feature you should take advantage of when offered, like on your iCloud, Amazon, or Google accounts.
Educate yourself on common scams
Attacks like phishing or social engineering can be cleverly disguised to look like a “work need" or communication. Be vigilant & skeptical of emails that ask you for your personal information or data to be sent somewhere outside of your company's usual repository. The FBI actively monitors these types of attack – you can file an Internet Crime complaint here.
Learn more about how to easily spot phishing emails.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a service that allows you to securely connect to another network over the internet. Many employers will have their employees access their work materials using a VPN to protect their data and information. Best practice is to use your VPN every time you connect to Wi-Fi with a laptop or computer you're using for work.
Unplug or turn off cameras, speakers, mics and other devices after hours
Some malware, or malicious software, is developed with the intent of gaining access to mics, speakers, cameras and other devices connected to your computer or laptop to get ahold of personal information. The best way to combat this is to just switch off any extra computer peripheral when it's not in use.
People who work with intellectual property or private information like in Finance or Legal should be especially aware of these attempts to steal information.
Consider third-party security application/services for mobile devices
While many people today use anti-virus software to protect their PC, not many consider that same protection for their phones and tablets. Security apps like Knox and Lookout are great options that offer protection for your device's data, while also offering reporting tools for dangerous activity.
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