EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- To stay in touch with each other or to work from home, millions are turning to video conference platforms like Zoom.
However, that company, Zoom Video Communications, is now being sued by a user. The person claims Zoom is disclosing personal information to third parties including Facebook without the user's knowledge.
In the meantime, there’s a new warning by the FBI that says some hackers are gaining access into these video conferences, called "Zoom-bombing."
Many of us are video chatting these days. However, the FBI said it's received multiple reports of video conferences being interrupted by pornographic or hate images that somehow just pop up or with threatening language from an unknown voice.
Two of those reports happened during school-based online learning.
Zoom has become a household word. Now that most of us are using video teleconferencing platforms to work from home, learn from home, or stay in touch with others from home, hackers are at home too and finding ways to jump into these private chats.
“Pranking, more or less. Some of it’s not so funny. Someone put a swastika in a video stream, so it’s not humorous to most people,” said Stan Prager with GoGeeks in East Longmeadow.
Prager told Western Mass News said it's not clear exactly how these hackers are gaining access.
“Because it’s breaking news, we don't know exactly how they are getting into it, but as a result, someone could break into your Zoom session, listen in, and get confidential information,” Prager explained.
Prager said within Zoom, choose the "private" option before beginning.
The FBI also gave this advice:
- Require a meeting password
- Use the waiting room feature to control the admittance of any guests
- Never share a link to a teleconference or classroom
“Like on social networking, like let's all get together for a Zoom session at 4:00 and you share that on Facebook, so if you're just doing that for happy hour, it's probably safe because what can happen. They'll see what kind of beer you're drinking, but if you're doing it for work, not a good idea,” Prager noted.
The FBI said manage screensharing options. For example in Zoom, change screensharing to "host only."
Prager said one of the biggest things you can do is to make sure your home network is secure.
“Zoom can have all the security in place possible and so can your workplace, but if you're working from home and your home network has no password on it, for example, or has a password that's easy to break into, or a variety of other things, somebody could get into that locally,” Prager explained.
The biggest, and perhaps most simple way, to prevent hacking - just like in school - take attendance.
“So there's supposed to be 12 people on the call, take attendance. Are there 12 people on the call? Get some sense because you can see how many people have logged in. If there's 13 people on the call, who is that?” Prager said.
The FBI noted to make sure you are using the most updated version of any video teleconferencing platform.
For example, in January, Zoom updated their software which included new security updates.