Zoom has lately become the go-to app for video conferencing owing to the coronavirus pandemic. But the company has been in the spotlight for numerous security and privacy issues. Previously, several research papers had pointed out loopholes on Zoom that put users’ private data at risk. Other risks involve the malicious practice of Zoombombing, that essentially means unwanted intrusion into a video conference call by an individual. In a new blog post, Zoom is claiming that the company wants to curb Zoombombing via personal meeting IDs (PMIs). The company is rolling out a new update that allows admins to disable PMIs for scheduling or starting instant meetings.
In the blog post, Zoom claimed that disabling the use of PMIs will reduce the risk of unwanted people joining a meeting. If the option is disabled, people will be required to join a video call with a random generated meeting ID that can further be protected by a password.
“Because PMIs are always accessible using the same ID or meeting link, anyone can join unless they’re properly secured. Disabling the use of PMIs reduces that risk altogether and doesn’t leave PMI security up to individual users,” Zoom said in the blog post.
Zoom further stated that if any meeting is scheduled that can be joined via PMIs, users are advised to schedule a new meeting since old ones will become invalid. It was also highlighted that the option to disable PMIs can be locked at the account or group level.
“When PMIs are turned off, existing PMIs and personal links will become invalid and cannot be used to host a meeting. Users will get a message stating that “PMI is disabled” when accessing those meetings.”
At the moment it is unclear whether the same feature will be rolled out to the Web version of Zoom as well. Currently, the option lies in the app version of Zoom.
Zoom also pointed out that starting May 9, the company will roll out more updates for the free Basic account users. These include:
- Passwords will be required for all meetings, including new meetings, -previously scheduled meetings, and those using PMI
- Waiting Rooms for PMI will be turned on by default
- Screen sharing privileges will be Host Only by default
“These enhanced protections will help enable our free users to securely meet right out of the box,” Zoom said in the blog post.
Recently, several other social media giants upgraded their platforms to take on Zoom amid the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, Facebook recently rolled out Messenger Rooms in select countries that allows users to join a video call without a Facebook ID. Similarly, Google has been constantly updating its Meet platform to attract more audience.