The Diocesan office has prepared the following advice in regard to the use of zoom and asked archdeacons to distribute to where there is concern:
Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, the use of Zoom for video conferencing has skyrocketed and a number of concerns have arisen around the safety of using Zoom. This is reflected in heightened media attention. These issues are a combination of genuine security flaws, (such as the “\\link exploit” on Windows 10 reported last week) and the practicalities of how a video-conferencing tool works.
Zoom’s perhaps greatest failure is that meetings by default do not require a password. Essentially this means it operates much like a town-hall meeting – anyone who’s heard about the meeting can attend and there’s no way to control what they say or when they say it – so called “Zoombombing”. The following guidelines are designed to make for a safer Zoom experience. If you only follow one of them, make it the first one:
- The single most effective action is to set a password for all meetings (this avoids accidental or malicious interlopers joining your meeting)
- Require that a meeting can not start before the host arrives
- Use a waiting room for participants (ie host must admit participants, which also provides an opportunity to remove people from the waiting room)
- Disable or limit the types of files that can be transferred in a meeting
- Limit screen sharing (to prevent someone hijacking the screen)
The article referenced below contains comprehensive instructions on how to set passwords and a number of other useful links to Zoom help information:
- It is worth remembering that there are other communication tools available. For example, Microsoft Teams is useful for internal meetings, particularly more ad-hoc sessions, where all participants are internal users (ie have an @AdelaideAnglicans.com email address)
- Mobile phones typically support 3-way teleconferences (voice only)
It should also be recognised that many of the issues being reported about Zoom arise as a flood of “newbies” flock to a new and unfamiliar tool, and it is not only Zoom experiencing issues. Zoom’s dramatic rise in popularity will make it a target for malicious actors. However, as people’s familiarity with the tool increases and genuine security flaws are fixed as they are discovered, we can expect concerns to subside.