If it weren’t for technology, we’d all be going insane right now.
But humans are social animals, so we’ll find a way to our friends and family, even if it’s through a glass screen.
That’s why the number of people using apps like Zoom has skyrocketed; it’s not just for work meetings, you can “hang out” with many of your friends at once.
But people have raised some privacy and security concerns about the popular video conferencing software, with some big names even banning it from their workplaces.
Everything About Zoom’s Security Issues That Has Even Led to a Google Workplace Ban
Last week, Google sent an email to employees whose work laptops had the Zoom app, warning that the app would stop working starting this week due to “security vulnerabilities”.
In other words, they banned their employees from using the software.
According to one Google spokesperson, the company has long had a policy of “not allowing employees to use unapproved apps for work that are outside of [their] corporate network”.
Employees who had been using Zoom to stay in touch with family and friends were told to do so through a web browser or via mobile.
Employee: Gee thanks, I was going to try using a toaster
As you know, many first started using Zoom for work meetings and webinars, but an increasing number of people under lockdown are using it to stay in touch with their friends, as well as for education services and even ‘parties’.
According to BuzzFeed News, 200 million people used Zoom daily in March compared to just 10 million in December.
But people have raised concerns about the service’s security and privacy.
For instance, an investigation by Motherboard last month showed that Zoom’s app for iPhone and iPads sent data about users’ devices to Facebook, including people who did not have Facebook accounts.
Zoom stopped sending the data to Facebook a day later, but more alarming problems surfaced.
A former NSA hacker discovered a Zoom security issue that could allow people to control users’ microphones and webcams and gain control of Apple iMacs.
People have also found out that it’s rather easy for random strangers to locate and jump into Zoom calls – a practice called “Zoombombing”.
So you can see why Google, the God of the internet, chose to stay away from this software.
Even SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, banned employees from using the app, citing similar concerns about privacy and security.
So, is Zoom safe to use?
Well, it depends.
According to independent cybersecurity researcher Sean Wright, it’s safe for ordinary use, but we should avoid using it to discuss anything “particularly sensitive”.
“It’s not the one issue or even two of them. It’s a collection of issues which point to a product that doesn’t seem to take privacy and security all too seriously. So Zoom is OK for general use, but use something else such as [chat app] Signal if you want to discuss something more sensitive”.
So, you can still use it if you want. Just don’t be surprised if some guy from a country far away shows up in your Zoom call to flash his butt while you’re talking to your boss about a raise.