Zoom Video Communications has seen a surge in new users as a result of people working from home and trying to stay connected during the global pandemic. However, hackers and pranksters have begun to disrupt meetings by joining them without permission through a practice known as ‘Zoom-bombing’.

The company has now announced that it will take a number of steps to prevent ‘Zoom-bombing’ such as enabling passwords on meetings and turning on Waiting Rooms by default along with additional security enhancements to protect its users’ privacy.

Going forward, all Zoom meetings will now require a password to join. However, if attendees are joining by clicking a meeting link with a password embedded, there will be no change to how they join a meeting.

For attendees that join meetings by manually entering a Meeting ID, they will now need to enter a password to access a meeting. For instant meetings on the other hand, the password will be displayed in the Zoom client.

Virtual waiting room

Zoom also announced that its virtual waiting room feature will be automatically turned on for users by default. The service’s waiting rooms serve as a virtual staging area that prevents participants from joining a meeting until the host is ready.

To admit participants into a meeting, the host will have to click on the Manage Participants icon in the company’s client to view the full list of people waiting to join. From there, they’ll have the option to admit participants individually or all at once by using the Admit All option on the top right-hand of the client.

Zoom’s recent surge in popularity has revealed a number of privacy issues with the service. However, the company’s CEO Eric S. Yuan recently apologized for the service’s major security vulnerabilities and promised a fix for these issues.

The steps Zoom has taken today will certainly help limit the number of users affected by ‘Zoom-bombing’ while also helping to boost the service’s security. However, it may be too late as a number of schools across the US have already decided to ban the service over security and privacy concerns.

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