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Perils Of Working From Home: The Rise Of Zoombombing

anonymous person

Zoom, a video and audio conferencing platform, fast became the popular mode of communication for the thousands of businesses operating remotely. Now, the term ‘Zoombombing’ is quickly gaining traction.

‘Zoombombing’ refers to Zoom calls that are hijacked by trolls. In most cases of the trend, people have been taking advantage of the automatic Zoom setting that allows call participants to share their screen without the permission.

There have been widespread reports of Zoombombing – with everything from violent videos to pornographic content shown on company calls.

Public events are particularly at risk of Zoombombing, as anyone that has the link can join. There have been reports of some trolls having multiple user profiles in a call, and switching between them to display disturbing content.

The New York Times reported that Chipotle’s public event had to be shut down because porn was being broadcasted to hundreds of attendees.

If you’re planning on hosting a Zoom call, you should go into ‘Meeting Settings’ and disable the ‘Allow Participant To Share’, ‘Allow Participants To Chat With’, ‘File Transfer’ and ‘Join Before Host’ toggles to prevent any trouble before it starts.

Zoom has advised people hosting private meetings to keep their password protections on to prevent unwanted attendees. For public events, the company has said hosts should double-check that only they can share their screen.

Zoom also outlines the following in-meeting protective features:

Despite the rising incidence of Zoombombing, Zoom usage is unlikely to drop off anytime soon given the COVID-19 pandemic. In Q4 FY20 the number of Zoom customers that had more than 10 employees rose by 61%, while the number of customers that contributed more than $100,000 to revenue rose by 86%.

On 4th of March, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said, “Given this coronavirus, I think overnight, almost every business really understands they needed a tool like this. This will dramatically change the landscape.”

Zoom’s total revenue for Q4 FY20 rose by 78% year-on-year, hitting $188.3 million.

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