Is Zoom still safe to use?

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

You've probably heard a lot of talk about the security risks of using Zoom, with many large companies banning its use, yet so many organisations are promoting it's use. We look at both sides of the argument, and ask is Zoom still safe to use?


Security & privacy problems


Let's start with the downsides. There's been lots of widely publicised problems with Zoom, and we highlight a few here


Zoom is easy to setup and use, and that's made it easy for malicious people to 'bomb' open meetings. Zoom is improving by fixing these problems, but the fact they exist in the first place is of concern.


Zoom's privacy policy has been under scrutiny, allowing it to do almost anything with your personal data, leading it to be banned by many organisations & government departments, these include the UK Ministry of Defence, NASA, German Foreign Ministry, US Senate, Australian Defense Force, New York State Schools and Google.



Sounds bad, so I shouldn't use it, right?


Zoom is still safe to use in most cases, unless you're discussing state or corporate secrets, or dealing with personal health issues, just make sure you setup the meeting for participants to sign in with a password.


There is one other big reason not to use Zoom, and that is if you're already paying for another video meeting service with an Office 365 or G Suite subscription. Microsoft Teams and Google Meet both have all the features you'll find in the paid for version of Zoom, with a few extras too.


It makes no sense to use Zoom when you already have a better tool that integrates with the rest of your office suite, and it makes even less sense to pay for Zoom


Our advice


If you already have Microsoft Teams or Google Meet, use that for the meetings you organise yourself. Don't let it stop you from joining meetings organised by others on Zoom, so long as you're not discussing secrets or private health matters.


Zoom is constantly improving, and will soon be as secure and safe as the other platforms, and perhaps even more secure. They have pledged to fix all the flaws, it's just a shame they weren't fixed before it became so popular. We expect Zoom to remain the most used video meeting platform, especially with the younger generations because of features like using SnapChat filters.


Do you use Zoom? Are you concerned about privacy? Let us know what you think.

1 Comments

I have been using Zoom several times each week throughout the pandemic lock-down and have observed the steadily improving security features. All meetings now require a password. The 'waiting room' is no obligatory - if the host doesn't recognise or approve of someone in the 'waiting area', don't let that person in! This has virtually eliminated 'Zoom-bombers' who may try to disrupt a meeting. Only the host can share his screen, unless the host deliberately opens that function to others at the meeting, so no more unexpected file sharing or images. If a mischief-maker does slip through the net, the host can eject and ban that person with a single click. Having had up to 90 guests at a meeting and over 1600 guests over a five month period, the most serious problem was a barking dog when a guest forgot to mute a microphone! (As host, I was able to mute it with a single click.) Zoom is intuitive and easy to use. Unless, as G-Biz observe, you are discussing confidential matters, it appears to be quite safe to use now. (August 2020)

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