Pandemic Creates Challenges for Online Meetings

Chriss Swaney

The trolls of the internet may be in quarantine too, but they are creating havoc for companies using Zoom meetings to enhance social distancing protocols as the pandemic continues to sweep across America.

Because Zoom has become the default social platform for millions of people looking to connect with colleagues, family, and students, experts say companies and individuals must learn to secure meeting sites.

Karen Litzinger, a career coach and business etiquette speaker from Pittsburgh recommends that businesses obtain new security software to deal with Zoombombers and be sure to have a dedicated web manager on hand when conducting online meetings.

“It’s a challenge to be running an online meeting and then stopping occasionally to see who has signed on for the session, ‘’ said Litzinger. But that seems to be how most companies are running online meetings with one host handling all the details. And it has proven costly for many businesses.

Last month, Chipotle was forced to end a public Zoom chat that the brand had co-sponsored with the musician Lauv after one participants began streaming pornography to hundreds of attendees. And recently, TechCrunch reported that the venture capitalist Hunter Walk and the journalist Casey Newton were forced to shut down their “work from home happy hour” twice after getting Zoombombed, as these disruptions are called.

“Clearly Zoom is being used in ways it as never intended to be, so people are finding ways to make mischief,” said Litzinger. “Getting the right security software can help,” she added.

One of the most useful defense systems for deterring disruption was recently created by Zoom. Zoom’s At-Risk Notifier which scans the web for publicly shared Zoom meeting links automatically alerts account owners by email of account meetings that are at high risk of being disrupted and offers advice about stopping the hacks. Steps often include deleting a vulnerable meeting and creating a new meeting with a new meeting ID, enabling other security settings.

And beyond maintaining control of online meetings, other tips from experts include: updating Zoom apps, using a unique password, creating a waiting room, making sure only hosts can share their screen and create an invite meeting only and then lock the meeting down.

News brought to you by