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Valley tech expert provides tips to avoid ‘Zoom bombing’

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

PHOENIX – A virtual memorial for Phoenix civil rights icon Calvin Goode was hijacked with racial slurs on Tuesday by unwanted guests, commonly referred to as Zoom bombers.

Ken Colburn with Data Doctors explained to KTAR News 92.3 FM that Zoom’s simplicity is also what makes it risky to use, increasing the chance an unwanted guest will show up if the right precautions are not taken.

To maximize security at your next virtual event, Colburn advised you start by doing your homework and taking note of what features you will be using. A lot of the tools used to crash Zoom sessions often rely on options left turned on when setting up the event, according to Colburn.

Among the options to consider disabling unless they are going to be used is “the ability for a guest or viewer to share their screen,” he said along with “the ability to have the mic on as soon as they come in.”

Additionally, Colburn said one of the worst settings you can have is allowing guests to join ahead of the host.

He recommended turning on the waiting room, which gives the host the opportunity to allow or deny individual entry into the event.

Colburn explained if the host allows others to join before they do, that could be giving someone free reign to run the meeting before it even gets started. Other recommendations include keeping the event link private, and locking the meeting once all the participants have joined.

However, if someone does intrude it could be hard to track them down explained Colburn.

“They are going to do things to hide themselves,” Colburn said.

He added its important to stay up-to-date on the latest security features, and how to use them. Colburn suggested visiting the Zoom blog.

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