Zoom: a cheat sheet on the videoconferencing solution

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    Zoom est désormais un nom familier pour les employés travaillant à domicile. Voici votre guide des bases de Zoom, y compris ses failles de sécurité et ses alternatives de visioconférence telles que Microsoft Teams.

En raison de la pandémie de COVID-19, davantage de personnes travaillent à domicile. Avec des effectifs dispersés au vent, de nombreuses entreprises ont dû s'adapter aux réunions virtuelles comme la nouvelle norme, ce qui a été une aubaine énorme pour le logiciel de chat vidéo et de conférence Zoom.

In February 2020, Zoom added more users than in all of 2019. Major media platforms started using Zoom to broadcast programs from home anchors, and “Zoom” quickly became eponymous with video chats and virtual meetings.

SEE: How to use Zoom: 15 tips and tricks (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Zoom’s explosive growth has come with an increased focus on security and privacy issues that had largely gone unnoticed before. Large companies and governments around the world have banned Zoom from professional use, and half a million sets of user credentials have even been found for sale on the Dark Web.

Zoom is committed to solving a long list of security concerns, but that hasn’t stopped a third of users from getting cold feet. So, is Zoom still a useful video conferencing application? If so, who should use it when such personal and commercial security could be threatened? Learn more by reading this Zoom Basics Guide.

Screen shot shared from an Android phone to a Chromebook and an iPad, all participating in a Zoom meeting.

Zoom allows people who join a meeting with an Android or iOS device to share the screen of their mobile device. Zoom also supports screen sharing from laptops and desktops.

Image: Zoom

What is Zoom?

Zoom is video conferencing software for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Linux. It supports individual calls, as well as group meetings for up to 100 users for free or 500 users with an additional purchase.

Zoom, the company, was founded in 2011 by Eric Yuan, and the Zoom application was launched in 2013. Zoom was praised for its simple interface, its ease of use and its accessibility to people not aware of technology, this which has contributed to its stability as a video conferencing application of choice for small businesses, businesses and individuals. In 2017, Zoom had become a unicorn business by reaching $ 1 billion in valuation.

In addition to its desktop and mobile applications, Zoom offers solutions for corporate conference rooms, browser extensions, and a web client that allows meeting attendees to attend meetings without having to install the Zoom application.

Zoom has attracted many users by having a robust free tier, which allows meetings of up to 100 people without restricting the functionality of the app, instead, limiting meetings for free accounts to 40 minutes.

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Is Zoom Safe to Use?

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom saw a massive spike in users due to orders to stay at home. In late March 2020, security concerns began to be reported.

TechRepublic’s sister site, CNET, has a complete overview of all the security vulnerabilities discovered in Zoom since March; Here are some important points.

  • March 26: Investigation reveals that Zoom is sending user data to Facebook without permission. Zoom deleted its Facebook data collection the next day.
  • March 30: Another investigation reveals that Zoom does not use end-to-end encryption, Zoom bombs are first reported, and several flaws in the Windows and macOS versions of Zoom are reported.

  • First of April: Zoom treats email addresses with the same domain (for example, ISPs, but not just email services like Gmail) as if they belong to the same company, allowing countless users to access names, photos and email addresses of other users. Zoom apologizes publicly and freezes all feature deployments to focus on security fixes.

  • April 2: A data mining feature is discovered that allows certain users to access LinkedIn profiles of other Zoom users.

  • April 3: Recordings of thousands of Zoom meetings, many of which contain private information, are freely available and unsecured on the web. Zoom makes another apology and reveals that it uses AES-128 encryption instead of the much more secure AES-256.

  • April 5: Zoom admits in a statement that some calls were accidentally routed via a white list server located in China.

  • April 6: The first collection of Zoom accounts can be found on the dark web.

  • April 13: There are 500,000 other Zoom accounts for sale on the dark web, many of which cost just a few cents.

  • April 16: Two new privacy bugs have been discovered: one allows an attacker to view and download Zoom meeting videos stored in the cloud via an insecure link, and a second allows deleted meeting recordings to be viewed in the cloud for hours after deletion.

Zoom has apologized numerous times and is committed to improving its safety.

SEE: All TechRepublic cheat sheets and smart people guides

Some of the security issues, such as Zoom bombing, can be resolved by users who take steps to protect their meetings, and Zoom has by default enabled many of the security features needed to do so. Other issues such as poor encryption, lack of end-to-end encryption during meetings, and account theft cannot be stopped by good Zoom usage habits.

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What are the alternatives to Zoom?

Zoom has a lot of competition, and its recent missteps have opened very large windows for these competitors to intervene and capture part of its market share. TechRepublic recently wrote about 10 Zoom alternatives, and some of these options have even recently added Zoom-like features to keep security-minded users away.

Free video chat options similar to Zoom include:

  • Microsoft Teams, the video chat platform built into Office 365, has been extended for free to anyone with an email address, and Microsoft has lifted user limits to help people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Skype video calls can accommodate up to 50 people (half that of free Zoom accounts). For small business teams, this makes it an ideal option.

  • Google Hangouts is free for individual users. Google’s business product, Meet, is available only to G Suite customers, although those outside of an organization can still attend meetings, but cannot organize them.

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Why should companies choose Zoom?

The appeal of Zoom is not only in its countless features, but also in its incredible ease of use. Zoom is designed for non-techies: its interface is simple, registration is quick and hassle-free, and it works well with minimal users. Anyone looking for a video conferencing solution for teams with people who don’t like or are not familiar with modern technology will find Zoom a great solution.

Any business using or considering using Zoom should keep an eye out for new techniques regarding security issues and be sure to follow best security practices to protect your calls from unauthorized entry.

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Is Zoom free?

Businesses and individuals can
sign up and get started with Zoom
on his website. Organizations considering a premium level of Zoom can find out more about pricing on its plans page, from which subscriptions can also be purchased.

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How to use Zoom?

Check out the Zoom tips published on TechRepublic, which include:

magnum-pi-3.jpg

A Magnum PI virtual background that you can use at your next Zoom meeting.

Image: CBS

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