Safeguard your online meetings from cybercriminals

When cybercriminals break into your web conferencing session, it can be embarrassing, threatening and even professionally damaging. It is not a joke!

On April 1, cybercriminals zoom-bombed the NC State Staff Senate meeting, disrupting it with offensive and racist remarks and inappropriate content. Many employees have since received an email from Emergency Management and Mission Continuity entitled “Update on Zoom Security,” which offered tips to protect their Zoom sessions.

With companies like Zoom reporting massive increases in online users, cybercriminals are exploiting security vulnerabilities in web conferencing sessions to wreak havoc. Whether you’re using one of NC State’s web conferencing solutions — Google Meet, WebEx and Zoom — or another service, OIT wants to arm you with information to safeguard your online meetings:

  • Keep your meeting link private
    When hosting an online meeting, share your meeting link or ID directly with invited guests. Sharing links through social media or on public Google Calendar events opens the door to uninvited guests.
  • Use updated software
    Keep your web conferencing and computer software up to date to ensure you are protected to the strongest extent.
  • Set up meeting passwords when possible and keep them private
    Create a password for your session and only share it with invited guests. Even if cybercriminals discover your link, they still cannot access your password-protected session.
  • Enable waiting rooms when possible
    Enable the waiting room feature to prevent attendees from joining the meeting before the host. As the host, you can screen participants to ensure only invited attendees proceed beyond the waiting room.
  • Lock your meetings when possible
    Lock your rooms to prevent people from entering the meeting after it begins. Those that attempt to join a meeting after the start time will be redirected to a lobby or waiting room. As the host, you will be notified of their presence and can either approve their admittance or prevent them from joining the meeting.
  • Enable entry sounds
    Don’t let cybercriminals secretly sneak into your meeting. Consider enabling entry sounds to alert you when someone enters your meeting space and then check to make sure you have no uninvited guests. If you are unable to use a waiting room or lock your meeting, this feature can be a helpful alternative.
  • Review meeting attendees before starting meetings
    Before your meeting begins, review all participants to make sure that the only people in attendance are invited guests.
  • Prevent meeting room reuse
    As the host, avoid using your personal meeting ID, using the same link for multiple meetings and leaving the meeting before the rest of the attendees. By taking these actions, you prevent cybercriminals from finding your meeting links and entering the space even when the meeting is over.

Additionally, check out these helpful resources to secure specific web conferencing tools: