Video Conferencing Safety Tips (Zoombombing, Meetbombing)

Posted on April 3rd, 2020 by

Remote conferencing tools like Meets, Zoom, WebEx, etc… have seen massive increases in usage during this pandemic.  Zoom has been in the news recently due to several vulnerabilities specific to its platform, but some of these issues can also affect Google Meets. So-called “Zoombombing” is one example.

The FBI recently sent out a warning about online classroom hijacking.
https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/boston/news/press-releases/fbi-warns-of-teleconferencing-and-online-classroom-hijacking-during-covid-19-pandemic 

Many of the tips in that warning mention Zoom specifically but we wanted to call out the following for our Google Meets users.

Your Google Hangouts Meet or Zoom session may soon be a target. Only share Google Meet links with the intended participants, an example of safe places would be Moodle, a class email list, or other secured websites.  If you share them publicly anybody can join, including Internet pranksters.

Be aware that if you add a Meet to a recurring calendar event, that link remains the same for the duration of the recurring appointments.   If that link is circulated beyond the intended participants, you will need to remove conferencing from the recurring appointment (all events) and add conferencing again.

Be extra cautious if your Google Hangout Meet or Chat could feature private or confidential topics or data.  Also, if you intend to share your screen, be sure to plan for that ahead of time and close anything that is not needed for the Meet or that could reveal sensitive information. Such occurrences are often simply embarrassing, but they can also be quite damaging to you and others. 

Also, keep in mind that the security of your Google Drive files requires you to set appropriate permissions to ensure that your files are shared securely. The best practice is to start with “least privilege,” which means to share your file with only the specific individuals that need it. You can always share more broadly later, if necessary, so it’s best to start small. The larger the audience your file receives, the more difficult it is to retain control. If shared incorrectly, others could easily view, modify, make copies and/or screenshots of documents that you view during a Meet and gain access.

If you have any specific concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask the Technology Helpline helpline@gustavus.edu.

 

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