Beware of fake Zoom scams

Over the past four weeks, video conferencing software has seen a huge update in users amidst the Covid-19 lockdown affecting people around the world. Seen by many as the ‘go-to’ platform in the mediation circles due to reliability and security, Zoom Inc has seen membership rocket, with more new members in March alone compared to the whole of 2019.

However, success is often followed by those who seek to cash in, and Zoom is no exception. Internet domain registration companies have seen a huge rise in the purchase of similar domain names over the past few weeks, as hackers attempt to cash in on the boom, and use it as an opportunity to download phishing scams. In March alone, one cybersecurity company recorded over 2,200 domain names containing the word zoom had been registered.

Our advice is to always carefully check the weblinks sent to you, and for your clients, urge them to carefully check links before clicking – especially if they chose the option to download a program apparently linked to the Zoom application.

All Zoom links should be linked to the domain zoom.us, and all others should be avoided at all costs. E.g. https://us0xweb.zoom.us/j/12345678?pwd=89abcdefgh

Taking a few seconds to think before you click will save many hours of IT pain and heartache…

Ensure Zoom meeting password is set

Zoom-bombing is a federal offense (wonder if this will ever become a word in the Oxford English dictionary…) and pranksters are out in force, trying to gate-crash Zoom meetings where the meeting password hasn’t been set. The password feature has now been enabled by default in the latest download. Make sure when checking the meeting settings before you send out, that the password has been set.

Whilst on the subject, we’d recommend taking a monthly backup of your critical business data TODAY to protect against attacks such as ransomware – as tomorrow never comes…

At Protocol IT we’ve been passionately supporting #familymediation services for more than 10 years. So if you’re struggling with technology to support your service, then why not get in touch.

Video conferencing software – navigating through the maze

Making the transition to regular video conference from face to face meetings is a technology blockage for some, which is understandable after dropped Skype connection experiences in the past!

Technology has moved on in leaps and bounds, and the video conference platform is more robust compared with even a couple of years ago. However, it still provides moments of intense frustration, and even yesterday morning during two video conference Skype calls, the connection was lost a couple of times, then screen sharing dropped out when trying to move between two screens.

There are currently a number of well established video conference platforms – Skype, Skype for Business, Webex from Cisco, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Goto Meetings along with the more mobile device specific such as Facetime and Google Hangouts or Duo.

Having had long debates with Stephen Anderson (an established mediator who lives and works in Ipswich, who loves experimenting with new technology!) over the years, Zoom always seems to have the more edge when it comes to positive reviews. When we’ve used it in the past, never in anger it has to be said, the call connection has never been interrupted or lost.

Connectivity will depend on the quality of your internet connection, which we would recommend is not a 4G hotspot linked from your phone.

Zoom meetings free offer :-

  • free personal meetings for up to 100 participants
  • Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings
  • 40 minutes on group meetings of 3 or more participants
  • Simultaneous screen sharing
  • Secure AES 256 bit encryption

Getting your clients onboard will always be the next challenge, but if you’ve been able to get the platform up and running, then it’s easier to convince your clients to watch a demo then give it a try. Moving to more than two clients will requires upgrading to the Pro version at £11.99 pcm, and the limit of call duration is increased from 40 mins to 24 hours – that’s probably more than adequate for any seasoned mediator!

With all the issues of self isolation in the UK and many other places around the world, it offers a unique opportunity at a time where face to face meetings are not possible, now is the time to give video conferencing a go.