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Security & privacy

Trolls are breaking into video chats – change these settings

With more and more Americans hunkering down at home to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus, the number of people online is spiking. This is compounded by the many employees now working from home.

Others are just trying to stay entertained with streaming services in the absence of sports and friends. If you’re worried about going over your monthly data limit, don’t be. Providers are suspending data caps for 60 days. Tap or click here for details.

You’d think in dire times like these the good in people would shine. Well, not so much. You won’t believe how some internet trolls are terrorizing people.

ZoomBombing is now a thing

One way people have been staying connected to others while practicing social distancing is by taking advantage of video chat apps. Programs like FaceTime and Skype let you have face-to-face conversations without actually being in the same room, keeping everyone away from germs and potential coronavirus carriers.

Another popular video conferencing service is Zoom — especially with companies looking to hold meetings with employees. But some super obnoxious trolls have found a way to infiltrate Zoom meetings in a most disgusting way.

A group of coworkers shared their frightening story earlier this week with Tech Crunch. Here’s what happened.

Every week the coworkers conduct a video meeting through Zoom that they call WFH (work from home) Happy Hour. This week, a troll decided to crash the party by entering the chat and posting graphic porn videos in a move that’s called ZoomBombing.

Everyone involved was horrified but there was nothing they could do about it. They tried kicking the troll out of the meeting but the troll just kept entering under different usernames. The problem lies in Zoom’s default settings. The good news is you can adjust these settings to keep ZoomBombing from happening to you.

How to block trolls from Zoom

So, how are trolls able to access Zoom meetings? One way is by getting the link to a meeting that is shared on a public platform like Twitter. If you tweet a link to a Zoom chat, it could be seen and used by anyone.

Plus, the default setting under Screen sharing is enabled. It allows both the host and participants to share their screen or content during meetings.

So let’s fix this now.

Click Settings on the left side of the Zoom website and scroll down to Screen sharing. Slide the toggle to the left to disable this, which blocks participants from sharing content of any kind. The toggle will go from blue to gray when you disable it.

Zoom

Another thing you’ll want to do while changing settings is block others from sharing files. If a troll makes it into your meeting and has the ability to share files, they could share porn or worse — including malware that could infect your device.

While in Settings, scroll down to the File transfer section. Once there, slide the toggle to the left next to “Hosts and participants can send files through the in-meeting chat.” The toggle will go from blue to gray when you disable it

Zoom

While we’re dealing with this COVID-19 pandemic, online tools like Zoom are critical in helping make things easier. Now that you know how to keep trolls from invading meetings, you can use Zoom without fear. Happy chatting.

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