Written by Aabhran Singh, a grade 11 student
As the pandemic continues, more and more kids are engaging in online schooling while adults are working from home. All of this has been facilitated by Zoom.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing platform that allows people to virtually interact with one another. Something like Skype, except it’s much better. The reason why Zoom has become so popular is because it’s fairly easy to use, provides forty minutes of free video calls and at a time there can be up to hundred participants.
So then why are so many schools banning it?
This is mainly because of Zoom’s security and privacy issues.
Many of you might have seen people hijacking random meetings and creating disturbance or insulting the teachers. This is actually known as zoombombing. It happens when uninvited attendees access meetings and share offensive comments. It’s actually surprising how easy it is to access the meeting IDs especially if the meetings are not password protected.
Another reason is that Zoom does not use end-to-end Encryption. It seems like a complicated term, but many of you might have seen it being used in Whatsapp. Basically, while sending information to a receiver, it does not allow third parties (other people) to access the information. Rather, Zoom uses transport encryption, which is less safe than end-to-end encryption, and makes the information vulnerable to cyber criminals.
Due to such reasons, and the risk of a student’s privacy, many schools have banned Zoom and are using alternatives like Google hangouts meet or Microsoft teams.
Personally, I still feel Zoom is a much better option than its counterparts, provided that schools use proper precautions such as using passwords and checking the IDs of the students.
Zoom did respond to these problems by updating the software. In an effort to fix its security issues, Zoom has bought a company called Keybase, which is a secure messaging and file-sharing service.
Will this be the end to Zoom’s security trouble? We’re just going to have to wait and watch.
Written by Aabhran Singh