Updated: May 27, 2020
How to Secure Your Kid’s Zoom Meetings
Making sure your children are safe online is vital to their development. This is important right now because so much of our kids’ lives are online as we’re all staying home because of the pandemic. Specifically we’ll talk about how to secure a Zoom meeting for your kids.
My wife’s friend and her children were one of the people who had a Zoom meeting interrupted by a digital intruder.
This friend set up a meeting for her daughter to be with a few of her friends when someone hacked the meeting and began to show porn.
This is real. It happened and it’s not an internet rumor. This is infuriating. But most parents, including myself, didn't think this was even possible. I thought the Zoom platform was naturally secure. I’ve been using it for a long time. But that’s not the case.
Here are a few things you can do to secure your Zoom meetings:
First, update your Zoom software. Make sure you are running the latest update. This closes a lot of the gaps in the security. Zoom has worked really hard to keep this sort of stuff from happening, but they can only do so much. We need to do our part by updating the software.
Next, password protect your meeting. Hackers can run a random URL generator to get into your Zoom meeting, but if they don’t know the password they can’t get in. They have to run another generator to try to get your password. For most hackers, they’re looking for easy ways to get in and see what they can find. You need to make it harder for them to get in. Make sure to add the second layer of protection of a password.
And when you do set a meeting and a password on Zoom, don’t post it on social media. Keep this private with email or text. Also don’t recycle passwords either. Make them different every time.
My son’s class is using Zoom to have lessons online. It’s cool because the teacher will read to them and even go over material. It’s good for my son to see his classmates. But during this meeting, it’s important not to leave your kids unattended.
Make sure you are in the room with them in case something goes wrong. While you’re good about updating software, someone else may not be. So the risk is still there. Be close to them to make sure you can act if things go sideways. Plus, you can make sure they’re actually paying attention and not chatting up their friends.
So those are some quick, actionable steps you can take to secure your children’s Zoom meetings. Zoom is a great product and I will continue to use it myself, but I’m smarter now and I will be taking these steps to secure my meeting and my son’s interactions.