To Zoom or Not to Zoom, That is the Question
With millions of people under lockdown or shelter-in-place orders, a lot of things have changed.
Not the least of which was a burning need to hoard, or all things…
What the hell, people?
Seriously, if you need 200+ rolls of TP, go see a gastroenterologist. More than a month has passed and all the shelves are still devoid of toilet paper.
But I digress.
April 15, 2020 Update:
California church sues Zoom after ‘zoombomber’ streamed porn in a Bible study class
(CNN) A San Francisco church is suing Zoom after one of its bible study classes was allegedly infiltrated by a hacker who bombarded the video call with porn.
With shelter-in-place orders, a solution was needed for:
- Working from home
- News team collaboration
- Saturday Night Live
- Late Night TV Shows
- Conference calls
- Attending church services
- Meetings in general
- Family gatherings
- Passover seders (most recently)
- Birthday parties
For reasons I don’t fully understand, an erstwhile little known app called Zoom became the de facto preferred mechanism to achieve all this. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon and though this was the hottest thing since hydroxychloroquine. Until people started getting ZoomBombed (unexpected guests suddenly appearing in your group meeting). This is when very smart people started researching Zoom’s features and weaknesses.
It turns out Zoom was not remotely prepared for all this usage. They also had some serious security issues. A fairly long list as it turns out. The privacy risks are so numerous that I am not going to cover them here, but if you want to read a good article on this, here it is.
Zoom has been banned from:
- Google. They issued a ban on Zoom for any and all Google activities
- Singapore Ministry of Education
- German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- United States Senate
- U.S. Department of Defense
- Taiwan Government
- New York Dept of Education
Read this article for a full timeline of Zoom problems, lawsuits and investigations.
Why everyone latched onto Zoom, when there are a vast assortment of other (better) tools is a mystery.
Here is an extensive list of better choices:
- Group FaceTime
- Google Duo
- Facebook Messenger
- Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft Skype
- Google Hangouts
- TeamViewer (I use this to service computers every day)
- Read this article for part of this list comparison.
- Read this article for a comparison of the corporate options.
With all the sudden usage, attention and scrutiny, Zoom has been forced to make some changes to their app. This has plugged some holes. For instance, the default when setting up a Zoom meeting now is to require passwords when it is initiated. Originally there was no security unless you dug through the options and enabled security when starting a session. So that is an improvement. But there are still too many issues with this product.
There are still too many problems with Zoom for me to recommend using it. Most notably, soon after it became the hot choice for meetings, the Dark Web suddenly had all Zoom users’ usernames and passwords listed for sale. Can you spell IDENTITY THEFT?
Don’t believe me? Read this NBCDFW article on the very topic of Dark Web data for sale.
So as far as I am concerned…
I do not recommend Zoom for you. Period.