Lots of people are worried about whether Zoom is safe to use thanks to security and hacking issues that have arisen.

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and us all being forced to stay indoors away from our loved ones and mates, dozens of people are flocking to video chat applications they previously would have never used. This has resulted in spikes for the likes of Houseparty and Zoom, but both have recently been scrutinised in regard to whether they are safe to use. 2020 has seen security and hacking issues surface for Zoom, and these concerns have resulted in schools reportedly banning the application.

There are a ton of applications you can use to stay in contact with mates and family members while plasticising social distancing. Skype and Facetime are two of the more familiar, meanwhile Microsoft Teams is more limited but said to be safer and more secure than its competitors.

In regard to Zoom alone, below you’ll discover some of the security and hacking issues that have been pointed out in 2020 so you alone can come to a decision as to whether you feel it’s safe to use.

Is Zoom safe to use?

There are concerns about whether Zoom is safe to use thanks to security and privacy issues concerning ‘Zoombombing’.

This is where strangers online enter public Zoom calls to post graphic and disturbing imagery, as well as do other things that are inappropriate.

Back in March, the NYTimes had reported about how a Chipotle Zoom chat was forced to end after one participant began broadcasting pornography.

This issue could be resolved though as the application should have virtual meeting rooms in which the host of a meeting has to choose between letting certain people in or allowing everyone all at once (via Verge).

There’s also multiple ways to ensure your video meetings are secure and free of Zoombombing by locking meetings and restricting screen sharing.

However, aside from the issue of Zoombombing, there’s also been a report from Info Security that thousands of user videos have been found online.

Info Security claim that “researchers have discovered thousands of private Zoom recordings exposed online,” with former NSA researcher Patrick Jackson reportedly telling The Washington Post that he was able to find the videos through a simple cloud storage search.

As well as all of the above, Tom’s Guide also reports that the Zoom installer for version comes with a coin-miner. They note that this “coin-miner will ramp up your PC’s central processor unit, and its graphics card if there is one, to solve mathematical problems in order to generate new units of cryptocurrency”.

Why have schools banned Zoom?

Schools in the United States have reportedly banned the use of Zoom because of security and privacy concerns.

Many schools are said to have switched over to Microsoft Teams thanks to Zoombombing shenanigans that have involved pornographic content, racist remarks, and death threats.

This comes from Techradar who note that the application has also largerly been criticised for offering no end-to-end encryption of calls despite their promises.

If you’re unsure about whether to continue using Zoom, you can always seek out its many alternatives.