Zoom promised a 90-day feature freeze to fix privacy and security issues, and the company is delivering on some of those promises. A new Zoom 5.0 update is rolling out this week that’s designed to address some of the many complaints that Zoom has faced in recent weeks. With this new update, there’s now a security icon that groups together a number of Zoom’s security features. You can use it to quickly lock meetings, remove participants, and restrict screen sharing and chatting in meetings.
Zoom is also now enabling passwords by default for most customers, and IT admins can define the password complexity for Zoom business users. Zoom’s waiting room feature is also now on by default for basic, single-license Pro, and education accounts. This feature allows a host to hold participants in a virtual room before they’re allowed into a meeting.
Many of these changes are clear responses to the “Zoombombing” phenomenon, where pranksters join Zoom calls and broadcast porn or shock videos. Zoom’s previous default settings didn’t encourage a password to be set for meetings, and they allowed any participants to share their screen.
Zoom is also improving some of its encryption and upgrading to the AES 256-bit GCM encryption standard. This still isn’t the end-to-end encryption that Zoom erroneously said it had implemented, but it’s an improvement for the transmission of meeting data. Business customers can also control which data center regions will handle meeting traffic for their Zoom meetings, after concerns were raised that some meetings were being routed through servers in China.
Zoom is clearly responding quickly to the issues that have been raised, just as it has seen an influx of millions of new users using its service during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Zoom reported a maximum of 10 million daily users back in December, but this skyrocketed to more than 200 million daily meeting participants in March. There are still more issues to address and improvements required, but 20 days after Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan promised changes, we’re now starting to see exactly how Zoom is responding.