Zoom announces additional security for free accounts

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoom has seen its revenue skyrocket by 169% to a staggering $328.2 million. 

Although this is good news for the tech firm, it’s brought to light security issues, as well as bringing more direct competition from the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others. 

In addition, many users are now facing “virtual fatigue”, along with a decline in mental health and wellbeing. 

Although the firm has had less problems than rivals like Houseparty, it has been criticized by privacy experts over its lack of consistency with effective end-to-end encryption for users. 

In terms of dealing with the security complaints, Zoom has made progress by reversing on its earlier policy: to only provide assistance to paying subscribers, not free accounts. 

CEO Eric Yuan announced the company will be backtracking on this, and that full protection will be provided to all users. 

The company said earlier in the week that it plans to address these issues for all users to avoid losing them to its competitors. 

The biggest focus now is on end-to-end encryption – the most common grievance. This feature is supposed to prevent hackers accessing calls, also known as “zoomboming”. 

It also prevents governments and law enforcement agencies, in most cases, from being able to access private calls or content, even if they claim to have a legal right to do so. 

However, it’s important to note that this feature won’t be switched on by default. In order to reap the benefits, the user needs to switch on the “upgraded encryption” feature and provide a phone number that Zoom can verify – otherwise they will still be at risk. This is to stop abusive or spam accounts being created. 

“We are confident that by implementing risk-based authentication, in combination with our current mix of tools … we can continue to prevent and fight abuse,” Eric Yuan said.

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