So when someone invites me to a webinar via Zoom, the video calling app that suddenly became so popular today, I would think over and over again at least… three times. In the end, I declined an invitation to attend such a conference.
Therefore, when I received a so-called “Exclusive Invitation” to a webinar, I declined.
There’s nothing wrong with conducting a webinar, via a video conferencing platform during this Covid-19 pandemic. But the problem is that the webinar is conducted through the Zoom platform. And I am very afraid of “zoombombers” because, through it, they can install malicious software on my computer; will therefore destroy my years of carefully collected information. Not to mention other annoyances.
Indeed, there have been many articles saying that Zoom is not safe to use. US congressmen have been warned not to use Zoom, because of the security risk. Google has also banned employees from installing the Zoom software on their devices.
And since April 10, Singapore’s Ministry of Education has not allowed schools to use Zoom for online learning at home. On April 4, Taiwan even officially banned the use of the Zoom platform in schools, state-owned companies and public offices.
Last week, Citizen Lab of the University of Toronto, Canada said that the Zoom software appeared to have transmitted and received codes and decoded from a server in Beijing (China). And this server is capable of decoding audio and video content shared between Zoom users outside of China. (Later, Zoom’s CEO apologized for “wrongly routing traffic through China”!)
User-reported “horror” stories about Zoom have also surfaced, like the one below from micky.com.au, an Australian online news site: Dennis Johnson, a graduate student, became victim of online harassment on Zoom, after intruders hijacked his doctoral thesis, posting hate speech and pornographic images on it, while he was using the Zoom application. It was “zoombombing”, which happened to about 40 people who attended Johnson’s presentation, including friends, family, classmates and teachers who were evaluating his thesis…
“Better safe than sorry”. So there’s no reason to use Zoom at all. Security and privacy are paramount to me. And the same goes for you.