New Zoom Features Tackle Meeting Disruptions

Zoom over the weekend rolled out two new features that are aimed at tackling meeting disruptions.

The video conferencing platform has seen a lot of backlash in 2020, after numerous security issues were identified amid worldwide adoption during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, federal regulators are saying that the company mislead users regarding the security of meetings.

Over the past year, Zoom has significantly intensified its efforts to improve the security of video meetings, and the newly rolled-out features represent the latest step in this direction.

Courtesy of these new additions, Zoom is making it easy to remove and report disruptive meeting participants, and is also aiming to prevent meeting disruptions even before they actually happen.

While in a meeting on Zoom, hosts and co-hosts can now pause meetings to remove disruptive participants. A new “Suspend Participant Activities” option is available under the Security icon, allowing for all “video, audio, in-meeting chat, annotation, screen sharing, and recording” to stop and for the Breakout Rooms to end.

The hosts or co-hosts will have the option to report any user from the meeting and share any details, accompanied by an optional screenshot, which will result in the reported user being automatically removed from the meeting.

The host/co-host will then be able to resume the meeting by individually re-enabling the features they want to use. Zoom will email them for additional information on the incident.

Zoom also announced that it will enable the new Suspend Participant Activities feature by default for all free and paid Zoom users.

Courtesy of the new features, meeting participants too can now report disruptive users, straight from the Zoom client, from the top-left Security badge.

Account owners and administrators now have the option to enable the reporting capabilities for non-hosts, from the web settings.

The new features are available in the Zoom desktop clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as in the Zoom mobile apps. Support for the web client and VDI are planned for later this year.

Zoom also reveals that a new tool deployed this fall is helping it identify Zoom Meeting links that might have been publicly shared. The At-Risk Meeting Notifier is meant to discover meetings that might be at risk of disruption and alerts the account owner via email.

Recommended action steps include deleting the meeting and creating another one with a new ID, adjusting security settings, or switching to another Zoom solution, such as Zoom Video Webinars or OnZoom.

“If you do get an email, it’s critical to take action or risk having your meeting disrupted. As a reminder – one of the best ways to keep your Zoom meeting secure is to never share your meeting ID or passcode on any public forum, including social media,” Zoom says.

Related: FTC Says Zoom Misled Users on Its Security for Meetings

Related: Zoom Announces Technical Preview of End-to-End Encryption

Related: Zoom Rolls Out 2FA Support for All Accounts

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Previous Columns by Ionut Arghire:

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