Zoom bombing renders videoconferencing ineffective for K-12 educators

Zoom bombing happens when an intruder infiltrates to the chats, usually through an invite link that is publicly shared. The stranger then shares unwarranted messages like pornography, racist jokes as well as hate speech. Some of the intruders could be students who feel that their tutors are giving them a lot of work. This is the downside of free technology and the lack of safety measures to ensure the privacy of users.

With coronavirus sending schools to complete nationwide shutdowns, many K12 educators are considering Zoom for communication with their students. Institutions are checking on their terms of engagement with zoom, with decisions varying in different places. Zoom conferencing has been banned in several districts with others being more cautious and preferring to use the already vetted tools of conferencing.

Zoom conferencing allows educators to convey information to a large group of learners Virtually regardless of the number of the students. With many companies and schools getting enticed by the companies services, the CEO lifted the limits for conferencing from 40 minutes.

Zoom bombing halts Massachusetts online class

The rise in the number of users on zoom has necessitated revamping of security measures that come with using zoom. The new concept of zoom bombing where hackers are able to infiltrate to charts and share offensive messages has exposed workers and students to a lot of unwanted content. Following the companys alleged data sharing with Facebook, Zoom has found ire from a section of advocates and the political class including senator Richard from Connecticut

Zoom platform has rolled out its policies on privacy and halted all efforts to create new services to focus mainly on the issues that are rising from the consumers. The Federal Bureau of Investigations has been compelled to intervene in the following infiltration by hackers on zooms Massachusetts class by shouting abusive words while in another incident, a hacker interrupted a learning session while showing swastika tattoos.

Public institutions in Virginia have not resorted to using zoom because they had signed contracts with Googles Education suite which offers teleconferencing services. However, some teachers had started using zoom but after the infiltration incidents by hackers, they immediately dropped it.

Educators should file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center

Through a blogpost, Zoom intends to create new user IDs for different sessions as well as waiting rooms where students can be verified before joining the conference. Users are also required to create two-factor authentication where and stop entry of new users once a meeting has commenced.

Many education instructors are still deploying Zoom because they like the idea of displaying two user screens at once in order to save videos for future use. Teachers are also taking advantage of Zoom’s recording feature that allows students to access saved content in the future. Playwell chief executive officer, Linette Atta advises instructors to ask their learners to switch off their cameras during the lecture.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking educators who come across zoom bombing to raise complaints with the Internet crime complaint center. Furthermore, teachers are instructed to immediately strike out zoom bombers and reassure students to continue with learning.

Featured image credits: Bing