Zoom users looking for a little more security when it comes to their video chats got some good news today, as the company announced that it's officially launching end-to-end encryption for all its users. Yes, even the free ones.
Online security continues to be an ever-evolving problem in the world. Security breaches, ransomware attacks, and phishing scams have become all too familiar to businesses today, and many of the tools used to mitigate the pandemic are unfortunately making it worse.
Fortunately, Zoom is checking off at least one security box you won't have to worry about, as the company has officially made end-to-end encryption the standard for all its users.
Zoom Launches End-to-End Encryption
A blog post from Zoom stated that the company would officially be rolling out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) next week as “a technical preview” to “solicit feedback from users for the first 30 days.”
“Zoom users – free and paid – around the world can host up to 200 participants in an E2EE meeting on Zoom, providing increased privacy and security for your Zoom sessions.”
If you've used Zoom in the past, don't worry, you weren't entirely vulnerable to hackers during your calls. Data on Zoom calls was previously encrypted between users and the company's servers, but not between meeting participants. Now, however, you'll be completely secure from anyone outside of your organization, no matter which Zoom pricing plan you have.
Zoom announced these plans in May, rolling out the beta in July and now releasing it for everyone now at the end of October.
How Will Zoom Be Different?
Obviously, the added encryption features will make Zoom safer for its users. But how else will Zoom be different now that E2EE is finally here?
For one, E2EE will force users to do without some of Zoom's popular features, including polling, cloud recording, live transcription, and, meeting reactions. Users also won't be able to join via telephone or Skype integration, as those are not considered secure enough.
E2EE meetings also have a limit of 200 participants, which fortunately won't be a problem for Basic (the free plan) and Pro plan users, whose limit is already 100 participants. However, if you are a Business or Enterprise user, which have limits of 300 and 500 participants respectively, you could run into some problems if you want to stay secure.
Another small difference you'll notice when you're in an E2EE meeting is that you'll see a tiny green shield with a padlock in it. This is how you know your meeting is completely secure, from end to end.
Zoom's Past Security Woes
The start of the pandemic was a great time for Zoom. Usage was increasing at an exponential rate, and there seemed to be no end in sight to the gains.
Unfortunately, with digital events and remote meetings becoming part of everyday life, the increased usage exacerbated Zoom's lax security, allowing for quite a few hacks and “Zoom bombs” in the early days of the pandemic.
In the following months though, Zoom has made a stern commitment to security, with E2EE being just the first phase in a four-phase plan to seriously revamp security in the online communication space.
“End-to-end encryption is another stride toward making Zoom the most secure communications platform in the world,” said Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan in the company post.
Suffice it to say, Zoom has gone from security disaster to success story in a matter of months, and there are few reasons to avoid the video conferencing platform at this point.
Check out our in-depth Zoom pricing guide for more information
Zoom is secure enough, intuitive enough, and affordable enough to be an obvious choice for anyone looking for video conferencing software. However, if you just don't think it's for you, who are we to stand in your way?
We've done the research and know the ropes when it comes to these kinds of platforms, so feel free to utilize the fruits of our labor to find the right video conferencing platform for you, including Zoom alternatives like RingCentral and Webex.
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