Huge Zoom update kills 'Zoombombing' — what you need to know

(Image credit: Zoom)

Zoom could put an end to "zoom-bombing" once and for all, thanks to a major security update coming May 9.

Zoom had already made its service more secure with administrative options to disable personal meeting IDs for the scheduling and starting of meetings, effectively preventing someone who discovered a personal meeting ID from infiltrating a meeting they weren’t invited to. 

Come May 9, Zoom will require all users of its basic free-to-use service to have passwords for all meetings, the company outlined in a blog post yesterday (May 5).

There will be other security-centric features such as mandatory use of waiting rooms, where meeting participants will be held until the host is ready to commence the meeting. That effectively adds another step to prevent unwanted guests from joining a Zoom conference. 

Screen-sharing will also only be enabled for the meeting’s host, thereby preventing other meeting participants from sharing their screen, potentially loaded with sensitive or inappropriate content, with the rest of the attendees. 

All these options will be turned on by default, meaning people new to using Zoom  won’t have to worry about having to tweak settings to make their meeting more secure. There are options to disable the new security features, though. 

The May 9 update follows hot on the heels of a Zoom update made over this past weekend. That update not only allowed meeting hosts to disable the personal meeting IDs, but also added in other security steps, such as preventing people from joining a meeting before the host or to lock the meeting once it has started to prevent people from sneaking in when the meeting is in full swing. 

The ability to mute participants on entry was also another new addition, especially as it could help prevent chaotic audio scenarios of people’s microphones picking up the voices of others on in the meeting and causing a distracting feedback loop. 

Zoom has soared in popularity since the coronavirus crisis has forced more people to work from home. But its success has made it a target, with the likes of Google Meet building out its capabilities to better challenge Zoom

So adding in more security features to give users a peace of mind that the meeting they host will only have the people they want on the video call, will help Zoom keep hold of its now huge user base. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.