Update Zoom now for a much-needed privacy boost

(Image credit: Zoom)

As part of its 90-day plan to enhance the security and privacy capabilities of its platform, Zoom has announced the general availability of Zoom 5.0.

Zoom 5.0 boasts a number of security enhancements, chief of which is the addition of support for AES 256-bit GCM encryption

The company hopes these additions will provide increased protection for meeting data and resistance against Zoom-bombing attacks.

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“We take a holistic view of our users’ privacy and our platform’s security. From our network to our feature set to our user experience, everything is being put through rigorous scrutiny," CPO of Zoom, Oded Gal noted.

"On the back end, AES 256-bit GCM encryption will raise the bar for securing our users’ data in transit. On the front end, I’m most excited about the Security icon in the meeting menu bar. This takes our security features, existing and new, and puts them front and center for our meeting hosts. With millions of new users, this will make sure they have instant access to important security controls in their meetings.”

Security enhancements

Zoom has also made it much easier for users to access its security features which were previously spread throughout its meeting menus. Now they are all grouped together and found by clicking the Security icon in the meeting menu bar on the host's interface.

Hosts now have more control over the meetings and can report users to Zoom through the Security icon as well. They can even disable the ability for participants to rename themselves and for education customers, screen sharing now defaults to the host only.

Zoom's existing virtual waiting room feature is now on by default for all education, Basic and single-Pro accounts. Hosts can also turn on the waiting room while their meeting is already in progress to allow participants to take breaks.

Meeting passwords have also been turned on by default for most customers while for administered accounts, account admins now have the ability to define password complexity for additional security. Accessing cloud recordings will also now require a complex password though meeting hosts can access them without one.

Zoom's recent surge in popularity did reveal some of the platform's privacy and security issues but CEO Eric S. Yuan and the rest of the company have certainly taken the necessary steps to rectify them.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.