Videoconferencing platform Zoom has become increasingly popular thanks to COVID-19 and national lockdowns being issued across the globe. In fact the platform has seen its user numbers rise drastically from 10 million in December of last year, to 200 million at the beginning of April.

The meteoric rise has also seen several security issues on the platform come to light, and cybercriminals are looking to take advantage of that fact.

It’s the reason why New York City officials have banned the use of Zoom in its schools.

“Providing a safe and secure remote learning experience for our students is essential, and upon further review of security concerns, schools should move away from using Zoom as soon as possible,” noted Danielle Filson, a spokesperson for the New York City department of education.

“There are many new components to remote learning, and we are making real-time decisions in the best interest of our staff and students,” she added.

According to TechCrunch, the ban would impact an estimated 1.1 million students from 1 800 schools across the five boroughs of New York City.

While not addressing the specific school ban, Zoom CEO, Eric Yuan, spoke about some of the security. mistakes the platform has made in recent weeks, during an interview with CNN.

“We moved too fast… and we had some missteps,” Yuan said during the interview. “We’ve learned our lessons and we’ve taken a step back to focus on privacy and security,” he added.

It is worth noting that Zoom, although the most high-profile example, is not the only videoconferencing platform impacted by remote working/studying and cybercriminals, with Google Classroom also being targeted.

As such, it is becoming increasingly important for educators to consider secure platforms during the lockdown, if they wish to turn to digital education as a means of continuing to teach the curriculum.

Either way, it is essential that users only download videoconferencing apps and platforms from trusted sources, and be fully aware of the permissions being asked for and data being shared.

Failure to do so could lead to a compromised system, which becomes even more difficult to work around during lockdown.

[Image – Photo by Jeffrey Hamilton on Unsplash]