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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Don’t accept Zoom invitations

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HCMC – Think twice before attending a webinar on Zoom, the now highly popular video-calling app.

As a writer, I’m very cautious and vigilant about security and privacy issues. I use a highly secured program when contacting sources over the Internet. I want to protect myself and my sources as well.  The program I endorse is paid software from a very well-known developer.

When someone invites me to join a webinar through Zoom, I think twice and eventually decline those invitations.

Hence, when I received an “exclusive invitation” to attend an online Feng Shui webinar, I had to turn it down. The friendly invitation said the webinar was an annual appreciation event hosted by CapitaLand for all its existing customers and partners. It stated, “We would like to seek your support in sharing the invitation for registration. Kindly refer to the attached email to send the invitation to your family, friends and partners.”

Zoom is a video-conferencing platform that rose to popularity as a result of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

There is nothing wrong with conducting webinars through a video-conferencing platform during a pandemic. But the Zoom platform presents unique problems. I’m terribly afraid of “zoombombers” that can install malware on my computer, which would destroy the research I’ve carefully gathered for so many years.

There are many reports suggesting that Zoom is not safe to use.

Members of the U.S. Senate have been warned against using the Zoom conferencing platform due to security risks too. And Google has banned the Zoom software from employees’ devices.

Taiwan even legally prohibits the use of the Zoom platform by schools, State-run firms and administrative agencies because of security concerns.

The University of Toronto-based Citizen Lab has stated that  Zoom software transmits and receives encryption and decryption keys from a server in Beijing that is capable of decrypting audio and video content shared between conference participants outside of China. (Zoom apologized this month for mistakenly routing traffic through China.)

By Ngoc Tran

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