The main reason behind the popularity of Zoom cloud calling is its user-friendly interface. It is very easy to access our controls in it. We can control our speakerphone, microphone, screen share, etc, and also we have an option to control the other people’s video and audio from the listener’s point of view. Along with friendly usage, free of cost is also one of the main reasons to get this application more popular. In this pandemic situation, people at houses show much interest in activities in social media. And for employees, it is useful for group discussions or group meetings during their work from home times.
Because it is a free application, everyone shows interest to use this and they didn’t think much about their privacy and security while using this application. It is a big mistake that normal person can do. As per the allegations, Zoom software can’t provide enough security to its users. It is very easy for hackers to steal sensitive information like Gmail, phone number, location, activities, and future plans. It is a risky action to take.
So the Ministry of Human Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory that the Zoom video conference is not a safe platform. and the second advisory from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) on February 6th and in March saying that “Zoom is a popular video conferencing platform. Insecure usage of the platform may allow cybercriminals to access sensitive information such as meeting details and conversations.” The main reason to make such allegation on Zoom is its operating servers are placed in China. Even it is an American software, the servers were placed there due to technical reasons. The Indian Government shouldn’t believe China acts. And also there is a report that says ‘around 500 000 Zoom accounts were hacked and sold on the web for money. Based on all these consequences the Indian Government wants the Zoom app to ban in India.
During this lockdown period, videoconferencing services like Zoom, Cisco, Skype, Google Meet, and Hangouts, etc, are become more popular to communicate with others in person and in a professional manner with others. So the Indian Government understands the importance of video conferencing app in India and decided to invent an Indian competitor video conferencing app on April 14th, 2020. The Government makes this a challenge for people to enhance their innovative skills. Common people able to apply this here. And there is prize money also from a 5 lack rupees to one crore.
By opposing the allegations made on it, Zoom spokesperson says “Zoom takes user privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously. We have been focused on enhancing our commitment to security and privacy under our 90-day plan announced April 1st, and have made significant progress. Zoom is an American company listed on Nasdaq and for close to a decade we have been helping some of the world’s largest financial services companies, leading telecommunications providers, government agencies, universities, and others to stay connected in a safe and secure manner. Many of these entities have done exhaustive security reviews of our user, network and data center layers and confidently selected Zoom for complete deployment, and we actively engage with them[, as we are with the Indian Central Government,] to provide them with any information they need to make informed decisions.” “In India, we’ve been proud to help businesses, government agencies, communities, school teachers, and other users stay connected during this challenging and unprecedented time.”
To protect Indian Zoom users from hacking, the Government publishes safety guidelines to Zoom users. If it is compulsory to use then follow this
MHA guidelines for Zoom users:
- A new user id and password are compulsory for each meeting.
- Better to use the waiting room option. So that the participants must take the host permission to enter.
- Make sure ‘disable join feature’ before hosting.
- Allow screen share is permitted by host only.
- ‘Allow removed participants to re-join’ is in disable.
- Restrict the file transfer and recording feature.
- Lock the meeting when all participants joined.
- If you are admin, make complete sign off instead of just leaving.
Why do we need to stick with the Zoom? If we have alternatives. There are some alternatives to Zoom and among those I suggest the best five alternatives of Zoom.
- Skype: Undoubtedly it is the best source for videoconferencing. The free version offers 20 members to connect. whereas the paid version or Business version allows 1000 participants. Personally I believe in Microsoft.
2. Google Meet: The videoconferencing is powered by google. And this allows you to connect with up to 250 people at no cost.
3. Cisco Webex: It gives a facility to share our media like audio, photos, PDFs, and videos, etc, through the whiteboard up yo 200 people while we are in the meeting.
4. EZ Talks: It can connect up to 10 000 people and have good features to interact effectively. Able to share audio and video files.
5. Zoho Meetings: Last but not least. Zoho is the best online platform for your Business with a bundle of features. The audience poll is an interesting feature I like about it.