The coronavirus has caused an explosion in the use of social media platforms, and particularly software programs that have a videoconferencing option.
As more and more of us are remaining indoors, following advice to #stayhome, the way we connect with our work colleagues for critical business functions, as well as our friends and extended family members has been via these platforms.
But recently, Zoom has come under fire for breaches in security, as it struggles to keep up with the new demand. In March, users zoomed to 200 million a day, as opposed to 10 million a day in December 20191, and Zoom became the most downloaded free app on iTunes, ahead of the usual suspects of TikTok and Disney+2. As the use of Zoom has grown, unfortunately, so has the attraction of the darker side of technology: cyber hackers and trolls. The CEO of Zoom, Mr Eric Yuan, has had to think on his feet as he is faced with complaints from new users about harassment and unauthorised people accessing social catch-ups, children’s birthday parties as well as business meetings.
The cyber wing of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), the International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC), warns users should exercise caution when selecting videoconferencing platforms, particularly in light of the Australian Defence Force’s decision to ban personnel from using Zoom3.
It is important that such platforms don’t leave users at risk of exploitation. And in our current global situation, we need these online connections more than ever.
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