Zoom Introduces New Measures to Tackle Disruptive Participants in Meetings

Zoom app's illustrated logo. (Image: Reuters)

Zoom app's illustrated logo. (Image: Reuters)

The new security features are available across platforms on Mac, PC, Linux, and Mobile apps. Zoom said that it will add support for web client and VDI later this year.

Video conferencing tool Zoom has shot to fame during the coronavirus pandemic. While almost everyone is using Zoom to meet their video calling requirements in the new normal, the app comes with its own set of privacy and safety concerns. Zoom has, however, over the course of the last few months introduced measures to ensure a safer platform to users. The company recently started rolling out end-to-end encryption for all its users. Now, Zoom has announced three new measures for combatting meeting disruptions on the platform - two security-based features and a new notifier tool.

In its blog post, Zoom said that it has released two new security features this weekend and shared information about an internal tool the company is using to prevent meeting disruptions before they happen. One of the new security enhancements Zoom has put in place is 'Suspending Participant Activities' that lets meeting hosts and co-hosts temporarily pause their meeting and remove a disruptive participant. Clicking the 'Suspend Participant Activities,' will stop all video, audio, in-meeting chat, annotation, screen sharing, and recording during that time, and Breakout Rooms will end. Further, hosts and co-hosts will be asked if they would like to report a user. After the disruptive participant is suspended, meeting hosts and co-hosts can resume their meeting by re-enabling features they'd like to use. Zoom also said that a mail will be sent to the hosts later, in order to gather more information. The 'Suspend Participant' feature is available by default for all free and paid Zoom users.

The other safety measure Zoom has introduced is Report by Participants. This feature allows meeting participants to report a disruptive user directly on the Zoom client by clicking a security badge that appears on the top left corner of the screen. Account owners and admins on commercial plans can enable reporting capabilities for non-hosts in their web settings. Both the new features are available across platforms on Mac, PC, Linux, and Mobile apps. Zoom said that it will add support for web client and VDI later this year.

Apart from the two security measures, Zoom has also introduced an At-Risk Meeting Notifier. The At-Risk Meeting Notifier scans public social media posts and other websites for publicly shared Zoom meeting links. When and if the tool detects that a meeting is at a high risk of being disputed, it automatically alerts the account owner by email and gives advice on what to do. Zoom, in its blog post said that these measures could include deleting the vulnerable meeting and creating a new one, or using another Zoom solution, like Zoon Video Webinars or OnZoom.

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