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Montana DOJ Offers Zoom Security Tips

This week, Attorney General Tim Fox cautioned Montanans to mitigate their risk of being hacked while using cloud-based video conferencing tool Zoom. His recommendation follows reports of two Billings churches being “Zoom bombed” recently during virtual services.

“It’s important to take steps now to improve your privacy levels while using Zoom to telework, worship and learn,” Fox said. “Even taking just a few steps, like using a meeting password that’s not accessible via open source, ensuring all meeting participants are using the latest version of Zoom and not clicking on links if you’re not expecting a Zoom invitation can help protect you against virtual intrusions,” Fox added.

In addition to the recent Billings church Zoom bombing incidents, Fox cited Columbia Falls City Council and Montana Public Service Commission meetings conducted via Zoom last month that were disrupted by hackers.

Fox offered the following additional tips to protect Montanans using Zoom:

•Use strong passwords.

•Provide the event link directly to participants, not on a publicly available platform.

•Hosts should utilize Zoom’s “waiting room” option to approve meeting participants.

•Disable the option for participants to join the meeting prior to the host.

•Use an automatically generated Meeting ID for non-reoccurring meetings.

•Lock the meeting when it has begun.

•Assign co-hosts once a meeting has started. They will be responsible for controlling the meeting if it’s hijacked or the host’s controls are compromised.

•If using Zoom for a training, change screen sharing to “host only.”

•Disable participant recording if sharing sensitive information.

•Disable file transferring, annotations, disabling mute and saving of chat.

•Rename the recording if the meeting was recorded.

If you are the victim of an internet scam or cyber crime, or want to report suspicious activity, call local law enforcement, the Montana Office of Consumer Protection at 800-481-6896 or 406-444-4500 or use OCP’s convenient online reporting form. You may also visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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