ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — After a man is accused of exposing himself to middle schoolers during a Zoom video conference, a cyber security expert shares tips on how to stay protected.
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Parents of students at Wolf Lake Middle School in Orange County received a message Principal Cynthia Haupt about intruder who gained access to a virtual math lesson being held on the video conferencing app Zoom for students at Wolf Lake Middle School.
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“During the session, an unknown individual was able to gain access onto the online instruction session and expose himself,” she explained in the message.
The Apopka Police Department is now investigating, but so far, officers have not arrested anyone yet for the sexual exposure to those students.
Spectrum News 13 used Zoom to talk with cyber security expert Tom Jelneck about the risks with these types of apps.
“This virtual learning, this distance, digital learning, is opening up all kinds of interesting problems and challenges,” he said.
He says this is not the only case where something like this has happened since the coronavirus pandemic shut down schools nationwide.
“So I’m hearing a lot of that, that’s happening a lot. Typically, sharing the screen with adult content or their own body parts which is just bizarre,” Jelneck said.
People who do this are called “Zoom bombers.”
Orange County Public Schools are now strongly urged their teachers not to use Zoom to do video calls with students. Instead they have platforms like Canvas or Big Blue Button for teachers to use.
However, Jelneck says for those who have to use Zoom, there are several things you can do to make your call more secure.
One thing you can do is set up a waiting room and then manually select who to let into the call from the waiting room.
You can also adjust the settings so only the host can share the video on their screen.
Also very important, do not post the link to the meeting on social media where anyone can just copy and paste it and invade your meeting.
Jelneck says in these pandemic-affected times, common sense and doing your homework on the software you use is key.
“Just be smart and protect others privacy as well, and you’ll be good to go,” he said.