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Zoom now allows FBI to snoop on your calls

Hi guys, Attila here. If the stock market is any indicator of how well the company Zoom is doing, just have a peek. Their stock went up from about $68 on January 1st to now over $230 a share! Wow, some folks there are making money!

Obviously the Covid-19 pandemic has really benefited shareholders. Most of the world has moved over to using videoconferencing to keep in touch with loved ones and for those fortunate enough, daily work. However some major security problems have come up with Zoom in recent months and now the company has announced that that it will not be turning on end-to-end encryption for those who are not paying for service so that local law enforcement and the FBI can peer in on your video calls.

What does this mean for you? Well, to be clear, Zoom uses a freemium business model to attract paying customers. This means that they have a “free” level of service that anyone can use with some restrictions, such as a time limit and size limit on group meetings and unavailable features such as the ability to record a session or add your company’s branding. Most of Zoom’s customers are in the free tier and all you need to setup an account is an email address, which anyone including criminals, drug dealers and perverts can and have been doing.

This is just a perfect example of how a small group of schmucks messed it up for the rest of us. Not only have these guys been Zoom bombing meetings but using Zoom for criminal activities. No wonder law enforcement is interested. Now if you do want your calls encrypted, that’s fine, you just have to be on a paid plan so that way Zoom can confirm your identify and make sure you’re not up to no good.

The Takeaway

If you are nervous about security (which I am) the lowest paid Zoom plan is $15 a month which isn’t all expensive if you only have a few employees but it can get pricey really quick. So, I encourage you to see what resources you may already have in your toolbox, namely Microsoft Teams and Google Meet

If your company uses Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) for email and OneDrive, you get Microsoft Teams included with your subscription. Haven’t heard of Teams? Not to worry, it’s the name that Microsoft chose to rename Skype after it bought the company a few years ago. Teams does basically all the same things Skype does (and Zoom for that matter) and won’t cost you extra!

Now if you’re on the other side of the fence and using Google’s G-Suite for your office email, they have Google Meet included with your subscription. In fact Google recently announced that they’re going to offer Google Meet for free to even non-G-Suite customers until September 20th. It’s encrypted end-to-end video calling and like most things Google does, works really well.

And if neither of these options appeal to you, we at Cylanda have a free video conferencing solution we’re offering businesses during this time of need, no strings attached. Just reach out and we’ll set you up.

Stay safe out there


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