Free Zoom accounts will get three more security features on May 9 as the company continues its efforts to boost privacy protections and fight abuse like Zoom-bombing …

The company recently added nine new features to Zoom 5, which defaults to greater security while also allowing users flexibility on the privacy and security options they choose to use. Free users will now have three security features enabled as standard, though will still have the freedom to switch off two of them.

Zoom will also deploy additional security changes for our free Basic users this coming weekend, and these include default safeguards.

Beginning May 9, Basic Zoom accounts will be updated with the following changes:

  • Passwords will be required for all meetings, including new meetings, previously scheduled meetings, and those using PMI
  • Waiting Rooms for PMI will be turned on by default
  • Screen sharing privileges will be Host Only by default

These enhanced protections will help enable our free users to securely meet right out of the box.

Personal Meeting IDs, or PMIs, were a Zoom feature designed to prioritize ease of use, but which made Zoom-bombing more likely – a stranger gate-crashing a meeting.

You got a standard link for all your meetings, meaning you only had one ID to note and share with people whenever you wanted to host a meeting, but anyone who participated in any of your meetings could try the same link another time.

Coupled to the old default of no password needed, that meant anyone who had taken part in one of your meetings, or had the link shared with them by a participant, could join a different one another time.

Both Free Zoom accounts and paid ones can take advantage of other protections against Zoom-bombing, in particular locking the meeting once everyone has arrived at the meeting has started, and automatically muting participants on entry so that nobody can say anything until you have approved them.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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