Zoom. Two months ago, most people didn’t even know what it was. Today, it’s one of the things that’s getting us through staying at home day after day.
Workplaces are using the video chat service as a way for their employees to communicate face-to-face while working from home. Friends are hosting virtual happy-hours instead of meeting in bars. For Passover and Easter, families celebrated via the internet. Zoom has become an essential way for people to stay connected while they’re physically staying apart.
With such an influx of new members to the service, it shouldn’t be a surprise that another group of people is attracted to Zoom – computer hackers.
As reported in Business Insider, researchers bought the login information for over 500,000 Zoom accounts on the Dark Web for less than 1 cent each. Hackers were selling the information for almost nothing. In fact, some hackers were giving the information away as a way to increase their credibility in the community.
What happened? Did Zoom get hacked? Nope.
Turns out, people are using the same email and password combinations for their Zoom accounts that were compromised in other data breaches.
There are reports of data breaches all the time. Just last month, Marriott’s systems were hacked, again. But it’s not just them. Every major hotel has been hit, including Hilton, IHG, Hyatt and Starwood in the past several years, and that’s only the hotels. Retail stores, email providers and any other website where you have to make an account are vulnerable. They’ll offer free credit monitoring when they get hacked, but that doesn’t protect your password. Once it’s hacked, it’s useless.
If you’re not one to use the internet much, you probably don’t know the importance of making a strong password for each account. Do you think that Tim the Cowboy knows much about #Hashtagpasswords?
This skit from SNL shows the kinds of people who are out there creating new Zoom accounts. It’s funny because you know it’s true.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Create a strong password for each online account. That’s a lot of passwords to remember, so it pays to get a password manager program. That way, you’ll only have to remember one password (that’s not “password”) to get access to all of your other impossible to remember ones.
Zoom is becoming so common that non-tech people think it’s interchangeable with any video chat. Like when someone asks for a Kleenex or Band-Aid.
When your Zoom account is hacked, the worst thing hackers have found to do with this information is to Zoombomb chat sessions, which is a form of video-trolling. While it can be very annoying and disturbing, it’s not the worst thing to happen on the internet.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to protect yourself from these hackers. #changeyourpassword. Maybe I should add that one to the list.
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary