I feel compelled to share the Zoom hijacking experience from yesterday. If you are using Zoom or any other webinar platform that attracts phishing and malware hackers, I believe this story may help you protect yourself, your students, and most importantly your children from these crude online attackers.
I have been teaching online yoga classes for a couple of weeks now. I am not tech savvy to this new world of online live streaming. I am used to teaching in a studio with four walls, heating and room to walk around. I am used to providing a live, hands approach, and assisting my beloved sweaty yoga students. I was reluctant to teach outside my box, and yet inspired to break through my fear of live streaming so I could stay connected with my amazing yoga community. Zoom seemed like the next best platform during this coronavirus crisis. Well little did I know…
Before each Zoom “meeting”, I email the meeting ID, link, and password to my group. A couple of minutes before class, I click start and the screen opens up. On the side tab I can “admit” students who have been waiting in the lounge to come into the class. I click admit and see their face or screen with their name. It is quite enjoyable to see a friendly face pop up! That is if they don’t want to be seen and choose the audio only option, which is fine. Yesterday was a different story. I didn’t know some of the names upon entering and thought, “okay cool, more people must be interested in my class. I have sent the link out to hundreds of subscribers, maybe they shared the link.” I click “admit” to five or six people who I thought where loving, like-minded yogis waiting to take my class. A big NO! Right away, they started using offensive, racist language. Each hijacker screen was playing obscene sexual and violent content. At one point, I had no control over my computer in which more offensive and violent videos were shown, all the while, my students were exposed to all of it. I could not remove or mute any of these hackers. They had complete control. I had to “end the meeting” to stop what was happening. It was an assaulting and attacking online experience. I would not wish that on anyone!
What I have learned since the online hack:
You can lock your class at any point to prevent anyone else from entering, even if they have the meeting link codes.
Request your guest to RSVP if they plan to attend the class.
Require a password when scheduling new meetings.
Manage screen sharing by ensuring you are the only person in control of the meeting.
Keep your personal ID meeting private and do not share it online.
Change your passwords often.
As the world transitions out of human contact and into virtual contact, convenient passwords may not provide all the protection we need. I have a friend in the tech industry who recommended a program called 1Password to safely manage your passwords across this virtual world. More on that later. In the meantime, change your passwords often.
This pandemic is forever changing the space around us. It is paramount that we find new ways to create the new and stay connected while keeping ourselves safe and secure.
Thank you for reading. I will happily continue teaching my live streaming yoga classes. I will take all the precautions to keep our time together sacred. Please be sure to RSVP via email, messenger, or text. My contact information and live streaming schedule is on my website at, www.tessconradyoga.com.