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Is Zoom safe? Yet another country doesn't seem to think so

The Indian government has asked ministers and other officials to refrain from using Zoom for official purposes.

Published onApril 17, 2020

Zoom App logo on phone

Zoom is having a tough time convincing users around the world that its video conferencing platform is safe.

After being banned by Google, UK’s Ministry of Defence, Singapore’s Ministry of Education, Siemens, and Standard Chartered bank, the video chatting service is now under fire from the Indian government.

As reported by The Economic Times and multiple other Indian news outlets, Zoom has been declared “unsafe” by the Indian government. All ministers and other staff members have been asked to refrain from using the platform for official video conferencing purposes.

Related: Zoom Meetings: 10 tips and tricks you should know about

An advisory issued by the Indian authorities asks Zoom users to follow a number of guidelines for the secure use of the service. These include creating a password for all meetings, disabling the join feature beforehand, restricting file transfers, locking the meeting, and more. Most of these measures were part of Zoom’s recent security update.

“Many organizations have allowed their staff to work from home to stop the spread of coronavirus disease. Online communication platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Teams for Education, Slack, Cisco WebEx etc are being used for remote meetings and webinars,” the advisory said.

“Insecure usage of the platform may allow cyber criminals to access sensitive information such as meeting details and conversations,” it added.

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Skype starting screen 1

The government’s warning comes after the Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT) pointed out that Zoom has various weaknesses that make its users vulnerable to cyber attacks.

This latest development is not a good look for Zoom. Many people currently locked down due to COVID-19 may want to use the platform to get in touch with employers or family and official warnings like these can deter them from doing so. The app has exploded in popularity due to the pandemic, but that could change if people feel unsafe using it.

For its part, Zoom has hired a bunch of experts to take care of its security issues. The company is also adding new privacy tools but all the bad press could hamper its popularity before it can promise users a safer experience.

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