Is Zoom Safe for Schools to Use?

Isabel Wilder, Senior Copy Editor

In the wake of a pandemic, everyone has put their lives on hold. Over 36 million working Americans have filed for unemployment and students nationwide have switched to virtual school to finish the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year. Zoom, a video-conferencing platform, has become many teachers’ go-to way to conduct lessons from the safety of their own homes. 

With over 300 million daily meeting participants, according to Business of Apps, a new form of online harrassment has arisen “Zoom bombings.” These virtual provocateurs suddenly drop into meetings uninvited and spread hateful speech, showing disturbing images or disrupting learning environments. Back in April, anti-Semitic Zoom-bombers invaded a call dedicated to Holocaust Rememberance Day to spread hate in the form of racial slurs and obscene imagery, as reported by Insider. Due to this rise in hateful and inappropriate behavior, Zoom users began to question the safety of the app.

While it can be easy to succumb to fear, users should not give up this great source of connectivity. Zoom is an easy-to-navigate platform that allows teachers to continue their lesson plans, employers to hold meetings with their employees and friends and families to keep in touch while social distancing. Luckily, the programmers at Zoom designed an update to protect the people who use the service to keep in touch with others worldwide. According to The Guardian, Zoom 5.0 contains encryptions that allows the hosts of the video call to report any users that may cause a disturbance, improved firewalls for security and a default waiting room feature that enables hosts to screen participants prior to their entry into the call. As long as users update their app, they should be protected from anything that can detract from the app’s original purpose.

Zoom has served millions of people worldwide well it does not make sense to give up on such a useful method of communication so easily. Its features allow participants to share screens, send messages and stay organized for free. Zoom is the holy grail during the trying COVID-19 pandemic.