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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

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Zoom rolls out new authentication process after disturbances


Zoom, which has increased in popularity during the pandemic, has created a two-factor authentication system to bolster security and privacy. | Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

Video conferencing platform Zoom has implemented a two-factor authentication system to enhance security and privacy after recent unwanted intrusions by disruptors during meetings, including several attended by UH students.

Zoom has become an essential remote communication pathway for classes and social purposes. The app gives users the opportunity to collaborate by allowing for live recording sessions and screen-sharing.

Increased reliance on the software during the pandemic has brought the necessity of security into sharper focus.

“I think two-factor authentication will be an added layer of protection to ensure people don’t hack into an individual’s Zoom account,” said Sandra Morales, biology senior and president of Project T.R.E.E., or Teaching Refugees Effective English.

The updated sign-in process provides users with options for verification through the app or via text.

In the app, users can scan a QR code from Zoom by clicking the code or camera icon on their screen. Following the scan, a temporary six-digit verification code will be generated to verify their account.

Similarly, the text option requires users enter their phone number so they can be texted a temporary six-digit verification code.

For Morales, Zoom serves as a platform to connect with those affiliated with Project T.R.E.E.

Partnered with Interfaith Ministries, the organization aims to help adult refugees develop efficiency and confidence in their English language skills.

Student volunteers and their mentees use Zoom to ensure the continuation of their project in a safe, socially distanced way.

“Although I don’t plan on implementing it specifically for Project T.R.E.E. meetings, I lead as president, but I will set it up for my Zoom account,” Morales said.

“I feel it sets the account holder’s mind at ease by giving him/her a sense of security. It’s really not an inconvenience since other websites, such as Amazon or even Apple ID, use two-factor authentication, so there’s not much difference.”

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