Residents are advised to be aware of security flaws with Zoom after a local authority’s meeting was hacked with pornographic images.

SNP Cllr Tony Gurney warned of potential intrusions after questioning why a council meeting was held via Zoom in Angus.

While the use of Zoom has been encouraged for groups across North Ayrshire to meet while community centres are closed, North Ayrshire Council confirmed it hosts its own council meetings on more secure software under the lockdown.

Cllr Gurney, an IT Lecturer at UWS, said Microsoft 365’s secure video conferencing, Google Meet, Apple Facetime or Google Duo are more secure, with unwanted intruders on Zoom a frequent issue for the app.

He said: “If you are using Zoom, please ensure that you take some simple precautions to ensure that you don’t get any unwanted intruders on your calls. This has been such an issue that Zoom have actually changed their default settings to help.

“Firstly all meetings should have a password. Simply send it to everyone beforehand. The Zoom scheduler will do this automatically for you if you use it. The second precaution is to use the “Waiting Room”. This simply means that no-one can join the chat until they’ve been approved and granted entrance by the host. It’s like having your own private bouncer.”

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Council said: “We have advised staff that the use of non-council provided apps such as Zoom and WhatsApp are not suitable for conversations which may include personal or sensitive information.”


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