A new two-factor authentication (2FA) feature has been introduced for all Zoom accounts to avoid the situation of “zoombombing” as well as any other security intrusions. Once this feature gets activated, users would be receiving a one-time code via a mobile authenticator app, SMS, or phone call, which they need to enter into the system. It will prevent hackers and other anti-social elements from hacking Zoom accounts as they would need the user’s mobile device to do so.
To clear the 2FA system on Zoom, users need to provide two or more proofs to convince the system that the right user is accessing the application. It could be something that the user is very well aware of. For instance, it could be a password or a PIN. It could also be something belonging to the user, like a smart card or a mobile device. Or it could be something like the user’s fingerprints or his voice.
Zoom users using the application from their mobile devices, laptops, or desktop would use this 2FA feature. Likewise, people are logging on to Zoom via the web portal, and the Zoom Room can also avail of it. The 2FA feature is compatible with a time-based one-time password (TOTP) protocol. Therefore, Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and FreeOTP work pretty well with this service. Some other authentication methods that exist within Zoom are SAML, OAuth, and password-based authentication.
A few months back, there was some dispute regarding Zoom’s decision to provide end-to-end encryption on video calls to paid users only. However, later on, Zoom gave in and ended up providing this benefit to all users. This time, the 2FA feature is being provided to all the users. However, there might be a few differences in setting up this feature for users based on different levels. For instance, business admins may have to follow a different procedure when activating this feature when compared to individual users.
Enabling 2FA on Zoom
Account admin users need to follow the following steps to enable the password-based authentication feature on Zoom:
- Sign in to the Zoom application. On the Navigation menu, to the Advanced settings and then click on Security.
- In this section, the user can determine if the 2FA feature is enabled by checking the ‘Sign In’ option. It should be enabled. Here, admin users can enable the 2FA either for all users in the account or for users with specific roles. The admin user can decide it. In case users with specific roles need to have this feature enabled, the roles too can be decided by the admin user.
- For users who belong to specific groups on Zoom and need to have this feature enabled, they need to select the available pencil-icon. Selecting the same would display different available groups. Users need to select the appropriate group and then click on the ‘OK’ button. The 2FA feature would be enabled on saving these settings.