Zoom faced a lot of criticism over the security concerns earlier this year. A year has passed and in the meantime they have improved significantly in terms of privacy and security. One security feature that many privacy-conscious users have long requested is end-to-end encryption for meetings. As promised by Zoom, the feature is now available. Wondering how to enable end-to-end encryption on Zoom? Find your answer here.
Even though Zoom previously provided encryption for calls, the hype was about decryption of content on Zoom servers using these generated keys. Now, with end-to-end encryption (E2EE), encryption keys are generated from participating machines and distributed using public encryption mechanisms. Zoom servers therefore have no details on these keys. In this way, this new encryption feature offers greater security.
Let’s see how to enable and disable end-to-end encryption on Zoom. The message also explains what happens when enabling end-to-end encryption and whether you should enable it.
Supported platforms and accounts for end-to-end encryption
End-to-end encryption functionality is available to all Zoom users, whether they have a free or paid account. However, free / basic account users will need to verify their mobile number when enabling end-to-end encryption.
As of now, Zoom end-to-end encryption is available on Zoom desktop clients (Windows and Mac), mobile apps (Android and iOS), and Zoom rooms.
To note: Please update your Zoom apps before using this feature. To update mobile applications, open the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android), and search for Zoom. Tap Update. On the desktop client, click the profile picture icon and select Check for update from the menu.
The Zoom web client and third-party services using the Zoom SDK do not support E2EE by default. Likewise, if a meeting is end-to-end encrypted, users of the phone, SIP / H.323 devices, on-premises configurations, or Lync / Skype clients will not be able to participate.
Steps to enable end-to-end encryption on Zoom
To activate E2EE, you must change an account setting accessible only from the web version of Zoom. You can change it at the user, group or account level.
Here are the steps in detail:
- Go to the zoom login page. Log in with your Zoom account details. You will be redirected to the Zoom account page.
- Click Settings in the left panel.
- On the Meeting tab, click Security.
- Scroll down and turn on the switch next to Allow use of end-to-end encryption.
- You will be asked to verify your number. So yes, you have to do what is necessary.
- After verification, you will need to choose the default encryption type on the same page. Check the box next to End-to-end encryption. Click the Save button.
Suggestion: Find out how to change the name in Zoom on mobile and PC.
- Open the zoom login page. Log in using your administrator account details.
- In the left pane, click User Management> Group Management.
- Click on the group for which you want to enable end-to-end encryption. Click on Settings.
- On the Meeting tab, click Security. Turn on the switch next to Allow the use of end-to-end encryption. Choose end-to-end encryption. Click on Save.
- Log in using administrator details on the zoom login page.
- Click Account Management in the left panel. Then click on Account Settings.
- Click on the Meeting tab. Under Security, find Allow use of end-to-end encryption setting. Activate the switch next to it. Select End-to-End Encryption from the list of options. Click on Save.
To note: Zooming may change steps in the future. Then see the steps on Zoom’s support page for end-to-end encryption.
To turn off end-to-end encryption, select Strong encryption instead of End-to-end encryption in the previous steps. If you want to turn off encryption completely, turn off the switch next to Allow end-to-end encryption to be used.
When a Zoom meeting is end-to-end encrypted, all participants will see a green shield icon with a padlock in the center in the upper left corner of the desktop client. Regular meetings also have a green shield icon but with a check mark inside.
Participants can also verify the meeting security code with the organizer. The best practice may be for the host to read the code aloud so that everyone can verify it. To view the code, click the green lock icon in the upper left corner of the Zoom desktop app. Then click on Check.
What is the impact of end-to-end encryption on Zoom meetings
Zoom feet four-step end-to-end encryption implementation. Unfortunately, enabling end-to-end encryption in the current phase, which is phase 1, will disable some features of Zoom. Those are:
- Possibility to join a meeting before the host
- Cloud recording
- Live transcription
- Group rooms
- Private Chat 1: 1
- Reactions to meetings
Hopefully these capabilities will be restored in the next steps of end-to-end encryption.
How many users can join end-to-end Zoom encrypted meetings
A maximum of 200 participants can join an end-to-end Zoom encrypted meeting. This will have no impact on users of the Basic or Pro plans, which still only allow 100 participants. But this could be a problem for Business or Enterprise subscribers who allow 300 to 500 participants.
When to enable end-to-end encryption on Zoom
As you saw above, enabling E2EE disables some important features. If you agree, you can enable end-to-end encryption in all your meetings where you want more security. But while these features are important, you should avoid enabling end-to-end encryption until it’s fully implemented.