Schools switching to Zoom for online learning but those video meetings can be hacked

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- With schools closed, many kids are heading online not only for learning but to stay occupied. Parents, you need to make sure their device or computer has the right protection from malware and other online dangers, because hackers are not discriminating against children.

Craig Petronella, with Petronella Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics in Raleigh, suggests parents use a content filtering system, known as DNS.

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"If you use encrypted DNS, websites can't track you as well and show ads to you as well. It's a layer of security that helps filter that traffic, and it also protects your privacy too," Petronella said.

He also suggests you consider a software that polices your kid's activity.

"Content filtering is really the best because you can pick and choose categories of where you want to allow them to go and what you can block and deny," Petronella said.

When it comes to apps, kids and teens need to be extra cautious. Check Point recently reported that 56 apps in the Google Play Store included malicious software, 24 of those apps were marketed to kids.

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Their research found the apps and games tempted kids into downloading and then launched the malware. Those malicious apps have already been downloaded more than 1 million times.

Now with schools switching to online learning, many students are required to do video conferencing with their class on platforms like Zoom, but those video meetings can be hacked.

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Here are some tips to make sure your kid's account is protected:

  • Make sure you activate the privacy features, like use a password to limit access to a meeting.
  • Keep their personal ID private.
  • Don't allow anyone other than the host to share the screen.
  • Do not share any links to a Zoom meeting on social media.


Another risk your kids need to be aware of while online is identity theft.

Petronella suggests you talk to them about not providing too much information when signing up for games or apps, as that could all be used to gain their identity.
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