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How to turn on end-to-end encryption in Zoom (and why you should)

Zoom has finally launched end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for all users. Here’s how to enable it right now.

How to turn on end-to-end encryption in Zoom (and why you should)
[Photo: Anna Shvets/Pexels]
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Zoom has finally launched end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for all users. The launch is a long time coming and should make Zoom users the world over more confident in using the service, which has become a critical tool for businesses and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Prior to Zoom’s end-to-end encryption rollout, Zoom calls were encrypted, but only between each user and Zoom’s servers—meaning, if Zoom wanted to, it could peek into a Zoom call or let others do so. With the launch of end-to-end encryption for Zoom, even Zoom itself has no way to look in on a user’s Zoom call.

Now that end-to-end encryption is available on Zoom, all users should make sure it’s enabled. Why? As mentioned, E2EE ensures no one else but meeting participants can gain access to the call and see and hear what is discussed. And since the meetings are now end-to-end encrypted, not even Zoom can bypass this. Given the sensitive business nature of most Zoom calls, any person who uses Zoom should ensure E2EE is enabled right away.

Here’s how:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal in your web browser here (encryption can’t be enabled through the Zoom app itself).
  2. Under the “Personal” heading, click Settings.
  3. Click the Meeting tab.
  4. Click Security.
  5. Toggle the switch next to “Allow use of end-to-end encryption” to On (blue).
  6. Enter your phone number in the pop-up that appears. Zoom requires this so they can text you a code that you enter here, which helps them know it’s really you turning on E2EE.
  7. After entering the text code, select “End-to-end encryption” under the default encryption type on the Security page you are already on and click Save.

Once this is completed, all your Zoom calls will be end-to-end encrypted, provided the host allows for encryption. Account and group hosts can learn how to enable end-to-end encryption for all their calls here.

There are a few caveats using end-to-end encryption on Zoom. First, after following the steps above, your Zoom client will need to be updated to Zoom 5.4 or later on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS (wherever you use Zoom). Also note that third-party Zoom clients cannot support E2EE at this time. And keep in mind E2EE is limited to Zoom calls with 200 or fewer participants—so if you’ve got more than that, E2EE won’t be enabled even if you’ve set it up.

Finally, you can confirm whether a Zoom call is using E2EE by verifying a green shield logo with a padlock on it is in the upper left corner of your meeting screen. If you see this logo, your Zoom meeting is using end-to-end encryption.