Ask Dr. Webbie
Is there an Internet question you'd like to see answered in a future edition of Website Compass? Email your question to DrWebbie@WebsiteCompass.com.
To assist him in answering your question as specifically as possible, be sure to include the following: the name of the browser you are using (i.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0, Firefox 2.0, etc.), the name of the email software you are using (i.e. Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0, OS 10.4 Mail, etc.), and the version of your system software (i.e. Windows 98, Windows XP, etc.)
QUESTION: What exactly is "Zoombombing" and how can I prevent it from happening to me?
Zoombombing is when internet trolls crash Zoom video conferences and flood them with inappropriate content. Public school classes, support group meetings, church services, and other virtual gatherings have all been targeted. While it's nearly impossible to completely prevent these attacks, there are steps you can take to increase security.
- Never use your personal meeting ID. Each Zoom user has a personal meeting ID — think of it as your Zoom phone number. When creating a meeting, you can use your personal ID or generate a random one, and you should always generate a random meeting ID.
- Always use a meeting password. Zoom sends meeting passwords out to all invitees when invitations are sent. If you're worried that someone unwanted may get the password, create the meeting without one set, update the meeting to add a password, and send it out to invitees in a separate email or via another form of communication.
- Don't share your Zoom link or code on social media. Instead, publicize an R.S.V.P. email address where people can state their interest in attending the event. That way, you can vet the list of prospective attendees and share the event link with only those whom you choose.
- Enable Zoom's waiting room feature. Each user who connects is put in a queue and the meeting host has to approve them. If you don't recognize someone in the waiting room, don't let them in.
- Turn off screen sharing for everyone but the meeting host. Zoom bombers need to be able to visually take over a meeting to be effective.
QUESTION: What's the best way to safely clean my devices?
Regularly cleaning your smartphones, laptops, and other devices has always been a good idea, but given the concern over the spread of COVID-19, this task has taken on new significance.
Before covering the best ways to clean, let's review what NOT to do. Things to avoid include bleach, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products like Lysol sprays.
Apple recommends using 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox wipes to effectively clean the exterior of iPhones. Before cleaning, switch off your device and make sure it is unplugged. Samsung advises its customers of a similar procedure. Both companies also recommend using a soft, lint-free microfiber cleaning cloth to gently wipe the device.
Computers and Laptops
Dust large areas with a microfiber cloth or a mitt. Use a soft, small (clean) paintbrush to dust keys and small crevices. Canned compressed air also works well to dislodge dust and other small debris that can be difficult to remove. Depending on your manufacturer's suggestion, you can most likely use a barely damp microfiber or screen-safe cloth to effectively clean the screen.
Remotes and Controllers
Use a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol or an alcohol wipe to disinfect surfaces. If you have pesky crevices, use a cotton swab or toothpick to dislodge debris.