Coronavirus News: 7 On Your Side has tips to protect your online meetings from hackers

NEW YORK (WABC) -- In this age of virtual meetings, Zoom has become the most downloaded app in the U.S., but it could put your privacy and information at risk.

We are connecting virtually now more than ever before.

But the online tools which have made COVID-19 so bearable are akin to letting a stranger right into your own room, or your child's bedroom.

"When you have these applications open anyone can get into your phone camera or your computer camera at any time," New York State Director of Consumer Protection Paula O'Brien said. "You don't want hackers sitting in your living room."

The director warns Zoom 'bombing' is gaining in popularity.

That's when an uninvited guest crashes an online video meeting. Recently a teacher's class on Zoom was crashed by someone showing explicit material to minors.

There's even a tutorial on YouTube that 40,000 people have viewed on how to hack into private online meetings.

The default settings on many apps are relaxed. Make sure you toggle off and reset privacy settings. Don't allow the video or audio to record while you're not using the app.

You should also password protect your meeting, create a waiting room and ring tone to announce visitors and recognize you're being recorded.

And as the director demonstrates, cover up your webcam when you're not using it.

One of the most disturbing things Director O'Brien found -- is the first thing you're asked when you download Zoom is to input your birthday.

When it comes to sharing info like this, experts say to lie.

Your date of birth combined with your email, if you share passwords, is really like the keys to your online identity and hackers are just using online meetings as another piece of the puzzle to break in to your virtual house and steal from you.

Remember, never use the same login and passwords across accounts.

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