COVID-Related Boom Reveals Video Conferencing’s Dark Side

"Disclosure of personal data, recording sensitive information, or storing people's profiles on unauthorized servers are some of the risks that go hand in hand with the use of video-conferencing tools," says Skopje-based cybersecurity practitioner Daniel Trenchov.

"Greater use of virtual telecommunication tools does eliminate pandemic-induced risks," he adds, "but not necessarily cybersecurity ones."

Zoom 'bombing' is on the rise:

Illustration. Photo: EFE/MATTIA SEDDA

Last Friday, Michael Oghia, a Belgrade-based internet governance consultant, was getting ready for his weekly Zoom conference call with colleagues all over the world.

Research by, an international e-commerce platform, says interest in video messaging clients has increased by seven times since the coronavirus restrictions were introduced in many European countries.

WhatsApp was the most frequently searched messaging app in 22 European countries. It is also a favourite app in the Czech Republic, Albania, Romania and Turkey.

Worldwide interest in the Zoom video app is skyrocketing, in Europe as well, with it being the most popular app in 14 countries, including Moldova, North Macedonia and Slovenia.

Besides WhatsApp and Zoom, people were massively using Skype - in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Greece, Viber - in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, and Microsoft teams - in Croatia and Bulgaria. analyzed the average number of online search queries of 19 messaging clients which enable video chatting.

Usually, the group uses these meetings to chat and discuss ongoing social developments. This time, however, they experienced something more unpleasant.

"Around 45 minutes into the event, when one...

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