The Billings Police Department is encouraging local residents to follow several online security procedures following possible internet crimes that occurred during a video conference meeting on Sunday (5/3).

According to a press release, the First Congressional Church reported a video involving child pornography being shared during a video conference on Sunday (5/4). The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is investigating currently investigating.

A video conference incident at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on April 26, that was "inappropriate in nature involving an unidentified adult male," was also reported yesterday (5/4) by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Billings Police is treating that incident as "informational only" and has "inactivated" the investigation.

Hackers have started focusing on video conferencing, which has gotten the attention of the FBI, according to Fox Business News. Because of the security vulnerabilities, "Zoombombing" is becoming a trend. This is when a hacker will join and disrupt a Zoom meeting with inappropriate comments and images.

"Zoombombing" reports are coming in from around the country, including several from Massachusetts, according to Fox News. One hacker interrupted a virtual high school class with profanities, and revealed the teacher's home address. Another school meeting was disrupted by a person who showed his swastika tattoos.

Here are general online security practices the Billings Police Department is recommending the public uses during online video conferences:

  • Create a unique ID and password for each meeting.
  • Don’t publicly publish meeting ID and passwords.
  • Use invitation only functions.
  • Enable waiting room functions.
  • Disable join before host, screen sharing, and other remote functions.
  • Lock the meeting once everyone has joined.

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