How To Mitigate Zoom Bombing
What is Zoom-Bombing?
Zoom-bombing is when someone joins and disrupts your meeting with inappropriate audio, video or screen sharing content. Here's what to do before, during, and after a Zoom-bombing incident.
If you share your meeting link on social media or another public location, anyone with the link can join your meeting. You may, however, occasionally require a meeting link (for office hours, for instance) that is open to a broader community of students than just one class. Here are some tips you can use to help when a public meeting space is necessary:
- Avoid using your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) to host public events. Your PMI is essentially one continuous meeting, and people can pop in and out all the time. Learn about meeting IDs and how to generate a random meeting ID. Full video tutorial.
- Familiarize yourself with Zoom’s settings and features. Understand how to protect your virtual space when you need to. For example, the Waiting Room is a helpful feature for hosts to control who comes and goes.
- Restrict entry to Drexel community members. If someone tries to join your event and isn’t logged into Zoom with an invited email account, they will be forced to authenticate their credentials.
- Set up a password: A password adds an additional layer of security, one that may be useful for meetings outside of regular class hours. You may wish to share the password in your syllabus or direct emails to your students or classmates.
- Adding a Waiting Room - One of the best ways to use Zoom for public events is to enable the Waiting Room feature. As its name suggests, the Waiting Room is a virtual staging area that prevents participants from joining until you’re ready for them. Meeting hosts can customize Waiting Room settings for additional control, including with a unique message to alert users that they’re in the right place or set guidelines for the meeting. To set up a waiting room, consult the following instructions:
- Sign in to your account at drexel.zoom.us and access the "Settings" tab.
- Click on the "In Meeting (Advanced)" option.
- Search or scroll to find the "Waiting Room" option.
- Toggle the button next to "Waiting Room" to enable this feature.
- After enabling the Waiting Room feature, you can choose either to send all participants to the Waiting Room when they join or to send only external accounts there. You can also allow approved participants to admit guests from the Waiting Room if the host has not yet arrived.
Managing Screen Sharing
The simplest way to retain control of screen sharing in a Zoom meeting is never to give it up in the first place. To prevent random people in your public event from taking control of the screen, restrict sharing to yourself.
You can do this before or during the meeting by using the host controls at the bottom of the interface. Click the arrow next to "Share Screen," and then select "Advanced Sharing Options." Under "Who can share?" choose "Host Only" and close the window. You can also lock the Screen Share by default for all your meetings in your web settings.
Below are some suggested methods that enable hosts to limit meeting attendance and control how attendees participate.
- "Lock" the meeting: When you lock a Zoom Meeting that's already started, no new participants can join, even with an approved meeting ID and password. During a meeting, click "Security" at the bottom of your Zoom window. In the Participants pop-up, click the button that says "Lock Meeting."
- Remove unwanted or disruptive participants: From the same "Participants" menu, hover your mouse over a participant's name. Several options will appear, including "Remove." Click that to kick someone out of the meeting.
- Allow removed participants to rejoin: When you do remove someone, they can’t rejoin the meeting. But you can toggle your settings to allow removed participants to rejoin, in case you boot the wrong person.
- Disable attendees' video: Hosts can turn anyone’s video off. This allows them to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate gestures on video.
- Mute participants: Hosts can mute/unmute individual participants or all of them at once to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise. You can also enable Mute Upon Entry in your settings to reduce confusion in large meetings.
- Turn off file transfer: In-meeting file transfer allows participants to share files through the chat interface. Toggle this off to keep the chat from getting bombarded with unsolicited images, GIFs, or other files.
- Turn off annotation: You and your attendees can annotate a screen share to mark up content. You can disable the annotation feature in your Zoom settings to prevent disruptive misuses of this feature.
- Disable private chat: Zoom has in-meeting chat for everyone, but participants can also message each other directly. Restrict participants’ ability to chat privately while your event is going on to limit distractions that may reduce engagement by participants.
If you are a victim of Zoom-bombing, report it Drexel IT at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the meeting ID, the name of the meeting, the name of the host and the date and time it occurred.