Prevent Zoom Bombing: Tips, Settings, and Controls to Help Protect Your Meetings

Zoom bombing is on the rise! Don’t let your online meetings, worship services, and other gatherings get hijacked. Here are tips, settings, and practices to help you protect your meetings.

Zoom Update: Fri, Apr 3rd Zoom emailed users an announcement noting that “Starting April 5th, we’ve chosen to enable passwords on your meetings and turn on Waiting Rooms by default as additional security enhancements to protect your privacy.”

This means that your accounts will soon default to having the PASSWORD and WAITING ROOM features turned on. Think through your security before turning these off.

What is Zoom Bombing

“Zoom Bombing” is when someone crashes a Zoom meeting or webinar and shares inappropriate content, hate speech, or other nasty disruptions.

In short, you shared a meeting link online, the internet trolls found it, and they’re making serious trouble. Best to protect your meetings before you ever have to face such a situation.

12 Ways to Protect Your Zoom Meetings

There are many settings you may enable to help protect your meetings. Everyone hosting Zoom meetings should change their global settings before their next meeting so participants can’t screen share or share files.

Here is a screen recording sharing the same content. I walk through the primary meeting setting and controls you should be aware of.

This includes how to remove someone from a meeting, turn off a participant’s video, mute participants, and disable the chat.

Meeting Links Already Public?

If you have already created and shared unprotected Zoom meeting links, you should think through your plan for if or when you get Zoom bombed, as make sure you turn off screen sharing and file sharing for participants.

How are you going to manage the situation?

In most cases, I think you are going to want to END YOUR MEETING immediately.

Keep in mind that if ONE Zoom Bomber enters your meeting, you should expect MANY MORE to follow. I know someone who had 30 people crash a meeting! It was horrific.

Be Prepared, Know the Controls

If you are Zoom bombed, it is likely to be shocking and traumatic. Be familiar with the controls you’ll use to manage the situation. You don’t want your delay to give more the Zoom Bomber more chat and screen time.

Be ready to say, “Hey, we’re being Zoom bombed! We’re going to end this meeting and will be in touch shortly.” and click END MEETING.

The following walks through some relevant controls. Note that this is an excerpt from the longer screen recording video above.

LOCK MEETING FEATURE

Someone asked me my thoughts on using the “Lock Meeting” option.

This is a great feature to be aware of, especially if you’ve already shared some links in a way that might tempt the trolls.

Once a meeting has started and all participants are present, you can lock the meeting so no one can come in. This doesn’t help you if you are doing a drop-in office hour session or it is the start of the meeting.

If you are Zoom bombed and there is only one offender, you could immediately lock the meeting to prevent others to come in and then remove the Z-bomber.

LOCK MEETING from the bottom of the PARTICIPANT MANAGEMENT panel. Click MORE next to the mute all / unmute all options. Then select LOCK MEETING. This prevents anyone from entering the meeting from that point on.

REMOVE PARTICIPANT by using the ••• three dots over their video and then choosing REMOVE, or by hovering over their name in the participant list and choosing MORE and then REMOVE.

Do you need help with your strategy and bringing your work online? Contact me to discuss strategy and skill training sessions to support your organization.

UPDATE: Due to increased demand, I am setting up an application form to collect basic information about your organization and needs so I can choose to work with the organizations I am the best match for. This will be rolling out after the weekend. I’ll send out to my email list as soon as it is live. Subscribe here.

Related Articles

How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event by Zoom

How to set-up a Zoom meeting to reduce risk from trolls and opponents disrupting your meeting  by PowerLabs

2020 and the Digital Path to Membership

With the New Year people are looking to connect with organizations, from visiting a local congregation to joining a fitness club or getting involved in the climate movement.

Social media and digital culture are changing how people research and connect with these organizations.

In this episode, I share ways leaders and their organizations can support the digital side of this process to help more people successfully connect.

Listen to this via my podcast! Subscribe here.

We need to “Reclaim Conversation”

Professor Sherry Turkle is the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.  She studies human connection is being impacted by technology and our online lives.  Through her work and most recent book “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age” she challenges us to look closely at our new forms of connections, the impact technology is having on our lives, and offers conversation as the rememdy.  In this video she shares her work at Google’s office in Cambridge, MA.

While Turkle offers conversation as a remedy, we still need the HOW TO. How do you work coversation into our human institutions? How do you create spaces and structures to prioritize the conversations we need to have?  The “how to” is the purpose of the Small Group Lab. To receive resources as we release them, please sign up for Small Group Lab updates.

Related Videos:

Small Group Lab Events – Boston

Over at the Small Group Lab we are seeking corporations, nonprofits, and other organizations in the Greater Boston area interested holding a Small Group Lab community building event. This is in conjunction with our field testing and ongoing resource development process.   What kind of organizations are we seeking?

  • Organization interested in strengthening their community
  • Can gather 30 to 150 staff and volunteers in their own space to participate
  • Has facility with flexible seating for the above number of participants
  • Participants able to meet for a single two hour session
  • Participant feedback at the end of session and via questionnaire

There are group practices, activities, and conversations that have a powerful impact on all types of communities, but also context specific opportunities we want to identify, refine, and share.

Why focus on building community?  Stronger relationships have many potential benefits including increased communication, collaboration, and creativity.  Our ability to work together and the quality of that work is dependent on our relationships.

We are reaching out directly to organizations, but welcome inquiries via referral and this website. Please contact me with your interest.

Insight from a 75-year study is simple, relationships drive happiness.

In his Ted Talk on What makes good life? psychiatrist Robert Waldinger shares insight from directing a 75-year-old study on adult development.  He shares that happiness is not about fame and money, but instead, relationship.  Read more about this study: “Scientists spent 75 years studying happiness and this is what they learned.”

Do you have a video on the power of connection and community that you’d like to share with our  Small Group Lab community? community?  Share it and tag @SmallGroupLab on Facebook or Twitter.

Sparking a Small Group Revolution

As we enter this New Year, let’s talk intention. The mission of my new project the Small Group Lab is to strengthen the social fabric of human society.  Kind of big, I know.  But that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years offline.  Now I’m working to bring the models and resources online.

This is going to be a collaborative project.   First, I am going to work to take what I believe are the most successful and flexible small group models from my work over the years and make them available as Creative Commons resources.

There are a lot of specific programs and curricula available, often branded and tied to organizations.  I want to take the best group knowledge I have and share it.  From there, we can work together to adapt it, remix it, together.  As we move forward, I’ll be sharing models for gathering groups, facilitation and other guides, example session plans and templates.

As these Creative Commons small group resources are released, the hope is that more and more people will create, adapt, and share related resources and session plans.  Together we can support each other in designing, launching, and facilitating amazing groups and networks of groups.

These can range from personal friendship-based groups, groups connected to social justice causes, corporations, or other contexts.  Ultimately, it is about helping people use proven models to connect and accomplish more together.

I am working on the first batch and iteration of resources now.  If you are interested in receiving them, please sign up to receive Small Group Lab updates!

In community,
Peter