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

Covid19: Prioritizing small groups, moving small group ministry online with ZOOM

Subscribe here to listen via my Podcast.

Congregational leaders, this is another digital strategy session to support you as we work to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. For many of you, that means moving your ministry online.

In this session, we’re talking small group ministry.

Specifically, why I want you to prioritize moving your small group ministry program online — I recommend using ZOOM video for group meetings.

If you don’t have an existing small group ministry program, that’s okay! You can simply focus on launching a digital small group ministry now.

Doing so will help with present social distancing and will likely lead to an interest in participation when you’re promoting group-based ministry at a later time.

I know how much work and energy it takes to embrace and learn new models. Many of you are accelerating your learning and experimenting at lightning speed. You can do it!

Peter Bowden

What if we have to cancel church because of the Covid19 Coronavirus?

On covid19, social distancing, limiting large gatherings, and your digital ministry strategy.

This is a strategy session to get your congregation thinking about the Covid19 coronavirus and your digital strategy should you face community spread and required “social distancing” such as limiting large gatherings and quarantines.

Specifically, how can we use social media, live video, and other tools to accomplish the work and ministry of your congregation without gathering face-to-face? This is something we need to be preparing for and I have strategy ideas to get you thinking.

Listen via my Podcast – subscribe here.







REFERENCED IN THIS SESSION

CONNECT WITH PETER

Text the word PETER to 1 (833) 306-0201 

This will connect us via my text platform.  Once we’re connected, whenever you have questions related to podcast episodes, videos, or other content, you can send me a message directly.  This is NOT a group chat. It is a way for you to share questions with me one-on-one. I also send out low volume updates about live recording sessions and other opportunities to connect.

PRIVATE STRATEGY SESSIONS

I work with nonprofit and congregational leaders across the United States on community building, digital leadership, and other connecting strategies. For private executive and team strategy sessions, please email me. Once I verify we’re a match to work together, I’ll send you a scheduling link.

The Future of Facebook, Congregations, and Meaningful Community

 

Does your congregation use Facebook?  If so, you’ll want to watch this Facebook Live discussion on the Future of Facebook, congregations, and meaningful community below.

  Make sure to subscribe to email updates so you can join the live conversation! Not on Facebook or just want recordings?  Subscribe to my Youtube Channel.

What did Zuck say to promp this conversation?   At the F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg shared a vision for the future of Facebook including an intensified focus privacy, encryption, ephemeral content, and connecting people with “meaningful community” via Facebook groups. The group focus is already rolling out. You’ve seen the changes if you updated your app.

As Facebook works to drive people into groups, we need to make sure your congregation has a Facebook strategy that takes advantage of this group focus and helps people successfully connect with your congregation offline, face-to-face.

Tracking these changes and discussing related strategies is something I’ll continue to discuss via social media and in my Leading Congregations Monthly trainings.  If you’re interested in this topic, make sure you subscribe to my email newsletter so you get notifcations for live chats, video releases (like the one above), and training topics.

This session was recorded May 10, 2019 in my Facebook group for Unitarian Universalist Leaders.

Here’s Zuckerberg’s full F8 talk:

Office Hours: Digital Culture and Congregational Membership

Happy Friday friends. Facebook LIVE office hours (1/18/19) answering some of your questions about digital culture and congregational membership development.

UPCOMING EVENTS: See below for 3 upcoming events, 2 Boston area, one online!

Wed, Jan 23 – Metro West RE Cluster – “Spiritual Life in the Digital Age”
I’m leading program for our local cluster of religious educators exploring how digital devices are disrupting spiritual growth and development. After my presentation, we’ll discuss the impact on parenting, family interactions, etc… Email or FB Message me if you’re an area religious educator and didn’t get the email through your network.

Sat, Feb 2UU Social Media and Membership Growth in Needham, MA
Social media, smartphones, and constant access to the internet is fundamentally changing how people form relationships, consume information and make important life decisions.  This has significant implications for congregations, especially with regard to how we share our news and announcements, and how we invite people into membership.    Learn More and Register

 

Wed, Feb 13Leading Congregations Monthly Live online training. February’s session is going deeper into Facebook Strategy, including report back from my review of how the fastest growing churches in the United States are using Facebook. Learn more.

Missed Leading Congregations Monthly January Video Bootcamp? The recording is in the member area. Join us to participate in live monthly sessions and access all previous sessions and handouts.

Leading Congregations Monthly in March will be focused on small group based congregational growth strategies. One of my favorite topics!

NEW ENGLAND SNOW STORM
Stay safe everyone!

T-SHIRT
Today’s t-shirt “Providence: Weird Since 1636” is brought to you by my sister, a member of my home congregation, the First Unitarian Church of Providence.

Embracing Family Ministry with Laura Beth Brown

 

In this Facebook Live conversation with Laura Beth Brown and Peter Bowden we discuss “Embracing Family Ministry” based on Laura Beth’s popular workshops and role as Director of Family Ministry at Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation is Summit, NJ.

We discuss how her congregation’s approach to family ministry is drawing inspiration from the book “Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age” by Juana Bordas
and what some of the resulting changes look like.

From my discussion with Laura Beth in preparation for our interview, I learned that she leads workshops related to volunteer/stewardship strategy and creating a spirit of generosity and therefore, sustainability in our congregations.

Scroll down for more on Laura Beth Brown and links to people and resources mentioned in this video.

You may also watch this on my UU PLANET Youtube Channel.

GUEST INFORMATION

Laura Beth Brown is a 500-hr Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, an amateur grill chef, and the Director of Family Ministry at Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, NJ.

She is primarily a vinyasa and prenatal yoga instructor with a therapeutic yoga lens and has certifications in Prenatal, Children’s Yoga, and Off The Mat Into the World (the bridge between yoga, self inquiry, and effective community action). As a singer/song-leader and harmonium player, she also leads call-and-response community singing known as kirtan, a form of Bhakti yoga, or the yoga of devotion. As a yogi, Laura Beth leads workshops in Bhakti Yoga, Prenatal yoga, and Conscious Activism.

In role as a religious educator, Laura Beth has led 12-hr workshops on Embracing Family Ministry with her Ministerial Supervisor, the Rev. Emilie Boggis, at this year’s Center Institute for ministers, and then again on Star Island for religious educators. Just last month, she presented at LREDA Fall Conference as well. She also leads workshops on volunteer strategy called Stop Recruiting, Start Retaining as a means of collective sustainability for congregations.

RELATED LINKS

Kim Sweeney and Courageous Faith Consulting
https://kimsweeney.com

The blog by Rev. Emmily Boggis “Reflections on Parenting in the Pew” may be found on the home page of the Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation  website.
http://summitbeacon.org

The Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA)
https://www.lreda.org

Peter Bowden’s UU PLANET Facebook group for Unitarian Universalist congregational leaders, staff, and religious professionals.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/uuplanet

As always, please share this post with others who might appreciate this conversation.

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