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.

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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

Online Worship? Zoom Meeting versus Zoom Webinar

Congregations are moving their worship services online in response to the Covid19 coronavirus. Many are choosing Zoom as a platform.

This raises the question, should your congregation use Zoom Meeting or Zoom Webinar?

I’ve been discussing this with clients and colleagues.

Here’s a quick discussion of considerations following Zoom’s comparison chart.