“Zoom bombing” is when uninvited (and unwanted) Zoom meeting attendees hijack a video conference with unwanted and inappropriate content including audio, video, screensharing, or even transferring unwanted files in chat.
Many companies, schools, churches, and even individuals having video calls with their family rely on Zoom trying to continue life as normal during the current COVID-19 crisis. Keeping these video conferences safe, smooth and productive has been a challenge, so here are 10 settings you can use right now to help prevent Zoom bombing.
All of these settings are found in your account webpage under Admin -> Account Management -> Account Settings. I don’t use all of 10 of these settings – only a few. So pick and choose which combination will work best for you.
Also make sure to watch and share the video at the bottom of the page for a recorded step-by-step walkthrough. Thanks!
1. Don’t allow participants to join your Zoom meeting before the host.
I never allow participants in my Zoom meetings to join before I do. If they do attempt to join earlier than me, they will stay on hold until I join. Make sure you disable the “Join before host” feature.
2. Authenticate users attempting to join your meeting.
You can require anyone trying to join your meeting to be authenticated by enabling the feature “Only authenticated users can join Zoom meetings.” You can authenticate attendees using their email address or a user group that you can create in your host account.
3. Use passwords.
You can require your attendees to enter a password whether they join by computer or phone, but be careful with how you disseminate password information to your attendees.
4. Mute participants by default upon entry to the meeting.
If you enable the feature to “Mute participants upon entry”, you can enable the host to control whether or not attendees can unmute themselves.
5. Consider disabling the chat feature.
I don’t personally ever disable the chat feature, but I have heard of unwanted guests sending inappropriate comments to the entire group.
6. Disable file transfer (IMPORTANT).
Disable the file transfer feature. I never transfer files through Zoom, and leaving it on opens the door for someone to transfer unwanted files including a virus.
7. Disable screen sharing for anyone but the host (IMPORTANT).
If the nature of my meeting allows (and it usually does), don’t allow participants to share their screen. This is probably the most common type of Zoom bomb – or in other words, an unwanted attendee sharing their screen and presenting inappropriate images such as pornography. I leave Screen sharing in “host only” mode.
8. Don’t let attendees that you kicked out rejoin the meeting.
If an unwanted guest joined your meeting, it’s almost certain that they have the meeting link, meeting ID, and meeting password if you’re using one. That means they can get right back in if you kick them out. Solve this by DISABLING the feature “Allow removed participants to rejoin.”
9. Disable virtual backgrounds.
I’ve never had to do this before, but technically, an unwanted attendee could get around the measures above by simply changing their virtual background to an inappropriate image. This isn’t something I’ve ever had to deal with, but it’s something to consider.
10. Use a waiting room.
The “Waiting room” feature allows the host to manage who can join the meeting. With the Waiting room feature enabled, an attendee that joins your meeting gets redirected to a waiting room which is just a screen that acts sort of like being put on hold. The host then gets notified that someone is trying to enter, and based on how the attendee signed in, the host can allow or disallow entrance into the meeting.