So here’s a word we’ve now added to our English language in the past week…. Zoom Bombing!
YIKES! In the era of virtual meetings and bringing people together when they can’t physically be together, we have Zoom Bomb Hackers infiltrating our well-intentioned meetings and creating disruption. But my friends, there are ways of preventing Zoom Bombing and lots of resources are being created to help you combat unwelcome intruders.
First and foremost, many Zoom Bombs can be prevented by the planner taking some time to learn the Zoom video-conferencing tool (or facsimile) and the features that come with hosting a virtual meeting. Zoom has a number of tutorials including this great beginner video on how to use the tool. Planners, you can use some of these tips for you as the event host, but also as training points for your attendees.
Here are some Zoom Bombing Prevention Best Practices (these courtesy of the Better Business Bureau)
- Use a unique ID for large or public Zoom calls – When you create a Zoom account, the app assigns users a Personal Meeting ID (PMI). When hosting a large Zoom call where your membership or meeting attendees are attending, it’s better to use a one-time code rather than a user’s PMI. If not, hijackers can use the PMI to try and jump in on your Zoom calls at any time. When you schedule a Zoom meeting, look for the Meeting ID options and choose Generate Automatically.
- Require a meeting password – For those private hosting meetings, password protections are on by default. Keep those protections on to prevent uninvited users from joining. It’s only an option when you generate a unique ID, not when you use your PMI.
- Don’t share the unique ID publicly- Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific meeting attendees via email or other private communications (ie “members only password protected area of website, private social media groups)
- Allow only hosts to share their screen– Don’t let anyone hijack the screen during a Zoom call. To prevent it, make sure your settings indicate that the only people allowed to share their screens are hosts. Navigate to Personal > Settings > In Meeting (Basic) and look for Screen sharing. Check the option that only allows the host to share.
- Create a waiting room– When participants log into the call, they see a Waiting Room screen that you can customize. They aren’t let into the call until you, the host, lets them in. Hosts allow people in all at once or one at a time, This lets you screen the attendees and if you see names you don’t recognize in the Waiting Room, you don’t have to let them in at all. More instructions for enabling Waiting Room here.
- Create an invite-only meeting– If you have Pro, Business, Education, or Enterprise Zoom accounts, enable “Authentication Profiles” settings, so anyone who tries to join your meeting without proper authorization will see a notification on their screen telling them that the video conference is for authorized attendees only.
- Lock a meeting once it starts- If you start a meeting and all attendees have joined, hosts can lock the meeting from new participants. During the session, navigate to the bottom of the screen and click Manage Participants. The Participants panel will open. At the bottom, choose More > Lock Meeting.
- Remove attendees or put them on hold– Hosts can kick unruly attendees out of a call or put them on hold. To remove an attendee, hover over the name of the person you want to remove on the Participants panel on the right. When options appear, choose Remove. By default, an ousted guest cannot rejoin.To put the guest on hold: During the call, find the video thumbnail of the person you want to put on hold. Click on their video image and select Start Attendee On Hold. Hosts can reverse this action by clicking Take Off Hold in the Participants panel.
- Disable the participant’s camera– Hosts can turn off any participant’s camera by opening the Participants panel and clicking on the video camera icon next to the person’s name.
- Keep Disable File Transfer settings active– Keep default settings on to Disable File Transfer to limit participants from sharing files, including images and animated GIFs within the chat. Open Settings in the Zoom web app (it’s not in the desktop app). On the left side, go to Personal > Settings. Then click In Meeting (Basic). Scroll down until you see File Transfer and slide the toggle to disable.
Zoom has published an article in response to Zoom Bombing, you can check out that article here.
Friends, if you need additional tools beyond Zoom for your next meeting, please reach out – we have a number of tools at ConferenceDirect, and a webinar coming up on April 14, 2020 – you can register to attend that webinar here.
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