What is Zoom Bombing?

Zoom Bombing is the unwanted intrusion into a Zoom meeting by an individual which causes disruption.  These uninvited guests share their screens to bombard real attendees with disturbing or distracting content. Most attacks exploit publicly available Zoom links. Depending on your personal settings, however, some ostensibly private meetings may also be vulnerable. Below are a few strategies that ensure your meetings are not disrupted.

Learn more about recently added security features: Zoom Blog

Host Public Events on Zoom

If you share your meeting link on social media or another public location, anyone with the link can join your meeting. You may, however, occasionally require a meeting link (for office hours, for instance) that is open to a broader community of students than just one class. Here are some tips you can use to help when a public meeting space is necessary:

Manage Screen Sharing

The simplest way to retain control of screen sharing in a Zoom meeting is never to give it up in the first place. To prevent random people in your public event from taking control of the screen, restrict sharing to yourself

You can do this before or during the meeting by using the host controls at the bottom of the interface. Click the arrow next to “Share Screen”, and then select “Advanced Sharing Options.” Under “Who can share?” choose “ Host Only” and close the window. You can also lock the Screen Share by default for all your meetings in your web settings.

Manage Participants

  • “Lock” the meeting: When you lock a Zoom Meeting that’s already started, no new participants can join, even with an approved meeting ID and password. During a meeting, click “Participants” at the bottom of your Zoom window. In the Participants pop-up, click the button that says “Lock Meeting.”

  • Set up a password: A password adds an additional layer of security, one that may be useful for meetings outside of regular class hours. You may wish to share the password in your syllabus or direct emails to your students or classmates.

  • Remove unwanted or disruptive participants: From the same “Participants” menu, hover your mouse over a participant’s name. Several options will appear, including “Remove.” Click that to kick someone out of the meeting.

  • Allow removed participants to rejoin: When you do remove someone, they can’t rejoin the meeting. But you can toggle your settings to allow removed participants to rejoin, in case you boot the wrong person.

  • Put attendees on hold: When a host places everyone else on hold, attendees’ video and audio connections are disabled momentarily. A host can also put individual participants on hold. To do so, click on someone’s video thumbnail and select “Start Attendee On Hold” to activate this feature. Click “Take Off Hold” in the Participants list when you’re ready to have them back.

  • Disable attendees’ video: Hosts can turn anyone’s video off. This allows them to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate gestures on video.

  • Mute participants: Hosts can mute/unmute individual participants or all of them at once to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise. You can also enable Mute Upon Entry in your settings to reduce confusion in large meetings.

  • Turn off file transfer: In-meeting file transfer allows participants to share files through the chat interface. Toggle this off to keep the chat from getting bombarded with unsolicited images, GIFs, or other files.

  • Turn off annotation: You and your attendees can annotate a screen share to mark up content. You can disable the annotation feature in your Zoom settings to prevent disruptive misuses of this feature.

  • Disable private chat: Zoom has in-meeting chat for everyone, but participants can also message each other directly. Restrict participants’ ability to chat privately while your event is going on to limit distractions that may reduce engagement by participants.

Add a Waiting Room (now the default setting)

One of the best ways to use Zoom for public events is to enable the Waiting Room feature. As its name suggests, the Waiting Room is a virtual staging area that prevents participants from joining until you’re ready for them. Meeting hosts can customize Waiting Room settings for additional control, including with a unique message to alert users that they’re in the right place or set guidelines for the meeting. To set up a waiting room, consult the following instructions:

  1. Sign in to your account in the Zoom Web Portal and access the “Settings” tab. 

  2. Click on the “In Meeting (Advanced)” option.

  3. Search or scroll to find the “Waiting Room” option. 

  4. Toggle the button next to “Waiting Room” to enable this feature.

  5. After enabling the Waiting Room feature, you can choose either to send all participants to the Waiting Room when they join or to send only external accounts there. You can also allow approved participants to admit guests from the Waiting Room if the host has not yet arrived to the meeting.

Learn more about Waiting Rooms

New Added Security Features

The meeting host will now have a Security option in their meeting controls, which exposes all of Zoom’s existing in-meeting security controls in one place. This includes locking the meeting, enabling Waiting Room, and more. Users can also now enable Waiting Room in a meeting, even if the feature was not turned on before the start of the meeting.

Invite Button on Meeting Client Toolbar
The button to invite others to join your Zoom meeting is now available at the bottom of the Participants panel.

Meeting ID No Longer Displayed
The meeting ID will no longer be displayed in the title bar of the Zoom meeting window. The meeting ID can be found by clicking on Participants, then Invite or by clicking on the info icon at the top left of the client window.

Remove Attendee Attention Tracking Feature
Zoom has removed the attendee attention tracker feature. For more background on this change see a note from CEO, Eric S. Yuan.

File Transfers
The option to do third-party file transfers in Meeting and Chat was temporarily disabled. Local file transfer is available with the latest release. Third-party file transfers and clickable URLs in meeting chat will be added back in an upcoming release.

New Join Flow for the Web client
By default, users will now need to sign in to their Zoom account or create a Zoom account when joining a meeting with the Web client. This can be disabled by the Admin or the User from their settings page. 

Join Before Host Emails Disabled
Notifications sent to the host via email when participants are waiting for the host to join the meeting have been disabled.

Setting to Allow Participants to Rename Themselves
Account admins and hosts can now disable the ability for participants to rename themselves in any meeting. This setting is available at the account, group, and user level in the Web portal.

Please be sure to 
update to get the latest release and to take advantage of these new features. You can also register for our webinar to get an overview of this latest release, and subscribe to the Zoom Blog for more information and resources in the days to come.