How to Prevent Zoombombing

Zoombombing has a scary ring, and has already spawned many urban legends. But there is really no mystery. It’s a name for incidents when unwanted visitors crash Zoom meetings with offensive messages, or even pornography. This has happened to public schools’ online classrooms and other large meetings. Fortunately, some caution in setting up and managing your own meetings can prevent this.

Invite participants to your meeting via individual invitations. This ensures you know who is likely to come.  Invitations give you more control than a link in a group email blast, public website, or Facebook. 

In your Zoom account settings, are many useful controls for scheduling and conducting a meeting. Here are some settings that help prevent Zoombombing:

  • Set a password for the meeting to keep unwanted participants out. Zoom now requires passwords for most meetings 
  • Lock the meeting so that no new people can join after it starts.
  • Prevent participants from screen sharing.
  • Prevent participants from turning their audio and video on and off. (As host, you will need to ensure that audio and video are enabled at the appropriate times during the call. You can control this from the Participants list.)

If you require participants to join after the meeting starts, or share their screens, there are still some steps you can take:

  • From the “Manage Participants” list, you can cancel an unwanted participant’s video and audio feed, or boot them out of the meeting entirely.
  • If you are using the waiting room feature, you can banish the unwanted participant to the waiting room and leave them there.
  • If there is no waiting room, you can put an unwanted participant on Hold and leave them there.

Zoom is moving quickly to resolve security issues, and eliminate unpleasant surprises. Between their vigilance and your own precautions, the odds of being hit by a surprise Zoom bomb are small.

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