I heard from a faculty member yesterday that some unwelcome visitors hacked her Zoom virtual classroom. “Zoombombing” – as it is referred to – is when uninvited attendees join and disrupt the Zoom meeting and begin annotating, sharing screens and inappropriate images. The instructor removed the guests but they repeatedly logged back in and she was forced to end the meeting early.
There are number of things that the meeting host can do to prevent this from happening by modifying the meeting settings and learning how to manage the meeting once it has started.
In meeting settings:
Require attendees to enter a password to join the meeting. Although one of the settings permits embedding the password into the meeting URL, it might make sense to send the password in an email to your students, separately from the meeting URL / ID.
Another option is to require meeting attendees to register for the meeting. Rather than posting the meeting URL publicly, send an invitation to your students requiring them to register for the meeting. Each attendee is sent an unique link and only those registering for the meeting will be admitted.
Turn off “File Transfer”. One concern is that uninvited attendees can post malicious files in the chat window. Instead of sharing course materials within Zoom, post them to Blackboard or in a Google Drive folder set up specifically for your class.
Turn off Screen Sharing except for the Host. This is something that can be modified and turned back on from within the Zoom meeting once the meeting is secure.
During the meeting:
Once all of your students are present and accounted for, Lock the Meeting and evict any unwelcome visitors. This prevents anyone else from joining or rejoining after being evicted from the meeting.
Turn off “Allow Participants to Un-mute Themselves” and then Mute All. This will require students to use the chat feature to post questions and comments but will also prevent others from making loud and offensive sounds or language.
For more information on how to prevent your meeting from Zoombombing. see our YouTube Playlist , and check out Zoom’s blog post – How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event.