Prevent 'Zoombombing'

March 30, 2020

by UNH AT Staff

Zoombombing is a method in which anonymous participants can use Zoom’s screensharing and other features to interrupt and disrupt meetings and classes. Zoom has reported that Zoombombing has become a major concern since all schools have moved to an online format. This post will provide you with a list of recommendations to prevent Zoombombing from happening in one of your meetings.

All users should refer to our knowledge base article Zoom: Controlling Participants in your Meeting for Academic Technology’s recommended and optional Zoom settings.

The following best practices for advanced settings are being suggested to prevent this from happening in your meeting.

  1. Hosts and participants can login to Zoom before a meeting by using one of the two methods:

    1. Launch the desktop app and login with the Single Sign-On (SSO) option
    2. Visit https://zoom.unh.edu and login
    3. Note: a login is being used to ensure that only an authenticated UNH member can access your meeting regardless of whether the meeting is being launched from inside or outside of Canvas.
  2. Update your user setting to ensure that all future meetings inherit the settings you define
    1. Join before host = off
    2. Private chat = off
    3. Screen sharing:  host only (also means no participants can share whiteboards except in break out rooms)
    4. Remote control = off
    5. Allow removed participants to rejoin = off
  3. Allow only signed-in users to join: If someone tries to join your event and isn’t logged into Zoom with the email they were invited through, they will receive this message to login.
  4. Mute participants upon entry: Hosts can mute/unmute individual participants or all of them at once. Hosts can block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise from other participants.
    1. Best Practice - enable Mute Upon Entry in your settings to keep the clamor at bay in large meetings. 
  5. Participants video: Hosts can turn someone’s video off. This will allow hosts to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate gestures on video.
  6. Disable private chat: Zoom has two in-meeting chats; one for everyone or private participant chat. Restrict participants’ ability to chat amongst one another while your event is going on and cut back on distractions. This prevents anyone from getting unwanted messages during the meeting.
  7. Remove unwanted or disruptive participants: From that Participants menu, you can mouse over a participant’s name, and several options will appear, including Remove. Click Remove to kick someone out of the meeting.
  8. Disable the ability to Annotate: The host and the participants can doodle and mark up content together using annotations during screen share. Disable the annotation feature in your Zoom settings to prevent people from writing all over the screens.
  9. Lock the meeting: (not recommended for academic class) 
    1. When you lock a Zoom Meeting that’s already started, no new participants can join, even if they have the meeting ID and password (if one is required). In the meeting, click Participants at the bottom of your Zoom window. In the Participants pop-up, click the button that says Lock Meeting.
    2. NOTE: If meeting is locked, students that drop due to bad Internet connection would not be able to rejoin.
  10. Put an attendee on hold: You can put an attendee on hold as a way of stopping the transmission of video and audio. This allows others to continue meeting while the participant is prevented from seeing and hearing others.
    • 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.

Finally, the last recommendations are to NEVER use your personal meeting ID or publicize meetings over social media. Personal meetings are perpetual meeting spaces that can continue past the end of a meeting session. Publicizing over social media opens up the meeting for a greater chance of Zoombombing.

If you have any other questions or require direct support, submit a request to the Instructional Continuity webform

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