Zoom bombing – protecting your events from hackers

Today we have a guest blog

Here are a few top tip to make sure that you are not ‘Zoomed bombed’. This is when hackers join in your meetings. There are a few helpful tips just to keep you all safe.

  1. Don’t share the meeting link on social media. This allows anyone who has the link to gain access to the meeting.
  2. When scheduling a meeting use the automatically generated meeting ID.
  3. Change your settings. There are a few settings that you can change that will help. I am going to explain how to do this below. NB: Please make sure you change these settings before starting a zoom call.
  4. Manage who can share:

On the Zoom webpage go to settings:

Under ‘In Meeting (Basic) these are some of the settings you need to change:

The main one is ‘Screen Sharing’. Make sure that only the host can share.

NB: If you make people co-hosts then they can share also.

Anyone else who tries to share will get this message:

  • The host can mute all participants if necessary and then unmute the person who should be speaking. This is done by going to ‘Manage Participants’ at the bottom of your zoom screen and then as the host there will be a button under the list of names of those who are on the call saying ‘Mute All’.
  • There are a few other settings which you may want to consider:

   Remote Control:

Whiteboard settings:

  • Who can save the chat

NB: Please think how best to use these settings to best serve your group rather than changing them all so that no-one can do anything except the host. I have just outlined what is possible.

3. Manage Participants – Get people to register for a call. You can get people to sign up to the meeting so you have any idea of who is coming. Then you send out the meeting link to specific people. You can do this simply through Goole Docs or email the link out.

4. ‘Waiting Room’ or password

This allows you to vet participants before they are allowed into the meeting. You have to give each participant permission to come into the meeting room.

Again, this is a setting you need to change on Zoom webpage before you start a meeting. Go to Settings -> ‘In Meeting (Advanced). When you find the waiting room turn this setting on.

Automatically when you are setting up a zoom meeting now a password is required and as long as you have waiting room turned on as a setting (as shown above) you will have to choose to turn the waiting room off for each individual meeting you set up if you don’t want it.

NB: This could take a little while allowing all participants into a meeting so if there are lots of people coming then this might not be the best option.

5. You can remove people from a meeting if needed.

NB: You must be a host to do this.

Go to manage participants at the bottom of your screen.

Click ‘Manage Participants’.

Then a screen should either appear on the side of the video or pop up in the middle. This should have a list of everyone on the call.

Hover your mouse over the person you want to remove. Where the microphone and video camera symbol are:

There should be a drop down menu. Click ‘remove’.

Then a warning message should come up so you can’t remove people by accident.

This will immediately close down the call to the person who you are removing.

If they try and rejoin the call then this is the message they will see:

NB: You need to make sure that you have this setting turned off so that those removed can’t rejoin.

New additions to zoom security:

There are now a few settings that you can change while in the meeting if you are the host:Click on the security button at the bottom of your screen.

Click on the security button at the bottom of your screen.

These options will then appear. Untick the ones you don’t want to allow participants to do. If you don’t want people to interrupt then you can remove their ability to unmute themselves and you would then just have to invite them to unmute by clicking on the specific person’s name in participants if they needed to speak.

NB: This prevents people who have signed up for a particular meeting disrupting it by calling out.

While all these suggestions will help project you from zoom bombing we suggest that the tech host has an action place in mind in case the call is zoom bombed. Will you shut down the call? Tell everyone you will resend a new link and shut down the call? Kick the person out?

This will help you to react quicker in case something happens.

Published by Nay Dawson

Hello and thank you for reading my blog. I'm married to Jon and live in Southampton with our two girls. I work with IFES Europe as their Regional Training Co-ordinator, training staff and students across Europe. In 2019 I set up Passion for Evangelism a network of creative, public female speakers. I'm a Trustee for the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation raising essential funds for disadvantaged Black British Students. I'm also a Trustee for Friends International helping welcome International students to the UK. In response to the war in Ukraine I helped set up Ukraine Connect matching refugees and hosts across Europe

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