Zoom bombing: Prevent trolls from disrupting your video meeting
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(Pocket-lint) – All over the world, teams are working from home and are increasingly using video conferencing to stay in touch.
Unfortunately, multiple reports have claimed that saboteurs – aka trolls – have disrupted Zoom meetings and classes in a trend dubbed Zoom bombing. This trend was first reported in 2020, when Zoom was at its peak, and it’s now much less of a problem.
Here’s everything you need to know, including how to prevent your Zoom event from crashing.
What is Zoom Bombing?
Zoom is a video conferencing app that many companies and universities use to host meetings or classes when in-person sessions aren’t possible. You can learn more about this software, which is available for desktop and mobile devices in both free and paid form, by checking out our guide here.
Regardless, people have used Zoom’s screen sharing feature to inundate other viewers with graphic videos, pornography, and other NSFW content from the internet. It became a trend after WFH Happy Hour — a public Zoom call hosted by journalist Casey Newton and investor Hunter Walk — was bombarded with raw footage. A troll joined their call and shared the screen Two girls, one cup.
What’s worse is that the author kept re-registering for the call under a new name, forcing the hosts to end the call. Here’s the problem: anyone who shares a Zoom meeting link publicly, especially in a place where it can be found by online trolls, like on Twitter, should change the screen sharing option before the start of the call to prevent the call from being disturbed or interrupted by other people.
Zoom’s automated conference meeting search tool “zWarDial” uncovers about 100 meetings per hour that are not password protected.
tool also prompted Zoom to examine whether its default password approach was not working badly https://t.co/dXNq6KUYb3 pic.twitter.com/h0vB1Cp9Tb-
briankrebs (@briankrebs) April 2, 2020
The problem of Zoom bombing was also compounded after it was revealed that an automated tool could be used to scrape and uncover more than 2,400 unprotected Zoom meetings per day.
How to End Zoom Bombing
When you share a Zoom meeting link on social media or other public forums, it becomes public and anyone can join with that link. However, Zoom hosts can turn off the screen sharing option in their settings (or in a call’s administrative controls), preventing participants from taking over the meeting and subjecting all viewers to content. inappropriate.
Here’s how to secure a Zoom call.
Generate a random meeting ID
First, avoid using your personal meeting ID to host public events. It’s basically an ongoing meeting, so if you don’t want random people crashing into your call, generate a random meeting ID. You can learn more about meeting IDs here and how to generate a random ID in the video above.
- Open your Zoom client and sign in.
- Select the “Schedule” icon.
- Give your meeting a name.
- Provide a start date and time.
- Pro accounts are required for sessions over 40 minutes with 3 or more users.
- Once you’ve provided a start date and time, select the meeting ID you want to use.
- Use the “generate automatically” option to provide a random ID number/location.
- You can also choose to use a password, to further enhance your meeting.
- Under video options, select:
- Host: Enabled (to allow host to use video)
- Participants: Off (to block the use of video by participants, if desired)
- Finally, select the calendar option you want to use.
- This operation generates a meeting invitation in this specific calendar.
- Click Save and your meeting will be ready.
Manage screen sharing
Never give up control of your screen. If you don’t want random people at your public event to take over the screen and share content, limit their ability, either before the meeting or during the meeting, in the control bar of the host.
- To prevent participants from sharing their screen, use the host controls.
- Click the arrow next to Share Screen, then click Advanced Sharing Options.
- Under ‘Who can share?’, choose ‘Host only’ and close the window.
- You can also lock default screen sharing for all your meetings in your web settings.
Managing Attendees: Other Tips and Tricks
Allow only logged in users to join the meeting
Allow only logged in users to join the meeting. From the Zoom web portal, go to Settings and enable the “Only authenticated users can join meetings” option.
When you lock a Zoom meeting, no new participants can join, even if they have the meeting ID and password (if you requested one). In the meeting, click Participants at the bottom of your Zoom window. In the Participants pop-up window, click the Lock Meeting button.
It is not always necessary to share a meeting link. You can generate a random meeting ID when scheduling your event and require a password to join. You can then share this meeting ID on social media, but only send the password via direct message.
Click here to learn more about how to set a password.
Remove disruptive participants
In the Participants menu, you can select a participant’s name and choose “Remove” to remove them from the meeting.
Put people on hold or mute
You can put all meeting participants on hold, temporarily disabling video and audio connections. Simply click on a participant’s video thumbnail and select “Start Attendee On Hold” to activate this feature. Click Remove Hold in the list of attendees when you want them to rejoin. Hosts can also mute or unmute individual participants or all participants at once. Try enabling Mute Upon Entry in your settings – find out how here.
Mute a person’s video to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate videos. Click here to find out how.
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Try the waiting room
For public events, Zoom recommends trying its Waiting Room feature to prevent your guests from joining a meeting until you’re ready. As a host, you can customize waiting room settings for additional control, and you can even customize the message people see when they’re waiting.
Zoom security updates
Zoom recognized that there was a problem and changed the default settings to fix it. Now, new meetings, instant meetings, and those you join with an ID are password protected by default. Even Zoom meetings scheduled for a while are now password protected.
When joining a new meeting, you first find yourself in a virtual waiting room where the host will have to let you in. The company says this will be the default setting for Free Basic and Single Pro users, but all other users are encouraged to use these settings as well.
These changes prevent unwanted visitors from disrupting your meetings.
You want to know more ?
Check out Zoom’s blog post on Zoom Bombing for more tips and tricks.
Written by Maggie Tillman. Edited by Chris Hall.