Zoom has become a large part of our lives. We engage on the platform daily. However, a common issue is occurring nowadays called “Zoombombing.”  What is it? How can you prevent it? 

You can learn all about it here. 

What Is Zoombombing?

“Zoombombing” means uninvited and disruptive intrusion. This is done to gain a few cheap laughs at the expense of the participants. Zoombombers often pass racial comments, use abusive language or share offensive images.

Zoom Bombing isn’t a security flaw. The issue is in people’s handling of public Zoom meeting links. These links are shared thousands of times between clients, friends, colleagues, classmates, and so on. If a user isn’t careful about the links, it will allow the Zoom meeting to become accessible to the public. Then, anyone who finds the link can join an on-going meeting.

Public Zoom meeting links can show up in the results section when people search for “zoom.us” on Google. Anyone who finds such links can join that meeting. It should be noted that Zoomboming is illegal in a lot of places including the U.S. 

How to Protect Yourself?

On April 5, 2020, Zoom announced some features that improve meeting securities. These features would be enabled by default. However, it’s better to take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your near ones.

  1. Log into Zoom via the web portal.
  2. Click on the “Settings” tab on the left-hand side.
Click "Settings."

Features You Should Disable

Here you can find many useful features. Follow the guidelines mentioned below to learn which features should be disabled. 

  • “Embed Password in Meeting Link for One-Click Join”: By enabling this feature,  anyone who clicks on the link can join the meeting.  This defeats the purpose of requiring a password. Hence, turn this feature off.
The "Embed Password in Meeting Link for One-Click Join" option.
  • “Screen Sharing”: This feature allows the host and participants to share their screens during the meeting. You can disable this completely or allow only the host of the meeting to share their screen. This way you can ensure that people do not share inappropriate content during the meeting. 
The "Screen Sharing" options.
  • “Remote Control”: This allows the screen sharer to let other participants take remote control of their system. Disable this feature.
The "Remote Control" option.
  • “File Transfer”: this feature allows the participants to share files in the meeting chatroom. You can disable this if you don’t want files to be shared. You can also select the “Only Allow Specified File Types” option. This will ensure that people only share certain types of files.
The "File Transfer" options.
  • “Allow Participants to Rename Themselves”: Disable this option since it will prevent Zoombombers typing a message as their name. 
The "Allow Participants to Rename Themselves" option.
  • “Join Before Host”: This feature is disabled by default due to security purposes.
The "Join Before Host" option.
  • “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin”: This feature is also disabled by default. If it is enabled, kicked out participants can rejoin. Surely, you wouldn’t want the Zoombomber to come back. 
The "Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin" option.

 Features You Should Enable

It is recommended that the following features should be enabled:

  • “Mute Participants Upon Entry”: If someone manages to Zoombomb your meeting, don’t allow them to speak up. Later, you can decide who gets to talk.
The "Mute Participants Upon Entry" option.
  • “Always Show Meeting Control Toolbar”: This feature means that you’ll have quick access to the controls during a meeting.
The "Always Show Meeting Control Toolbar" option.
  • “Identify Guest Participants in the Meeting/Webinar”: This identifies who belongs in your group, as well as any attendees who join as guests.
The "Identify Guest Participants in the Meeting/Webinar" option.
  • “Waiting Room”: This places all the participants in a waiting room before they’re able to join the meeting. Then, the host will decide if they can join or not. As of April 5, 2020, this feature is enabled by default.
The "Waiting Room" option.
  • “Require a Password When Scheduling New Meetings”: It forces people to type a password before they can join a meeting. This won’t allow someone who found the link to join directly.  This is also enabled by default. 
The "Require a Password When Scheduling New Meetings" option.

Remember to make security and privacy your top priority whenever you use Zoom.