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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
1525 Mid-Campus Drive North
Manhattan, KS 66506

April 6, 2020

Keep the trolls away: Tips to avoid Zoom bombing or virtual gate-crashing

Submitted by Division of Communications and Marketing

The increased use of Zoom for virtual meetings and remote learning at K-State means more incidents of Zoom bombing are occurring. Zoom bombing is when an individual — invited or uninvited — joins a Zoom meeting and uses their video, audio or screen sharing to share unwanted content during the session. Think of it as virtual gate-crashing. This emerging form of trolling is meant to disrupt and interrupt meetings and classes.

Some pre-planning and familiarity with Zoom tools, though, can keep these trolls away.

To prevent Zoom bombing/virtual gate-crashing:

  • Use a unique URL that is not posted in public places, including a public-facing website, social media — never tweet your meeting URL — etc. Avoid using your personal meeting ID that could be well known.
  • Require a password to sign in to your Zoom session.
  • Require all students/meeting participants to sign in with their first name and last name as it is listed on the roster/invitation list.
  • Share Zoom online class policies with students.
  • Use the mute button to avoid unwanted sharing.
  • Remove a participant from the session. When you're in the participant's menu, mouse over a participant's name and several options will appear, including Remove. Click that to remove a participant from the meeting. They can't get back in if you then click Lock Meeting.
  • Lock the meeting after all participants are in the Zoom session. When you're in the meeting, click Participants at the bottom of your Zoom window. In the participant's pop-up box, you will see a button that says Lock Meeting. When you lock the meeting, no new participants can join, even if they have the meeting ID and password.
  • Do not allow screen sharing.
  • The meeting facilitator/instructor can share their screen as a PPT, a PowerPoint file extension — perhaps as the title of the session — thereby locking down the screen share.

More aggressive suggestions:

  • Enable the Waiting Room feature.
    • Click the arrow next to Screen Share
    • Under Who can share? Click Only Host

Learn more about classroom management in Zoom, K-State Zoom policies and more about Zoom bombing.

Zoom offers a video about meeting and virtual security classrooms that can be particularly helpful to those new to or who have limited experience with Zoom. Watch "Zoom 101: Securing Your Meetings & Virtual Classrooms."

Students, faculty and staff who are affected by protected class misconduct — race, sex, gender, sexual identity, religion, or national origin — during Zoom sessions should review the Student Code of Conduct and are referred to the Office of Institutional Equity, equity@k-state.edu, for supportive resources and reporting options.