April 6, 2020
Keep the trolls away: Tips to avoid Zoom bombing or virtual gate-crashing
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
- Disable file transfer, and this will eliminate the possibility of digital file-sharing. For step-by-step instructions, view the In-Meeting File Transfer Zoom article.
- Disable Chat in a Zoom meeting.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, for supportive resources and reporting options.