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How to Avoid and Respond to a Zoom Bomb

"Zoom bombing" is essentially a form of trolling. It happens when someone with malicious intent joins a Zoom meeting (usually by trying random meeting IDs until they find one that works) and then they attempt to disrupt the video chat and upset participants by shouting offensive statements or putting disturbing or offensive images in their video feed. The following configuration changes and strategies will help prevent your Zoom sessions from being disrupted in this way.

Here are some recommended actions to take BEFORE SCHEDULING, DURING SCHEDULING, DURING SESSIONS, and DURING A ZOOM BOMB.

General Guidelines

  • Use a unique Zoom ID for each meeting. Avoid using your Personal Meeting ID.
  • Do not post meeting links on social media.
  • Do not share links to meetings you are invited to join without the host’s approval. The host can send more invites to the relevant individuals or parties.
  • Make the recommended configuration changes listed below.
  • Assign a password when scheduling a meeting, as per instructions below.
  • Utilize waiting rooms to let participants in as you are ready to receive them.
  • Require SMUSD Students to Sign In to Zoom

 

Configuration Changes to Prevent disturbances BEFORE SCHEDULING

These changes to the default settings are recommended for anyone who is hosting Zoom conferences open to the public or with children attending. Changing these settings will help you keep control of your meeting and focus on your content.

Open your Zoom account settings page and change the following:

  • Waiting room – ON
  • Join before host – OFF
  • Mute participants upon entry – ON
  • Private chat – OFF
  • File transfer – OFF
  • Allow host to put attendee on hold – ON
  • Screen sharing – ON with “Host Only”
  • Disable desktop/screen share for users – ON
  • Annotation – OFF
  • Remote control – OFF
  • Allow removed participants to rejoin – OFF
  • Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI) when scheduling a meeting - OFF
  • Require a password when scheduling new meetings - ON
  • Prevent users from renaming themselves (if you have restricted the meeting to SMUSD.US Only authenticated users)

Waiting room

This is perhaps the most useful feature to help control your meeting or classroom. All participants will enter the waiting room before joining the main session. This allows you to let participants in as you are ready to receive them. 

Recommendation: Turn on and customize

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Set Everyone in the Waiting Room. If you have set your Zoom Advanced Settings to restrict authenticated users to SMUSD only, then please select "Users who are not in your account and not part of the allowed domains." This requires all students to login to Zoom by "Sign In with SSO" using their SMUSD Google credentials.

Optional – Consider locking your meeting once everyone is in attendance.

Join before host

The participants could be having a party without you there to monitor. 

Recommendation: Turn it off

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Mute participants upon entry

Barking dogs and crying babies can take over your meeting unintentionally. So can the participant who is singing their favorite heavy metal song at the top of their voice.

You might also consider disallowing participants to unmute themselves. In that case participants can use the “Raise hand” feature or the chat room to indicate when they want to speak. You can manually unmute them.

Recommendation: Turn on

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Private chat

The chatroom is one of the key ways to get live feedback and participation with your participants. We want to see all the communication that is happening. Disabling private chat will help tamp down any possible bullying or harassment during your meeting. They can use discord or text messages if they need a backchannel.

Recommendation: Turn off

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File transfer

The ability to send files to your participants is very handy for you. Not so helpful if the participants are sending inappropriate (even unintentionally) files/gifs/images to the group. Put your files on Google Drive and give them download links.

Recommendation: Turn off

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Screen sharing

Your Zoom meeting is a great place for colleagues to share their work with the group. Your classroom might not be. Participants can take over the session share and put anything they would like on screen for all in attendance. You can make a participant a co-host if you would like someone else to share their screen.

Recommendation: Turn on “Host Only”

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  • Please note that if you use breakout rooms in Zoom and would like your students to share screens, please be sure to allow your participants to share.

Disable desktop/screen share for users

We don’t need to see the personal photos and information of your co-host when they share. This setting will enable them to share an Application (Powerpoint, Firefox, Chrome, Powershell, etc.) only. You should consider only sharing applications yourself.

Recommendation: Turn on

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Annotation

Annotation gives you the ability to “draw” over the screen. It also gives that to your participants. They can draw anything that comes to mind over your presentation, your face, or anything else.

Recommendation: Turn off

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Remote control

This is a handy support feature in a 1:1 session. You don’t want participants constantly requesting remote control of your desktop during meetings.

Recommendation: Turn off

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Allow removed participants to rejoin

When you kick someone out of your meeting for any reason, they shouldn’t be able to come back.

Recommendation: Turn off

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Personal meeting ID when scheduling sessions

Your personal meeting ID stays the same, so if you use this for class sessions, anyone with your Personal meeting ID can join you in any of your sessions.  Ensure this is toggled OFF in your account settings.

Recommendation: Turn OFF

personal meeting ID Off

Require a password when scheduling new meetings

Recommendation: Turn ON

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A password will be generated when scheduling a meeting and participants require the password to join the meeting. 

The meeting password will be encrypted and included in the join meeting link to allow participants to join with just one click without having to enter the password.

Prevent Users from Renaming Themselves

Recommendation: Turn OFF

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SMUSD students who login to Zoom using "Sign in with SSO" are automatically configured to show their full student name. Remember to remind students to "Sign In with SSO" when using Zoom.

Settings to Make WHEN Scheduling

Require a security passcode when scheduling your meeting

When scheduling a Zoom meeting, create a Meeting Password. Anyone who attempts to join the session will be required to enter the password before they can come in. Remember to give the password to the attendees when you send them the meeting invitation link.

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The meeting security passcode will be encrypted and included in the join meeting link to allow participants to join with just one click without having to enter the password.

Other settings

Consider adjusting these settings when scheduling your meeting:

  • Video / Participant - ON (Participants will join with their video turned on. If any student joins with video off, place into waiting room to discuss/chat/identify)
  • Enable join before host - OFF (Nobody can join until you do)
  • Mute participants upon entry - ON (Participants will join with their microphone muted until they unmute)
  • Enable waiting room - ON (This allows you to let participants in as you are ready to receive them)
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Note: If "Only authenticated users can join" is checked and "SMUSD.US Only" is selected, only students who "Sign in with SSO" using their student SMUSD accounts will be permitted to join your Zoom.

Invite specific people directly, not publicly

Do not share the meeting link on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people you want attending, and ask them not to post the meeting link publicly.

Tips to Reduce Disturbances DURING SESSIONS

Consider locking the meeting after a certain amount of time

This will prevent individuals joining after the meeting is locked.  But keep in mind these considerations:

Pro: This prevents individuals from randomly joinging late if they discover your session ID after the session begins.

Con: Students cannot join the session late or rejoin if they have a technology problem.

Consider turning off the Participant screen sharing

The host can turn Participant screen sharing off by default in the Settings on the Zoom website prior to scheduling and/or choose to allow Participant sharing during a live session. 

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Quickly Gain Control of a Session that is Being Zoom Bombed

Take these actions if you are experiencing a Zoom Bomb.

Mute Everyone and Don't Let Them Unmute

Mute everyone in the session and prevent them from unmuting themselves.  To do this, select "Participants" in the Zoom app, then select "Mute All."  Make sure the "Allow participants to unmute themselves" is NOT checked.

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Lock the meeting

Next, select "More" at the bottom of the Participants window and then "Lock Meeting."  This prevents anyone from being able to come back in your session after you have removed them.

Report the participant(s) causing a disturbance

While the Participants window is open, report the unruly participant(s) by moving your mouse over their name and selecting"More" to the right of their name and then "Report" to complete a short form.

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Remove the participant(s) causing a disturbance

While the Participants window is open, remove the unruly participant by moving your mouse over their name and selecting"More" to the right of their name and then "Remove" to kick them out.  If you have locked the meeting via the step above, they won't be able to get back in.undefined

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