During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom has become the preferred method videoconferencing. With the influx of users, means more bad actors looking for vulnerabilities and other ways to exploit the app. Here are five simple tips hosts can do to prevent Zoom meetings from being Zoom-bombed.
1. Use a Unique ID for Large or Public Zoom Calls
After creating a Zoom account, users are assigned a Personal Meeting ID (PMI). It’s a numeric code that you can give out to people when you want to meet with them. The account holder can use this code repeatedly; it doesn’t expire. This is ideal forr standing meetings with a team or a weekly check-in, because people can join without having to hunt down this week’s login number. It’s always the same.
Zoom also gives you the option to not use your PMI for a meeting and instead generate a unique code. If you’re the host of a large Zoom call where members of the public or other strangers are invited, it’s much better to use a one-time code rather than your PMI. Having a unique code prevents hackers from trying to jump into other meeting you have scheduled.
To activate these settings, look for the Meeting ID options and choose Generate Automatically. Doing so plugs up one of the most significant holes that Zoom-bombers can exploit.
2. Require a Meeting Password
One way to protect the meeting is to require a password. After creating a meeting password, the host can give the password out to attendees they have invited. This does create an extra step for attendees to join the meeting, but signatly decreases the chances of a hacker Zoom-bombing a meeting. To password-protect a meeting, start by scheduling a meeting and checking the box next to Require meeting password. It’s only an option when you generate a unique ID, not when you use your PMI. You’ll see a numeric password, which will work for everyone who has it.
3. Create a Waiting Room
A Zoom call can start one of two ways. It can start the moment the first person logs onto the call, or it can begin when the host says it should start. If others can join before the host starts the meeting, they have the ability to chat amongst themselves, which can be a nice feature for small groups of people who ar familiar with each other.
Another option is to Create a Zoom Waiting Room in which participants aren’t let into the call until the host, lets them in. If the host sees names they do not recognize in the Waiting Room, they do not have to let them in.
4. Lock a Meeting Once It Starts
Locking a meeting after it starts and all participants are in attendance is an easy way to secure a Zoom meeting. Simply navigate to the bottom of the screen and click Manage Participants. The Participants panel will open. At the bottom, choose More > Lock Meeting.
5. Make Sure Only the Hosts Can Share Their Screen
To prevent anyone hijacking the screen during a Zoom call, enable a setting to only allow hosts to share their screen. This can be done in advance as well as during a call.
In advance, go to the Zoom web portal (not the desktop app) and in the settings navigate to Personal > Settings > In Meeting (Basic) and look for Screen sharing. Check the option that only the host can share.