Hello ARLIS/NA Members & Friends,
Since in 2021 we will largely be connecting virtually, our office wanted to send out some best practices for hosting virtual meetings to help avoid “Zoom Bombers” or any other types of uninvited guests. Below see my suggestions for making committee meetings and other events secure in Zoom.
How to Avoid Uninvited Guests & “Zoom Bombing” – Tips & Best Practices
Before getting into details and settings, the number one rule is to never share your Zoom meeting link or Meeting ID for your events in public forums (website, listserv, events calendar, social media, etc.) Instead, require registration or maintain a guest (or committee) list and only share meeting details to approved attendees via direct email.
Second, when setting up your Zoom (or other virtual platforms) account and events, pay attention to the security features and settings. Use a unique Meeting ID and password for every meeting or event and only share these details with approved guests. Also, avoid using your Zoom Personal Meeting ID for events or programs. The following settings help hosts monitor virtual attendees:
- Waiting Room: Enable the “Waiting Room” so that you can approve attendees as they join the meeting. Be sure to launch your event 10-15 minutes before the official start to allow time to approve guests before the meeting.
- Disable “Join Before Host: This should be disabled by default, but make sure your meeting does not allow attendees to join before the host.
It is a good idea to review Zoom’s tips on Preventing Event Disruptions as a Host for a detailed overview.
Once your meeting is underway, it is helpful to have at least two users assigned as “Co-hosts” to help you monitor attendees. Things happen, so having co-hosts to help you mute attendees or lock them out, as needed, is very important. Be sure to share these tips with your co-hosts as well. Other helpful tips are to:
- Disable Screen-sharing: Only allow the host to Share Screen, you can allow select panelists or attendees to share the screen during the meeting. Before the start of the event, go to the host controls at the bottom of your screen, and you'll see an arrow next to Share Screen. Click the arrow, then click Advanced Sharing Options. Go to Who can share? Click Only Host, then close the window.
- Lock Your Meeting: If you know all of your attendees have arrived and/or once the presentations are underway, “Lock Meeting” to stop participants from joining. Go to the Participants List in the navigation sidebar, and scroll down to More. Click Lock Meeting.
- Mute All Participants: The host or co-hosts can go to the Participants List, scroll down to the bottom, and click Mute All Controls and makes it so participants can't use their microphone to disrupt your event audio.
If you have any other questions or additional tips, please reach out to our office any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- “How to Prevent Zoom-Bombing,” by PCMag
- “How to Prevent Zoombombing in Your Video Chats in 4 Easy Steps,” by CNET