URGENT: Multiple Zoombombing incidents reported during local conferences

It has come to our attention that hackers are targeting zoom conferences and have successfully broken into many conferences and shared highly inappropriate content with ALL participants.

Several large shiurim and other conferences have sadly fallen prey to these hackers.

If you are hosting a Zoom conference it is critical that you take safety precautions before the conference begins.

When scheduling or setting up a meeting you will host:

Set Safe Meeting Default Settings

On the Zoom Settings page, turn off participant controls:

Sign into Zoom.us.
Click on the Settings link on the upper right (it looks like a gear).
On the right side of the page, turn off: Autosaving chats, file transfer, screen sharing, and remote control.

Assign a Co-Host

For larger meetings, identify a co-host or two ahead of time whose role is to be a virtual room monitor and manage order during the meeting by managing the participants. Co-hosts are assigned during a meeting and cannot start a meeting.

Sign into Zoom.us.
Click on the Settings link on the left of the screen.
Scroll down to the Co-host option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.
Turn on Co-Host. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.

Assign a per-meeting ID, don’t use your Personal Meeting ID

Avoid using your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) to host public events. Your PMI is basically one continuous meeting – your personal virtual space; and once it is published, others can join at any time. Learn about meeting IDs and how to generate a random meeting ID (at the 0:27 mark) in this video tutorial.

Prevent Screen Sharing by non-hosts

To prevent participants from screen sharing during a call, use the host controls at the bottom of the window, click the arrow next to Share Screen and then choose Advanced Sharing Options.

Under “Who can share?” choose “Only Host” and close the window. You can also lock the Screen Share by default for all of your meetings in your web settings.

Enable the Waiting Room

Before you start your meeting, enable the Waiting Room for your meeting. You and your co-host will then play an active role in choosing who to allow into the room through the participants list.

Meeting hosts can customize Waiting Room settings for additional control, and can even personalize the message that people see when they enter the Waiting Room so they know they’re in the right spot. This is a great way to post rules and guidelines for your event, like your screensharing or muting policy.

Disable Join Before Host

Before starting a meeting, disable Join Before Host to keep users out before the host arrives. This is the current default, but double check to make sure that it is set for the meeting. When “Join Before Host” is enabled, anyone can enter at any time and create havoc with other participants before the meeting officially starts.

Turn off file transfer

In-meeting file transfer allows people to share files through the in-meeting chat. Toggle this off to keep the chat from getting bombarded with unsolicited pics, GIFs, memes, and other content.

Turn off annotation

You and your attendees can doodle and mark up content together using annotations during screen share. Disable the annotation feature in your Zoom settings to prevent people from writing all over the screens.

Once the meeting starts:

Manage Disruptive Participants

The Meeting Participants window offers control over most aspects of your meeting and those attending. Zoom has a 10 minute long video that is recommended viewing for all hosts and co-hosts.

Locking the Meeting to Prevent Re-Joining of Removed Participants

During the meeting, a host or co-host can click on the More and Mute All Controls at the bottom of the Participants List.

When viewing the Participants List, click Lock Meeting (under More) to prevent other participants from joining the meeting in progress.

Muting All Participants

During the meeting, a host or co-host can click on the More and Mute All Controls at the bottom of the Participants list.

On the Participants List, click Mute All to mute all meeting attendees.

More resources:

The FBI is actively looking into this issue. Be sure to report any Zoombombing instances to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, which can be found at www.ic3.gov

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Many of these classes should be done as webinars and not meetings. Teachers may need to see their students, but shiurim and the like should be done as webinars where the only person who can be viewed is the host.
    The webinar is an add on option and there is a charge for it, but opening ourselves up to such things is ridiculous.

    • It’s impossible to secure Zoom if the meeting ID is posted. For most using Zoom here, it’s impractical to send the ID and Password to participants to secure Zoom. Stream an event if possible, there is NO other app that has the same problem. You need to invite via direct communication, not on a site.

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