Want to save your Zoom meetings from zoombombers?
I’ll show you how I made a 100% secure Zoom meetings system I bet no troll can disrupt.
This works for everyone. Even if you’ve a free plan.
In fact, everyone I’ve shared these tips with never had to think about securing their Zoom meetings ever again.
If you want no-BS step by step guide that makes your Zoom meetings so secure that you can challenge trolls to try to disrupt it, you’ll love this guide
We’ll cover every loophole anyone can abuse to disrupt your meeting. And so this guide is divided into three sections:
Step 1: Protect Your Meetings With Passwords
Without password protection, anyone who has your Zoom meeting’s ID can enter into your meetings and cause trouble. So it’s very much required to have a hard to guess password. (Not 123456 for sure).
Password protection should be enabled by default on your Zoom meeting settings. But if your meeting does not have it enable or you are not sure about it, do this to check:
This will turn on password protection for all types of meetings. If you’ve already scheduled a meeting, the password for it will be given there.
To change the password of your PMI,
(Note: if you don’t know what PMI is, no worries, I explained as easy as possible in the first tip of the next section.)
Now, when you start or schedule a new meeting with your PMI these meetings will be automatically password protected by the password you choose in step #3 above.
When you’re starting a meeting with a random meeting id, the password will be automatically generated. But you can change it while starting/scheduling meetings.
Step 2: Turn on Waiting Room
The waiting room is like a lobby. If someone enters your Zoom meeting, he has to wait in the waiting room until you accept him.
So if someone with a suspicious name tries to enter into your meeting you can prevent him from doing so. Even if he has the password.
Here’s a step by step description of how you can turn it on:
Step 3: Change Chat Settings
By default, all participants of your meeting can chat with everyone together (like a group chat) or with a specific participant separately.
Zoombombers often misuse this feature to share inappropriate things. This is especially worse if they do it privately meaning to one participant at once. If they do so, even you can’t see it’s happening.
If you don’t want that happening, here’s what you should do:
You can now close the meeting and all chat settings will be automatically saved and applied the next time you start a meeting.
Alongside Chat, Zoom also allows participants to share files. There still is a chance of misuse here. Someone might just spam malicious files all over your meeting. So if you don’t need it, disable it:
Note that only people, who can chat, can use the File Transfer feature if it’s enabled. So if you’ve chat disabled for participants, you don’t need to turn off File Transfer.
Step 4: Change Screen Sharing Settings
Participants of your meeting can share their smartphone/computer’s screen with others in the meeting, to show a presentation, for example, thanks to Zoom’s screen sharing feature.
While this can be pretty useful for the meeting, someone can misuse it to disrupt your meeting.
Here’s how to prevent its abuse
Boom. You just closed another way someone could’ve disturbed your meeting.
Step 5: Disable Annotation
Note: Skip this step if you’ve disabled screen sharing for everyone including the host.
When you or someone else is screen sharing, another participant can annotate your screen, which means drawing lines, shapes arrows etc.
The actual use was to let people discuss and explain things by highlighting and marking but zoombombers use it to scribble all over the screen. What’s worse? You cannot see who is doing it.
But we have a quick fix of it too:
If this was overwhelming for you, take this free checklist and get everything done.
Tip 1: Generate A Random Meeting ID. Here’s why…
Pay attention. You have to understand Meetings IDs carefully.
Think of Zoom meetings as a room. When you give someone the meeting ID, you give him the address of the room. So he can use the meeting ID and enter into your meeting.
You can use one of the two types of meeting IDs to make a Zoom meeting: PMI (Personal Meeting ID) or a randomly generated Meeting ID.
PMI is the address of your home while a randomly generated ID is the address of any Cafe or meeting place, chosen randomly.
In your home (PMI), only you can start meetings while in a Cafe (randomly generated ID) anyone can do it.
If you create a meeting with your PMI, your meetings will be in your home. In other words, everybody will know where your meetings take place.
So if you’re doing a meeting with group A in your PMI and then after 4 hours, you do another meeting with group B with your PMI. People in group A will know your house’s address, where a meeting with group B is happening and they’d have a chance to disrupt it. Or they might post in on Twitter and places like these where trolls can enter into your meeting and disturb it.
So how to fix it?
Just use a randomly generated Meeting ID instead of your PMI. So every time you make a meeting the ID will be different. Easy.
Creating a meeting with a random ID is no different than creating one with your PMI. You just need to select generate automatically in ‘Meeting ID’ section.
Tip 2: Never Ever Share Your Meeting ID in Public Forums or Social Platforms
It’s like inviting trolls to your meeting.
Online trolls, mostly found polluting the web on social platforms and forums, get (kind of) excited when they see a Zoom meeting ID.
I don’t know if it is, but they find it fun to enter into meetings and disrupt them. Following all of the above steps, you can be sure they won’t be able to disturb your meeting. But even if so, it’s a good practice not to share meeting IDs publicly.
But what if I have a public meeting?
If your meeting has to be a public one like a show or an event, then here’s what you should do: enable registration. Registration for meetings is feature restricted to only licensed (paid) users. You can learn more about it here.
Tip 1: Lock Meetings
After everyone who should be in your meeting has entered, Lock the meeting. This means no one else will be able to get into your meeting. Not even into the waiting room.
Here’s how to do it:
You can click on it again to unlock the meeting.
Tip 2: Disable Renaming
Someone might enter your meeting’s waiting room with the name of another person (so you let him enter) and then change it after he got inside the meeting.
Disabling renaming stops this. Here’s how to disable renaming:
Tip 3: Disable Participant’s Audio/Video
If someone in your meeting starts his/her video or audio and disturbs all other participants, (maybe unintentionally, due to background noise) you can make him/her turn off their video/audio.
Tip 4: Put A Participant To Hold
You can put a participant of your Zoom meeting on hold for some time. Being on hold means he will not be able to see, hear or chat with other participants.
Here’s how to do it:
Tip 5: What To Do If Someone Misbehaves?
If one of your participants misbehaves, you can remove him/her from the meeting with a click. But before that, you should report that user to Zoom. So his account will undergo security action.
To report participants, you will have to first enable the setting.
After you’ve done you can remove him from the meeting.
How to remove someone from a Zoom meeting?
Tip 6: Set Up A Co-host
If you think this much managing of your Zoom meeting is a tedious task or if you have a huge number of people on your meeting, just make someone a co-host.
A co-host can do everything a host can do except:
To make a participant a co-host,
Feeling overwhelmed? Grab this free checklist and get everything done within 10 minutes.
Previously published at https://theciva.wordpress.com/2020/05/15/stop-zoombombing-make-meetings-secure/