With thepandemic forcing more and more people to work and learn from home, and stay connected in this time of social distancing, video conferencing tools such as Zoom are skyrocketing in popularity. But, predictably, nefarious types are finding ways to disrupt to already stressed-out remote workers.
Zoom-bombing, the name given to gate-crashing Zoom meetings, is now a thing. Disrupting individuals are Zoom-bombing online meetings and bombarding the attendees with disturbing pornographic and violent imagery.
Zoom has released guidance for users who want to protect themselves from Zoom-bombing.
For public meetings, Zoom reminds users that when you share your meeting link on social media or other public forums, that makes your event public, and this means that anyone with the link can join the meeting.
Zoom also suggests users avoid starting public events using their Personal Meeting ID (PMI) because "your PMI is basically one continuous meeting and you don't want randos crashing your personal virtual space after the party's over." Zoom suggests generating random meeting IDs. Zoom also suggests using the Waiting Room feature, which allows hosts to control who enters the meeting.
Zoom also offers numerous suggestions for managing participants.
- Allow only signed-in users to join
- Lock the meeting
- Remove unwanted or disruptive participants
- Prevent removed participants from rejoining
- Turn off file transfer
- Turn off annotation
- Prevent participants from screen sharing
- Put participants on hold
- Disable video
- Mute participants
- Disable private chat
Here is a video showing how to set up a Zoom meeting:
Zoom has a lot of tools to help you create safe, fun meetings, and it's worth spending some time familiarizing yourself with them before you set up your next meeting.
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