If you’re working from home right now, you’ve probably attended a few video conference calls. (I attend at least one a day.) And you may be using a software called “Zoom” to participate in those calls. Zoom allows colleagues to see each other, talk, share their screens, write on the screen, post messages, use personal photos as backdrops, and more. It’s really effective and versatile.
But lately, with the whole world relying on video-conferencing software like Zoom more heavily than ever, a new security issue has emerged. It’s called “Zoombombing.” This is when people who have nothing better to do with their time join Zoom meetings uninvited and disrupt them. Often they do this by displaying some sort of pornography or racist imagery.
Recent Zoom events (including a storytelling event for children, a livestreamed church service, and an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting) had to be abruptly ended after they were Zoombombed. I’m sure it must have been frustrating, disturbing, and upsetting for the hosts and participants.
But there are things that you can do to prevent this from happening! Most of the steps need to be taken by the Zoom host before the Zoom meeting starts. Certain settings need to be adjusted, such as creating a meeting password, allowing only the host to share his or her screen, turning off the annotation feature (which allows users to draw on the screen), etc. But there are also things that you can do if your meeting is Zoombombed to get rid of the person causing the disruption and mitigate the damage.
CNET and the New York Times both posted extremely thorough and informative articles on how to prevent Zoombombing (and deal with it if it happens). They provide step-by-step instructions on what you need to do to adjust your settings appropriately. Here are the links.