Preventing Online Meeting Disruptions - Updated April 4, 2020

We're hearing from some groups about a problem with meetings being hacked - so-called "zoom bombing". Zoom provides some effective measures you can take to prevent this or cut it off. Recent changes by Zoom as of April 4 are highlighted in RED

1. Have two people co-host the meeting

  • One person can act as the chairperson/secretary, the other can handle the Zoom controls. This easiest on a desktop or laptop and should have a good WiFi connection and plenty of battery capacity remaining or else be plugged in.

2. Control Who Can Enter

  • Each meeting is now automatically assigned a password by Zoom
  • Turn off "Include password in meeting URL" - this forces users to enter the password manually and thereby prevents access by automated bots.
  • Zoom will automatically create a Waiting Room to control who can enter the meeting.
    • When visitors arrive they put into the waiting room to be review by the host or co-host who must decide whether to admit them to the actual meeting.
  • Check Put attendee in waiting room upon entry to require that hosts manually admit each new participant rather than having them join the meeting automatically.
  • Under Meeting Options, uncheck Enable join before host to prevent participants from joining the meeting until a Host or Alternative Host arrives.
    After the meeting has started you may want to consider checking Lock the Meeting to keep anyone else from joining

3. Control Participant Behavior

  • Uncheck Allow Removed Participant to Rejoin to ensure that if a participant is removed
    for inappropriate behavior, they cannot rejoin.
  • Uncheck File Transfer or limit file types that can be shared to prevent sharing of
    inappropriate or virus-ridden files with other participants.
  • Uncheck Allow Participants to Rename Themselves - very important!
  • Check Mute Participants Upon Entry
  • Control Sharing
    • At the bottom of the Zoom meeting, click the small arrow to the right of the green Share button.
    • From the menu, select Advanced Sharing Options.
    • Under Who can share? select Only Host.

4. Removing Participants

  • At the bottom of the Zoom meeting window, click the Participants button to open a list of participants.
  • Select the name of the participant you wish to remove, then click the More button on the right.
  • From the bottom of the menu, select Remove and confirm your choice by clicking OK.

Remember that A.A. has dealt with disruptive people for years and we'll deal with this, too - at least the zoom bombers can't start fist fights or throw up on the tables.  🙂

Thanks to Oregon Area 58, New York Intergroup, West Side Central Office, Oregon District 10, Wordfence (our website security company) and, of course, Zoom, for sharing these tips.

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