Prevent Zoombombing: Security Settings for Video Meetings

Desktop computer with a speech bubble icon on the computer's screen.

Increase the security of your meetings and prevent uninvited guests or mischievous attendees from disrupting your virtual class sessions or meetings. This form of harassment, known as “Zoombombing,” typically involves an uninvited guest sharing offensive content such as hate speech or offensive images. These types of attacks can be disturbing and harmful.

We recommend enabling as many security settings as you reasonably can without impacting your course or meeting. Visit our updated BlueJeans and Zoom guides for more detailed instructions on enabling the following settings.

Schedule a Secure Meeting

Consider adding an extra layer of security to your meetings by enabling the following settings when scheduling a meeting in Zoom and BlueJeans:

  • Allow only authenticated users to join: Only users who are logged in to their Penn-associated account can join. This setting is recommended for most class sessions.
  • Restrict meeting entry: Students cannot join class before the instructor joins and will see a message indicating the host/moderator has not yet started the meeting. 
  • Require a meeting passcode. Adding a passcode means participants can only join the meeting with a link that contains an embedded passcode, or by manually entering a passcode that you provide to them. We recommend removing the embedded passcode in a meeting link so attendees are forced to manually enter the passcode.
  • Add a waiting room. The Waiting Room feature allows the host to control when a participant joins the meeting.

In-Meeting Security Options

Once a meeting has started, there are a variety of security features available to limit opportunities for attacks and manage disruptive participants:

  • Lock your meeting. When everyone has successfully joined the class session, you can lock your meeting to prevent others from joining.
  • Remove a participant. If an uninvited guest shows up to your virtual classroom, you can easily remove them from the meeting.
  • Manage disruptive participants: Turn off an individual student’s video/audio or mute everyone at once. The Mute Upon Entry feature can help keep disruptions to a minimum at the start of a meeting.
  • Control screen sharing. As a meeting host, you have the option to decide when students can screen share and when screen share can be taken over by other students.
  • Disable the chat. Disable the chat feature for all participants, or disable private chat so participants cannot send private messages.

For more information, see Penn’s guidance on Zoombombing.

Last Updated: 12 Oct 2020

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