Prevent Zoom-bombing

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There are several ways you can prevent Zoom-bombing, or uninvited participants joining your meetings and behaving badly. Restricting access to Zoom meetings is easy. Adding a meeting password, allowing only authenticated attendees to join, using a waiting room to screen attendees, and locking the meeting after your attendees arrive are all effective preventative measures. Configure specific meeting options and change global defaults to secure your meetings and protect your attendees.

The typical incident

The typical Zoom-bombing incident begins when someone joins your unprotected meeting using a fake screen name in an attempt to remain anonymous. The screen name is often offensive and easy to spot. The person then says something offensive and/or tries to screen share offensive material. The person may also type something offensive in the Chat panel. An unprotected meeting is any meeting session in which anyone can simply use the meeting link, Meeting ID, or personal link name to enter the meeting.

What if it happens?

End the meeting

It's very common to freeze when griefed online, especially if it has never happened to you before. Your first reaction should be to end the meeting before the troublemaker can do more damage. If you are a seasoned online community member, remember that, what's not that offensive to you, might be very offensive to your attendees, and things can escalate quickly. Just end the meeting. You can always reconvene in minutes, after securing the meeting. Inform your attendees in advance what to do if you have to end the meeting abruptly.

  1. Select End Meeting (Fig 1.1)
  2. Select End Meeting for All (Fig 1.2)

Press the Security button

Zoom hosts and co-hosts can select the Security button at the bottom of the meeting window to access useful functions very quickly. This includes:

  • Lock Meeting. Select this to lock and unlock the meeting. Locking the meeting prevents anyone, even co-hosts and other authenticated attendees, from joining. If you lock the meeting after kicking the troublemaker, that person will be unable to return.
  • Enable waiting room. Select this to toggle the waiting room on and off. This works even if you didn't enable this option when creating the meeting. Unless you changed this global setting, all waiting rooms are configured to allow authenticated attendees to join the meeting immediately. Only guests are sent to the waiting room.
  • Share screen. Select this to turn screen sharing on and off for all attendees. Screen sharing without host permission is prohibited across all meetings by default. If you changed the global setting or gave all participants permission to share during the live meeting and someone starts sharing objectionable material, stop the sharing and use this to remove screen sharing permissions for all attendees quickly.
  • Chat. Select this to toggle the chat function on and off for all attendees.
  • Rename Themselves. Select this toggle to disable renaming (e.g., to prevent attendees from changing their names to something offensive) or to enable it (e.g., to allow attendees to change their names to something less offensive).
  • Unmute Themselves. Select this to give or revoke all participants' permission to unmute themselves once you have muted them, either automatically when they entered the session or manually.

Top four preventative measures

Don't advertise your meeting link

Only share your meeting link, Meeting ID, or personal link name with your meeting participants. Do not publish them on public social media or anywhere on the open Web. Posting the meeting information to a protected location (e.g., Brightspace course, private Teams site) and emailing it to your meeting attendees are good ways to share it.

Set a meeting passcode

  1. Sign in to the Zoom host web portal at and open your meeting in edit mode.
  2. Check the Passcode option.
  3. Enter a password or use the one generated by Zoom.
  4. Select Save.
  5. Share the password with your attendees.

Enable meeting authentication

  1. Sign in to the Zoom host web portal at and open your meeting in edit mode.
  2. Check the Only authenticated users can join: Sign in to Zoom option.
  3. Select Save.
  4. Make sure your Minnesota State participants know how to how to sign in to a Zoom meeting using StarID credentials. Guests without StarIDs can authenticate in other ways in order to join your meeting. On the plus side, if they sign in this way once, they will remain signed in to their Zoom account with their credentials and will not need to authenticate again for subsequent meetings.

Enable the waiting room

  1. Log in to the Zoom host web portal at and open your meeting in edit mode.
  2. Check the Waiting Room option right next to the Passcode option.
  3. Select Save.
  4. Review the waiting room instructions for managing attendees as they arrive.

Note that the global setting for the Waiting room will put all participants entering as Guest into the waiting room. Participants signed in with their StarID credentials will bypass the waiting room. If you prefer that all participants get routed to the waiting room, you must change the global setting.

Adjust your global settings

All of the options below can be set by hosts as global settings that will apply to all their meetings by default. Note that some of these changes will only apply to new meetings and you can also override some of these global settings on a meet-by-meeting basis, so check your personal meeting and any existing meeting options to be sure they are configured as needed. To make changes to your global settings, log in to the Zoom host web portal at and select Settings. Then adjust the following as needed:

Disable join before host

  • Slide the Join before host slider Off

Enable authentication

  • Slide the Only authenticated users can join meetings slider On

Require a passcode

  • Slide the Require a passcode when scheduling new meetings slider On
  • Slide the Require a passcode for instant meetings slider On
  • Slide the Require a passcode for Personal Meeting ID (PMI) slider On
  • Slide the Require passcode for participants joining by phone slider On

Mute participants

  • Slide the Mute participants upon entry slider On

Disable file transfer

  • Slide the File transfer slider Off

Control screen sharing

With the Screen sharing slider On

  1. Select Host Only under Who can share?
  2. Select Save (Fig 1)


  • Slide Allow removed participants to rejoin slider Off

Enable waiting room

  1. Slide the Waiting room slider On
  2. Select Edit Options to determine whether All participants or Guest participants only are directed to the waiting room

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