How to Protect your Zoom Conference Calls

March 30, 2020 - 3:17pm

Humboldt State University has received reports from faculty members that their classes have been subject to “Zoom-bombing,” where people not associated with the University interrupt Zoom conference calls and other virtual class gatherings.

Zoom has released guidance for protecting yourself from Zoom-bombing. They are also making changes to help protect you. Here are the top tips. Any one of these will help:

1.      Avoid hosting large meetings or ‘public’ events using your Personal Meeting ID (PMI). Your PMI is basically one continuous meeting and you don't want trolls invading your personal virtual space. Instead, Zoom suggests using random meeting IDs for your large meetings.

2.    Enable a waiting room for Guest participants only. Add a custom waiting room description instructing HSU users to log in to join: “If you have an @humboldt.edu account, please go to https://humboldtstate.zoom.us to log in to this meeting or wait for the host to admit you into the meeting.” You’ll need to edit existing meetings (including your Personal Meeting if you use it) to enable waiting room. Any future created meetings will have it by default.

3.      Require a password to join your meeting. You can require a password for any meeting when you schedule it and/or as a default for all personal ID meetings. Just sign into Zoom and click on Meetings and the Personal Meeting Room to access the password setting.

4.   Lock your meeting. You can lock a Zoom meeting once it is started and all your expected participants have joined. This prevents any new participants from joining, even if they have the meeting ID and password (if you have required one). To do this, in the meeting click Participants at the bottom of your Zoom window. In the Participants pop-up, click the button that says Lock Meeting.

5.      If you find yourself with a disruptive participant in your meeting, you can remove them. Click on Participants at the bottom of your Zoom window then select More and Remove for the participant that you want to eject from the meeting.

If you’ve received unwanted contact on Zoom or other online channels, please consider reporting it to University Police by calling 707-826-5555 or the Dean of Students Office at DoS@humboldt.edu.

Support and health and wellbeing services are available on campus. Students who would like to talk with a counselor can contact Counseling & Psychological Services in Student Health & Counseling at 707.826.3236 anytime. Staff or faculty seeking additional support may call the Employee Assistance Program at 707.443.7358.

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