Zoom Security Resources and Preventing Zoombombing

This article provides step-by-step instructions for creating secure classes and meetings to prevent Zoombombing.

What is Zoombombing?

A new form of trolling in which a participant uses Zoom’s screen sharing feature to interrupt and disrupt meetings and classes. Uninvited guests can also use their audio and video cameras to disrupt your Zoom session.


Ways to Secure your Classes/Meetings to Prevent Zoombombing

These are recommendations to reduce the impact and risk of a zoombombing incident in your classes or meetings. As you get used to Zoom and set up classes and meetings, you may find some of these options are limiting. However, we recommend you explore use them as a starting point. Once you have the right mix, you can create meeting templates to easily replicate your security for future meetings.




General Security Recommendations

  • Do not publish your class or meeting links on open websites or social media.
  • Use the Generate Automatically option for all new classes or meetings.This ensure a unique session is provided to each class.
  • It is not recommended to use your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) for general classes or meetings.
  • It is best to create a new recurring meeting for each class section to ensure students join the correct section.
  • If you use your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) for office hours, it is recommended you use a waiting room to only admit individuals one-at-a-time for privacy, just as you would in your physical office.
  • Always use a meeting passcode to prevent others from accidentally entering your into classes or meetings.
  • Always use a waiting room to admit only those participants you know should be in attendance.
  • Ask students to use their roster names as it displays in Canvas as their Zoom display name. This allows you to ensure your students are in the right class, as well as limits unknown nicknames. Unfortunately, Zoom will sometimes grab their computer name or cell phone number and the participant must change this for your to recognize them. Having unknown names at the beginning of term can be challenging when everyone is new to you. However if most are able to set their names correctly, it will help ensure the correct people are in your sessions.
  • Once you get your meeting configured the way you like it, create a Template to make new class or meeting invitations ease going forward.
  • If you are hosting a large, public or widely distributed open session, please read our Zoom Public Meetings and Webinars article for the best experience.
  • Once you get your settings exactly as you like, you can create a template to easily use them in future meetings.



Generate Automatic Meeting ID

When scheduling a meeting, in the Meeting ID section check Generate Automatically. This ensures a new, randomly generated ID for each new meeting instead of reusing your Personal Meeting ID. If you share your PIM requently, you may have unintended participants showing up.

Generate Automatically Meeting ID




Set Meeting Passcode

Adding a Passcode to a New Meeting

When scheduling a meeting, go to the Security section to check "Passcode" and accept the random passcode provided. Alternately, you may enter your own meeting passcode. Be sure to share the meeting link and passcode with your attendees/students. Passcodes prevent uninvited random participants.

Enter Passcode

Adding a Passcode to an Existing Meeting

If you have meetings scheduled without a passcode or want to change the passcode to a meeting, following these instructions.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal Meetings section using "Sign in with SSO" option.
  2. Click edit on the meeting you would like to update. You will notice those meetings with the ! after the title do not have a passcode or waiting room enabled. Hovering your mouse over the meeting displays your options. Click Edit.
  3.  Scroll down to the Security section, check the Passcode box.

Adding Passcode

  1. Click Save
  2. In the resulting Manage screen, click the Copy Invitation link and paste the invitation into your Canvas class, Outlook invitation or other location where you shared this meeting's join information the first time.

Manage meeting

NOTE: Adding a passcode to a previously scheduled meeting requires you to reshare the meeting invitation with the attendees to include the new passcode and updated link. Copy the new invitation to calendar, email or Canvas meetings where you have shared it previously.




Enable Waiting Room

Enable Waiting Room in a single meeting

The Waiting Room feature allows the host to control when a participant joins the meeting by placing participants in a Waiting Room prior to joining the session. This options only admits participants to your meeting upon approval. When creating or editing a meeting, in the Security section check Waiting Room.


Waiting Room


Enable Waiting Room in all future meetings

Changing this setting will default all future meetings to use the waiting room:

  1. Sign into the Zoom web portal and navigate to Settings.
  2. In the Security section, verify that the passcode settings that you would like to use for your meetings are enabled.
  3. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.


Admitting Participants from Waiting Room

Upon joining, participants will be in the waiting room and you will have to admit them before they can participate. By default only hosts and co-hosts can admit participants to the waiting room.




Waiting Room: Add or Remove Participants

When in the meeting you admit participants from the waiting room by clicking Manage Participants. This opens the Participants pane at the right to see who is in the waiting room. You are able to Admit participants to the meeting or Remove them from participating.  Note: It is not recommended that you use the Admit all feature as this may admit participants that should not be in your class.

  • Click Admit (a) to allow a single participant into the meeting.
  • Click Remove (b) to prevent a single participant from entering your Zoom meeting.




Turn Off Video upon Entry

It is recommended that Participant Video is disables upon entry. While this setting still allows Participants to turn their video on in a meeting, you will only see videos should your class be Zoombombed. There is unfortunately no option currently in our standard Pro license to forbid videos for all participants. If you need this features, please contact IS Help Desk about hosting a Webinar instead of a meeting.




Remove Participant from Class or Meeting

If someone is in a meeting and you want to remove them, do the following:

  • Click Manage Participants in the bottom pane.
  • In the Participants panel at the right, mouse over the person’s name and click More.
  • Click Remove.



Disable Join Before Host

To ensure that uninvited guests are not in the class or meeting before you enter the meeting, it is recommended that you uncheck Enable join before host box.



Mute Participants on Entry

To ensure that late or loud participants do not disrupt the class or meeting when they enter, set the Advanced Options check the Mute Participants on Entry box.



Enable an Alternate Host

In large meetings, you may want to enable a Alternate or Co-Host to assist with answering chat questions and be prepared to assist with any unexpected events should they arise. To do this, in the Advanced Options section, enter their email address in the Alternate Host field.


Disable Annotations

The annotation feature is frequently used in Zoombombing and can be turned off. Go to My Settings in a browser and in the submenu, select In-Meeting (Basic). Scroll down to Annotation and turn this feature off.



Disable Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin

When you have a problem with a participant and remove them from a meeting, there is a feature that forbids them from re-entering. Go to My Settings in a browser and in the submenu, select In-Meeting (Basic). Scroll down to Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin and turn this feature off.



Disable Virtual Backgrounds

This features is frequently used in Zoombombing and is a video or image behind the participants video display. For a standard class or open meeting, this feature is not necessary and can be disabled. Go to My Settings in a browser and in the submenu, select In-Meeting (Advanced). Scroll down to Virtual Background and turn this feature off.



Lock Meeting

When the Zoom meeting is locked, no additional participants are able to enter, even if they have the meeting passcode.

  • While in the meeting session, click the Manage Participants in the bottom toolbar.
  • In the Participants pane at the right, hover at the bottom to display additional options.
  • In the participants’ pop-up menu, select More and Lock Meeting.



Enable Screen Share for Participants already in a Zoom Meeting

Follow the steps to allow participants to share their screen while in a Zoom meeting.

  • Place your mouse in the Zoom meeting window. A black toolbar will appear.
  • Next to the Share Screen button, click up arrow and select Advanced Sharing Options...
  • On the pop-up screen,under How many particpants can share at the same time your options are the following:
    • Select One participant can share at a time (default option)
    • Select Multiple participants can share simultaneously (dual monitors recommended)
  • Under Who can share, your options are
    • Select Only Host (Default options: only you, as the meeting host, can share your screen)
    • Select All participants (all individuals in your meeting are able to share their screens)
  • As the host, you will be the only participant in the meeting who can start sharing while another person is sharing.



Disable Chat in a Zoom Class or Meeting

Zoombombers use chat to disrupt classes. If you need chat, then feel free to leave it open. However you should know how to stop chat during a meeting should a problem arise.

In a Zoom class or meeting, click the Security shielf and uncheck the Chat option to remove stop chat. This will remain off for the duration of the meeting.



See this information from Zoom for more Zoom security tips and tricks.

Portions of this article's content were drafted with approval from Tacoma Community College's "What is Zoombombing and Other Zoom Meeting Security Resources" and Highline College's "Zoom Meeting Security Recommendations".


Article ID: 104274
Fri 4/3/20 10:13 AM
Thu 2/25/21 7:08 AM

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