Zoombombing Resources

In response to the spread of COVID-19, the University of Miami (UM) has transitioned to online classes for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. As a result, our community is currently working, teaching, and learning via video conferencing platforms, including Zoom.

What is Zoombombing?

A new form of trolling in which a participant uses Zoom's screensharing feature to interrupt and disrupt meetings and classes.

How to Avoid Zoombombing

At this time, we advise faculty to link to Zoom lectures from within Blackboard, and for all UM community members to consider setting a password to join meetings and/or to enable the waiting room option.

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  • Set a Meeting Password

    Setting a strong password for your meeting can prevent unanticipated guests from joining. When scheduling a meeting, under Meeting Options, select Require meeting password, then specify a strong password (make your password at least eight characters long and use at least three of the following types of characters: lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, symbols). Participants will be asked to enter this password in order to join your meeting.

  • Enable Waiting Room

    The Waiting Room feature allows the host to control when participants join your meeting. As the meeting host, you can admit attendees individually, or hold all attendees in the virtual waiting room and admit all when you are ready to begin. Admitting participants from the Waiting Room requires an additional step for the host, but provides increased control to only allow participants to join the meeting when you admit them. This feature can be enabled on a per-meeting basis when scheduling.

  • Disable Join Before Host

    If you are scheduling a meeting where sensitive information will be discussed and you do not want participants to start the meeting without you, it's best to disable join before host functionality. If you disable this functionality, participants will see a pop-up dialog that says, "Please wait for the host to start this meeting." If you are the host, there is a login button to login and start the meeting as the host. This feature can also be enabled or disabled on a per-meeting basis when scheduling.

  • Limit Sharing to the Host

    This restriction can help prevent intrusive sharing and potential meeting disruptions. However, this may not be appropriate when multiple participants need to share and collaborate. To limit sharing privileges while in your meeting:

    • Click the up-arrow next to Share Screen.
    • Select Advanced Sharing Options.
    • Under Who can share, click Only Host.

  • Remove a Participant

    If you are the host or co-host in a session and notice an unwanted guest has joined or a participant is disruptive to your session, you have the option to remove them. To remove a participant:

    • Click Manage Participants at the bottom of the Zoom window (if the Participants panel is not already visible).
    • Next to the person you want to remove, click More.
    • From the list that appears, click Remove.

  • Lock Your Meeting

    The Zoom Host Controls allow the host or co-host to lock the meeting once all anticipated participants have joined the meeting. When a meeting is locked, no one else can join the session, regardless of having a meeting password. To lock your meeting:

    • Click Manage Participants at the bottom of the Zoom window (if the Participants panel is not already visible).
    • At the bottom of the Participants panel, click More.
    • From the list that appears, click Lock Meeting.

  • Restrict Access to Join a Meeting

    By default, anyone with the join link or meeting ID can join a meeting hosted by users on your account, even if they are not signed into Zoom. To prevent unknown participants from joining the session, you have the option to restrict meeting participants to users who are signed into Zoom. You can also restrict participation even further, to those who are signed in from a specific set of email address domains.


Zoom's Advanced Sharing Settings for Education

Based on feedback from the education community, Zoom recently released a product enhancement to give teachers more control over their meetings.

Host Sharing Enhancements

As of March 26, 2020, the screen sharing settings within your account have automatically defaulted to "Only Host." This setting gives hosts sole permission to share content within their meetings by default.

How do I give meeting participants the ability to share?

If you'd like to give participants screen sharing permission when hosting your next meeting, simply click the arrow to the right of the Screen Sharing icon, select Advanced Sharing Options and select All Participants.

If you'd like to re-enable participant content sharing at the account level, please visit miami.zoom.us/profile/setting > In Meetings (Basic) > Screen sharing > and select All Participants. For reference, see the screengrab below:

Visit the Zoom Help Center for more information regarding this update.


Best Practices for Securing Your Virtual Classrooms

Zoom has helped thousands of schools and teachers around the world quickly shift to remote virtual learning. Click here to read the Zoom blog which highlights best practices for securing your virtual classrooms. Also, check out this video on securing your virtual classroom from the Zoom team:


For more information about Zoom, including a list of features and benefits, visit the Zoom service page. For answers to commonly asked questions, review the Zoom FAQs.

If you suspect you may be a victim of Zoombombing, please contact the UMIT Service Desk at: (305) 284-6565 or help@miami.edu, as well as the IT Security team at: ciso@miami.edu.