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By Scott Schober
Wed | Apr 1, 2020 | 3:45 AM PDT

In this time of social distancing, video conferencing platforms such as FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom have become indispensable. But like email, texts, and even the old phone system, hackers, spammers, and jerks have made their way into our latest video conferences. Here are a few tips to stop these uninvited guests at the door.

  • Password protect all of your meetings.
  • Create Waiting Rooms for attendees.
  • Require host to be present before meeting starts.
  • Lock a meeting once it starts.
  • Screen share watermarks; puts part of your email on the shared screen.
  • Require Audio signatures; embeds each meeting participant's credentials into their audio track.
  • Enable/disable a participant or all participants to record.
  • Temporarily pause screen-sharing when a new window is opened.
  • Only allow individuals with a given email domain to join.
  • Secure your meetings with end-to-end encryption.

These so-called Zoom-bombers are mostly harmless. Like party crashers, they slip in and out without doing too much damage. However, these crashers want to be noticed for their pornography, hate speech, and general chaos they try to inject into video conferences. Unlike photo-bombing, Zoom-bombing is not all fun.

During this time of COVID-19 uncertainty, information is valuable and any noise or disruption that takes up bandwidth or leads to cancelled digital dialogues or events can present a danger to all of us.

The FBI recently weighed in on Zoom-bombing attacks, offering a few salient tips to avoid disruptions and illegal hate speech.

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.
  • Do not share Zoom conference links on public social media. Provide the link directly to specific people.
  • Manage screen-sharing options. In Zoom, change screen sharing to 'Host Only.'
  • Ensure users have up-to-date Zoom clients. In January, Zoom rolled out a security update that added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.
  • Ensure that your organization's telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security.

In just a few weeks, hundreds of millions of workflows have shifted away from physical to electronic means. In fact, companies like Zoom have seen unprecedented high demand for video conferencing services, sending their valuations on the stock market into the stratosphere. For instance, Zoom is currently worth more than United, Delta, American, and JetBlue airlines combined!

If you are unfamiliar with Zoom's many features, you can familiarize yourself with them by watching this quick Zoom video tutorial.

Once again, the world has quickly begun to adapt to a new way of life through technology. It's important to not be scared or overwhelmed by these changes and potential threats. We might be socially distancing in the real world right now, but that shouldn't stop us from connecting with colleagues and loved ones so long as we can stay safe.

This article appeared originally at