How to minimise disruption to Zoom meetings

Introduction

On occasion individuals can seek to disrupt classes, lectures and other events being conducted through Zoom. This kind of disruption has come to be known as Zoom-bombing. This guide considers a range of measures that can be taken to minimise risk of such disruption. When choosing to make use of any of the measures, you should always aim to balance the need to make an event secure with making it accessible. Access considerations are highlighted in the lilac info panels below.

Scheduling your meeting

When scheduling a Zoom meeting, there are a number of measures you can take to reduce the risk of unwanted visitors joining. It is not necessary to apply all of these settings but the more you use the more secure your meeting will be.

Enable Only authenticated users can join

With this feature enabled, you can choose between Sign into Zoom or LSE Users only. By choosing LSE Users only you will restrict access to meetings to those who are signed into Zoom with LSE IT credentials.

See the Zoom Meetings Manager guide for information on how to enable this when scheduling a meeting from within Moodle. Alternatively, you can enable this through the Zoom web portal.

Access Consideration. While this will prevent unwanted outsiders from joining, it may have the unintended consequence of blocking access to any student who is experiencing difficulty with their LSE IT account. In particular, LSE IT accounts now require multi-factor authentication and if a student doesn’t have access to the device required for this process, they may not be able to join the meeting.

Require Registration

If you wish to dissuade the more casual disruptor, requiring registration creates an additional step for them to complete before joining a meeting. Before joining they will be required to submit a form like the one below. If they are already signed into lse.zoom.us, the information will be pre-populated.

By requiring participants to register you also generate a more accurate attendance report as their email address, rather than screen name, is captured for the report.

You would most commonly set registrations to be automatically approved, but if you wish to manually approve them, you can do so after you have scheduled your meeting by customising your registration options.

In Moodle, use the Zoom Meetings Manager to enable registration. It is not possible to enable this using the old Zoom activity in Moodle.

Set a passcode for your meeting

Setting a passcode creates a further step for unwanted visitors to take before trying to join your meeting. For this feature to be effective, you should first disable Embed passcode in invite link for one-click join in the settings area of your account (see below).

Enable Waiting Room

This feature is most useful If you have an alternative host or co-host to help you manage participants. Holding all participants in a waiting room until you are ready to admit them, gives you a chance to check that those waiting to join the meeting are genuine participants. If there are any unwanted guests, you can identify them and remove them before the meeting starts.

Sharing your Zoom meeting

Having scheduled your meeting, you should take care to only share the meeting link and passcode with the intended participants. Therefore, If it's a private meeting or class, only share the meeting link and passcode on your Moodle course or by email. Avoid sharing links on public websites or via social media. Use the Zoom Meetings Manager within your Moodle course to share all your course Zoom links in one place.

Once shared with the participants, it is difficult to control further distribution. This is why employing at least one of the other scheduling measures is advisable.

In your Zoom meeting

Despite your best efforts to schedule and share your meeting details securely, participants may still seek to disrupt your meeting. If so, there are a range of options open to you. Zoom’s Managing participants in a meeting guide provides details on these options and how to make use of them. You may find the following particularly useful:

  • Disable Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves. While it is possible to mute individual participants in meetings, with this setting disabled any persistent disruptors will find themselves unable to unmute themselves.

  • Stop Video. If participants seek to display offensive images through their camera, you can simply turn off their video. The participant will not be able to turn their video back on themselves.

  • Prevent participants from screen sharing. To avoid unwanted or offensive images, it is advisable to restrict screen sharing to the host. If you require participants to share their screen you can allow this at the appropriate time within the meeting.

  • Remove. Very much a last resort, this option is available should a participant not respond to other measures. For this feature to be effective, you should first disable Allow removed participants to rejoin in the settings area of your account (see below).

Disabling Allow removed participants to rejoin only prevents the individual from rejoining from the same device. They may try to rejoin the meeting through another device.

Accessibility Consideration. Before employing any of the ‘In your Zoom meeting’ measures, you should try to communicate with the individual concerned. They may not be aware that they have been causing a disruption and immediately muting them or stopping their video may negatively impact on their participation in the class or meeting.

Hosting a meeting with a large number of participants makes managing those participants more challenging. If possible, it is advisable to have an alternative host or co-host to help you with this. For large classes, GTAs may be able to fill this role.

Editing scheduled meetings in the Zoom web portal

  • Go to lse.zoom.us and sign in

  • Click on Meetings in the sidebar on the left of the page

  • Hover over the relevant upcoming meeting until you see the start, edit and delete buttons appear on the right

  • Click the edit button

  • Update the required meeting settings

 

 

 

  • Click save

Further Reading

Zoom Blog Post: How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event