Zoom: Prevent 'Zoombombing'

Task: Zoombombing is a method in which anonymous participants can use Zoom's screen-sharing and other features to interrupt and disrupt meetings and classes. Zoom has reported that Zoombombing has become a major concern since all schools have moved to an online format. This document will provide you with a list of recommendations to prevent Zoombombing from happening in one of your meetings.



The following best practices for advanced settings are suggested to prevent this from happening in your meeting.

  1. Hosts and participants should log in to Zoom before a meeting by using one of the two methods:
    1. To sign-in, simply go to your respective institution's Zoom page.  Example: https://plymouthstate.zoom.us or https://unh.zoom.us

    2. Click on "Sign In/My Account."

      From there you can log in using your username email address, not your alias email (eg. Use yys1234@plymouth.edu instead of yysmith@plymouth.edu).

      Note: a login is being used to ensure that only an authenticated USNH member can access your meeting regardless of whether the meeting is being launched from inside or outside of Canvas.
  2. Update your user setting to ensure that all future meetings inherit the settings you define
    1. Join before host = off
    2. Private chat = off
    3. Screen sharing: host only (also means no participants can share whiteboards except in break out rooms)
    4. Remote control = off
    5. Allow removed participants to rejoin = off
  3. Only authenticated users can join meetings: Participants cannot log into the meeting with out either:
    1. Being logged into any Zoom account (default)
    2. Being logged into a USNH Zoom account
      • This is a very important setting to prevent Zoombombing. Note that by default, anyone logged into any Zoom account could possibly access your meeting. It is recommended that you change this setting to "Being logged into a USNH Zoom account". This will require a participant to be a member of the USNH community. If you have participants without a USNH email address, you will need to use the default option #1 above. 
  4. Mute participants upon entry: Hosts can mute/unmute individual participants or all of them at once. Hosts can block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise from other participants.
    1. Best Practice - enable Mute Upon Entry in your settings to keep the clamor at bay in large meetings.
  5. Participants video: Hosts can turn someone's video off. This will allow hosts to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate gestures on video.
  6. Disable private chat: Zoom has two in-meeting chats; one for everyone or private participant chat. Restrict participants' ability to chat amongst one another while your event is going on and cut back on distractions. This prevents anyone from getting unwanted messages during the meeting.
  7. Remove unwanted or disruptive participants: From that Participants menu, you can mouse over a participant's name, and several options will appear, including Remove. Click Remove to kick someone out of the meeting.
  8. Disable the ability to Annotate: The host and the participants can doodle and mark up content together using annotations during screen share. Disable the annotation feature in your Zoom settings to prevent people from writing all over the screens.
  9. Lock the meeting: (not recommended for academic class)
    1. When you lock a Zoom Meeting that's already started, no new participants can join, even if they have the meeting ID and password (if one is required). In the meeting, click Participants at the bottom of your Zoom window. In the Participants pop-up, click the button that says Lock Meeting.
    2. NOTE: If meeting is locked, students that drop due to bad Internet connection would not be able to rejoin.
  10. Put an attendee on hold: You can put an attendee on hold as a way of stopping the transmission of video and audio. This allows others to continue meeting while the participant is prevented from seeing and hearing others.
    • Click on someone's video thumbnail and select Start Attendee On Hold to activate this feature.
    • Click Take Off Hold in the Participants list when you're ready to have them back.
  11. If something were to happen, you can use the Security icon at the bottom of your screen to Suspend Participant Activities.  This will immediately lock down the session and stop all activity.

Zoom security settings screenshot

Finally, the last recommendations are to NEVER use your personal meeting ID or publicize meetings over social media. Personal meetings are perpetual meeting spaces that can continue past the end of a meeting session. Publicizing over social media opens up the meeting for a greater chance of Zoombombing.


Users have information about how to secure their Zoom meetings, and practices to mitigate or prevent Zoombombing. 

Further reading:

User Settings

Only Authenticated users can join Meetings Setting

Mute Participants Upon Entry Setting

Participants Video Settings

Disabling Private Chat in Zoom

Removing Unwanted or Disruptive Participants

Disabling the Ability to Annotate

Locking a Zoom Meeting

Put a Meeting Attendee on Hold

Security Icon in Zoom

Need additional help?

Please fill out the Zoom Web Conferencing help form with as much detail as possible, or contact the Technology Help Desk on your local campus.

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Article ID: 3127
Fri 10/2/20 5:24 PM
Thu 3/7/24 10:19 AM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office