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How to Host Safe Zoom Meetings with No Zoombombing.

The face you make when your fishing buddy Zoom-bombs your client meeting

Here’s How to Have Safe Zoom Meetings and Prevent Uninvited Zoom Crashers from Joining.

Here is a quick, short list of what you need to know about hosting safe Zoom meetings that won’t get joined, ruined and “hacked” by video intruders.

This is especially important if you’re hosting a large Zoom meeting, with more than 20 people and a long list of email addresses of people you may not know. (If it’s just you and a few friends, there’s not much to worry about.)

  1. Create a unique Meeting Identification Number.
  2. Generate a meeting password for the invited.
  3. Use a “waiting room” to screen participants.
  4. “Lock the meeting” once it starts, closing the door on others.
  5. Share only your screen. Don’t let others share their screen.
  6. Turn off private chatting (messaging) for the meeting.

All this is explained right here, in simple language.

In today’s work-at-home environment, you should have a Zoom account.

More than that, you should learn know how to host a Zoom meeting…a secure Zoom meeting, one that doesn’t let outsiders in.  That way, you can help others run safe video conference meetings using Zoom too.

Setting up a Zoom account is easy. Go to Zoom.us and click the button that says, Sign up. It’s Free. Once you have an account, click Schedule a Meeting, with you as the host, so you can learn the security features.

A Zoom meeting is like a private event.

Holding a safe, Zoom videoconference meeting is like throwing a special, private event in your home. Here’s what it all boils down to:

  • You want only invited guests to show up and they need to know a secret code to get in.
  • Even once they get to your house, you have a “bouncer” check their invitation at the door, ask them the secret code and put them in a waiting room.
  • One by one, you let them inside your home, but only if you “recognize” them.  When the party starts, you lock the doors to keep out intruders.
  • Inside, you limit what your guests can do or say. And if they misbehave, you can throw them out.

Running a secure Zoom meeting is just like that.

  • Zoom’s “meeting scheduler” lets you send meeting invitations with a special meeting code and a unique password for selected “participants” to get it. 
  • Zoom’s security menu lets you create a waiting room.
  • And before the meeting begins, you set it up to be the one in control.

After all, YOU ARE THE HOST!  You determine what happens. If you follow the steps below, you should have a totally safe, secure and problem-free Zoom meeting.

Practice setting up safe Zoom meetings now.   

First requirement: Make sure you’re using the latest version of Zoom!  You can run a meeting on an older version of Zoom, but the newer security protections aren’t there. Don’t run a meeting unless you’re sure you’re using a recent version.

How to find out if yours is up to date? Log in and click on the very top-right corner of the Zoom home page (your face or your initial) to get a list of options. Click “check for updates.”

Next, on the Zoom homepage, click on the blue “Schedule” button.

On the Meeting Schedule pop-up page, you’ll take care of a few security points BEFORE inviting any participants. Zoom has made this more secure by default, but check this anyway.

  1. Select the Meeting ID, that’s generated randomly for you. (Don’t choose the personal meeting ID.)
  2. Generate a unique meeting required password for those you’re inviting to a meeting.
  3. Select the video (host on), audio, and calendar settings you want. Then hit the blue SCHEDULE button.

Zoom! You’re ready to go.

Your meeting is set up. If you follow the first three steps, you’ll keep out nearly all wannabee meeting crashers. Why? They won’t have the Meeting ID and password you sent out.  Still, once the meeting starts, you can prevent things from going wrong.

Next, practice making security decisions when your meeting starts. Here’s how:

Back on the homepage, click on the orange “New Meeting” button.

You should see your face immediately. Move your cursor to the bottom and a black, horizontal menu bar will show. Click on the Security button and on the pop-up screen, make these security decisions:  

  1. Put a check mark (to Enable) the “waiting room,” which allows you to screen guests who have logged into the meeting. You get to make sure you recognize them by their email address before you “onboard them” into the meeting.
  2. Check mark “Lock the meeting” once the meeting is about to start. This lets you shut the door on any wannabe intruder. You can unlock and relock the meeting as you wish.
  3. Turn off screen sharing for everyone except you.  You should be the only one who can share your screen; don’t allow participants to open screen sharing or do it selectively.    
  4. Don’t allow “chat.” Attendees talking during the meeting isn’t “chat.” A chat is a private message feature on Zoom that allows instant messaging among attendees.  Not allowing chat prevents someone from sending inappropriate chat messages during your meeting (or just being disruptive).   

Again, if you feel 100% comfortable with your group, you can enable chat.

How we all got here.

Tens of millions of Americans are now using Zoom for business meetings, education and online social gatherings—from elementary classrooms and music lessons to virtual bridal showers and yoga classes.

Zoom wasn’t always so widespread. Even though Zoom was launched in 2013 and many businesses had been using it for a few years, it was a well-kept secret from the public.

Then the coronavirus epidemic hit and it upended the whole world. And it sent Zoom usage, Zoom meetings and Zoom participants—in a word—zooming off the charts. That was good news.

Soon, there was bad news. Although Zoom was happy with the usage and attention, it wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

Major security issues.

Safe Zoom meetings means no uninvited attendees!

Suddenly, there were reports of hundreds of Zoom meetings being invaded, disrupted and ruined by intruders. Pornography would suddenly show up on the screen, or vile, or hateful language would come spewing out from someone who wasn’t invited. It caught everyone, including Zoom, by surprise.

That bad act was quickly given a name: Zoombombing.  

Zoom scrambled to add some much-needed security features—but those features are not all automatic or set as defaults.

Therefore, if you’re “hosting” a meeting—you are the teacher, or the online party thrower, or the VP of marketing—you’re the one who must take steps to prevent someone from Zoombombing your meeting.

If you follow the steps we covered above, you should have little or no problems hosting a Zoom meeting with zero interruptions.

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