Zoom bombing: Protect your Cornell Course

Zoom bombing is when an unwanted attendee, possibly from outside the university, disrupts an online meeting. It has been on the rise as web meetings become essential to keep higher education going.

The university has taken steps to reduce the likelihood and impact of disruption in Zoom.

Course default settings:

  • Put attendees who have not signed into Zoom into a waiting room until admitted by the host (See how to admit from the waiting room)
  • Only allow screen sharing from the host
  • Do not allow screen annotation
  • Do not allow file sharing

Note: You can override the waiting room and screen sharing and annotation defaults.

Recommendations for before class:

  • Do not share your Zoom meeting link publicly
  • Set a password for the meeting
  • Do not allow "join before host"
  • Mute your attendees on entry
  • Require authentication if you only meet with Cornell attendees
  • Turn off chat if you don’t need it for class discussion

Note: These preferences are controlled through Zoom settings. If you’d like assistance locating them or clarification on what each does, please contact Cornell’s IT Service Desk.

Recommendations for class:

Encourage students to sign in before class:

  • It is more secure
  • You will see the student’s names in the participants list, instead of “Guest”
  • They will enter the meeting automatically instead of you having to admit them from the waiting room

See who is in the meeting:

Click Manage Participants in your Zoom meeting toolbar. A new window will open to the right of the main screen. Guests (attendees who did not sign in) will be highlighted.

Consider locking the meeting after everyone has arrived:

At the bottom of the Participant window, click More, then select Lock Meeting

Be ready to remove disruptive attendees.

If you experience a Zoom bombing disruption, the Center for Teaching Innovation has some ideas on how to respond.

If you have questions about teaching online, see the Center for Teaching Innovation’s Fall 2020 Instruction.

If you have technical questions about Zoom or need a license for a class of more than 300, contact the IT Service Desk