UCL News


Today's Zoom Tip - 5 November 2020

5 November 2020

Remember, remember the 5th November, for now we shall talk about Zoom! Teams tips is branching out to cover other remote working tools and offer some best practice, good etiquette and features advice.

Zoom logo

This week, we're looking at tips to prevent Zoom-bombing.

What is ‘Zoom-bombing’? 

Zoom-bombing is where someone deliberately disrupts your Zoom meeting in some way, often by sharing inappropriate content, which can be very distressing to both host and participants. There are a number of things you can do to prevent this happening, although as always, there is a balance to be struck between making it simple for people to join your meeting and protecting it from unwanted behaviour. 


There are default settings which determine who can join meetings, how they join and what they can do. It’s worth spending a bit of time checking your Settings in Zoom and changing them if necessary. Please note - the default settings for UCL zoom accounts have been determined with security in mind, so we recommend you don’t change them unless absolutely necessary.  

Scheduling your meeting 

You can make your meeting more secure by choosing certain options when you first schedule a meeting in Moodle or via Zoom:   

  • Only allow authenticated users 
    You can set the meeting to Only allow authenticated users to join. This option is recommended if all those joining will be UCL members. If you do need to invite external participants to the meeting, you are given two options when setting it up; the default option is ‘UCL users only’ and the other is ‘anyone with a zoom account’. Choosing the latter allows for external attendees to join but will force them to log in via their own accounts, giving some level of security as their identity will be known.
  • Generate a Meeting ID and passcode 
    Zoom has the option of using a Personal Meeting ID (PMI), but your PMI is unique to your account and never changes so we don’t recommend you use it. Instead, we recommend you generate a Meeting ID and use a Passcode. You can share the Meeting ID and Passcode privately with invitees and advise them not to share it with anyone else. Do generate a new Meeting ID and Passcode for each meeting to further minimise the possibility of unwanted guests. 
  • Enable Waiting Room 
    This ‘online bouncer’ option is useful in that it holds participants in a waiting room, so that you have to approve them to let them into the meeting. By default the waiting room feature only applies to those without a UCL Zoom account, but you can change this in Settings (see above) to place all participants in the waiting room if this option is ticked for a particular meeting. 
  • Allow participants to join anytime 
    Untick this option if you want to prevent people starting the meeting before you join so you can be present to monitor behavior. 

During your meeting 

You can prevent participants chatting privately to each other, sharing their screen or unmuting themselves. The first two can be set by default for all meetings in Settings (see above) and you can change all these during a meeting using the Security option, which also includes the useful ability to Lock Meeting if you are happy that all participants have successfully joined. Finally, if someone is misbehaving, you can go to Participants and choose the option to Mute, Turn off Video or Remove that particular person. 

More information is available on the Zoom support site, and in particular the article on Securing your Zoom meeting. This PC Magazine article on preventing zoom-bombing also has useful tips. If you require additional guidance, please contact zoomsupport@ucl.ac.uk