Just recently, during one of my Daily Clarity Sessions”, 32 participants and I were the victims of a so-called Zoombomb. Some random guy joined the meeting and spammed porn videos via screen sharing to all of us until I was able to shut down the meeting. I wasn't even aware of this phenomenon before. It was disgusting, scary, and confusing for me to witness this event in my virtual meeting.
Of course, I tried to find out what happened, and I learned that this is a real thing. It is not only a problem for Zoom, which is my (still) my trusted virtual meeting provider, but as well for all other partly open providers like, for example, Google Hangout.
I wanted to turn what I learned about how I can keep my virtual sessions safe into this blog post to share it with you. Please share this one with people you know or write it in your own words or copy and paste it...but we need to educate as many people as possible about this topic. I can't imagine how it would have been being zoombombed in a call with my family and kids.
So let's talk about how you can keep your virtual meetings and workshops safe, ok?
Before the meeting
1. Never use your personal meeting ID, but always generate a new one for every session. This reduces the likelihood somebody can find out about the actual ID. Although these hackers use generators to create IDs by chance and join random meetings this way.
2. That's why you should always protect your meeting with a password. This is way harder to get through for anybody who might have the right ID but is missing the password.
3. To prevent that anybody can find out by chance about your meeting ID or password, never share these in public (social media) but only invite people directly.
4. Last but not least, activate the Meeting Room and disable the ability for participants to join before you, the host. Yes, you need to admit everybody personally to your meeting then, but it keeps everybody safe and sane.
I know what you are thinking..." This is becoming more complex and loses the natural element of our calls", and yes, I agree. But safety first I'd answer.
During the meeting
1. If you can, have somebody in the session which helps you as a Co-Host managing participants, the chat, and all this small stuff. It will free you up, and in case somebody still manages to come in a is going nuts, you have somebody there to help you get rid of that person.
2. You could disable the ability for participants to share their screen if it is not necessary during your session.
3. After a specific timeframe or if everybody has joined the meeting who was supposed to participate, lock the meeting. This way, nobody else can ever enter accidentally after this.
Last but not least, keep up your positive thinking. This is a strange new world, but it offers us a lot of (personal) growth potential too. And with new technologies and trends, there are always new threats arising as well. Let's embrace this together, educate each other, and. master this phase with an optimistic attitude.
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