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Best Practices to Avoid “Zoombombers” in Your Virtual Class

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Now that many classes have shifted online, teachers face a new set of challenges. They need to create an interactive classroom and recreate the usual learning environments like group work and recitations. Also, with many schools and universities turning to Zoom, classes are increasingly coming under attack from “Zoombombers.” These are people who intentionally interrupt virtual classes with offensive content.

Zoom comes with various security features built to protect and control virtual classrooms—teachers only need to maximize them. Start with employing the following features to secure a Zoom classroom.

Lock the classroom

You can lock a virtual class that has already begun so nobody else can enter. It’s like shutting the door in a physical classroom after the bell. Before proceeding to your lecture, give your students three to five minutes to join. Then, click the “Participants” button on your screen. In the pop-up box, you will see a button for “Lock Meeting.” When you click that button, no new participants can join even if they have the meeting ID and password. That is a good way not only to secure a classroom but also to enforce punctuality.

Enable the waiting room

online classSimilar to how DLP SaaS grants data access to users, Zoom’s Waiting Room tool helps bar anyone who isn’t part of your official student list. You have the following options when enabling this feature:

  1. All Participants is an option that will send all participants to the Waiting Room after they clicked the Zoom link and filled out the meeting ID and password tabs. As the host, you can let participants enter the actual session one by one or all at once after checking their ID or email address.
  2. Guest Participants Only is an option you can choose to allow enrolled students to proceed to the session immediately but sends those who are not using a school-issued email address to the Waiting Room.

Control screen sharing

Zoom recently updated the screen-sharing settings to help educators gain more control over what students see and keep them from sharing unnecessary content with the class. For education accounts, the default screen-sharing settings are set to “Host Only.” But if you need your students to share a document or presentation with the group, you can briefly allow screen-sharing through your host controls.

Secure the class while scheduling it

When scheduling a class, Zoom offers you a bunch of options to secure it even before it started. For instance, you can require registration, so you can easily check who’s attending. Be sure to generate a random meeting ID for every class for added security. You can also disable the feature called “Join Before Host.” This way, students cannot enter the class before you join. If they show up a few minutes early, a notification that says, “The meeting is waiting for the host to join” will pop up on their screens.

Zoom may have security features in place, but until you use and maximize them, you risk your class being interrupted by unwanted participants. Also, while it’s fun to share the excitement of connecting over Zoom, refrain from sharing the link on social media, websites, and other unsecured platforms. With all these best practices, you can ensure secure, uninterrupted, and effective virtual classes.

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