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Virtual Meeting Security

"Zoom bombs" have a potential to occur with Zoom and other video/Web conferencing platforms, please consider the following resources and tips when working remotely. Specifically, the audio/visual projections associated with zoombombing and other inappropriate behaviors are often bias-related where language and visuals can be highly offensive and/or sexual or pornographic in nature. Links shared in group and private chats have also been associated with efforts to get participants to give up credentials.

There are precautionary measures to take when attending Web conferences:

  • Before logging into a Web conference session, ensure that monitors/displays are positioned in such a way as to not be visible by those not attending the session (e.g. children).
  • Use a headset while attending sessions or make sure that volume is lowered if there are others in the proximity of the videoconference.

When hosting a Web conference:

  • Always use a password to protect sessions.
  • Always use a waiting room feature and manually admit attendees.
  • Never distribute conference links widely via email, which can and will be forwarded, or social media, which cannot be controlled.
  • Assign a person to moderate sessions and make sure the moderator has sufficient rights within the session to remove attendees if abhorrent behavior is detected.
  • Disable or limit chat and whiteboards within the sessions.
  • Mute all participants video and microphones by default.
  • Consider recording the session, for evidence (if need be) and sharing (post-editing, if need be)

If you are "bombed":

If you are attending a Web conference session that is "Zoom bombed," we encourage you to disconnect from the session, if your situation warrants, and submit a bias report at https://www.esf.edu/ide/bias.htm and/or contact Rebecca Hoda-Kearse, Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer (rahodake@esf.edu) (315) 791-2387 (call or text) to report the occurrence.

To avoid these issues, CNS has recommended that you:

  • Use a Web conferencing service other than Zoom. Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Blackboard Collaborate are all alternatives available to the ESF community at no cost. Contact the CNS Help Desk X6861, or helpdesk @ esf.edu if you need assistance using these alternatives.
  • Update the Zoom software often, even if not prompted to do so. The vendor is working on solutions to these issues in their platform.

Additional Information

ESF Restart Home Admissions, Undergraduate Blackboard Trainings CDC Updates College Commitment Consequences for Violations ESF Student Counseling Services ESF Student Health Portal Event Guidelines Library Updates: Current News New York State Department
of Health
Return to Work Requirements Travel Information (CDC) Travel Information (ESF HR) Daily COVID-19 Screening Form - Employees Virtual Meeting Security