Zoom setting for nuisance participants

This excerpt is from a European member who has been dealing with trolls entering and posting porn etc in Zoom meetings over last few weeks:

“Simply log in as admin and do the following. I can’t be too exact because Zoom changes their interface often, rendering this guide useless in short order. However, if you search around in your settings you will find them:

1) Firstly, it is critical to change the SCREEN SHARING setting to “HOST ONLY” (This will still allow hosts and co-hosts to put things up on the screen like readings and such, but none of the participants will be able to screen bomb the meeting anymore.)

2) –disable- the JOIN BEFORE HOST setting. (This prevents people from joining the group before a host logs in. You’ll see why this is important later, when we discuss the “Waiting Room” feature.)

3) –enable- the CO-HOST feature. (You’re going to need one or more co-hosts to perform various functions. Co-hosts are chosen by the host, they have the same privileges as the host and can help you run your meeting, can help moderate, mute and unmute people who are reading or sharing and more — and best of all, their status resets back to participants once the meeting is over. 

Co-Hosts are key. They can watch the Waiting Room. They can quickly act so that the host and/or chair can run the meeting.

If you don’t have enough co-hosts, try to get some. They are the key to this: trusted servants who can take on different roles (timer, mute/unmute people who share, bouncer, waiting room “greeter”, whatever you need) to keep the meeting running more smoothly while also letting the host (secretary) do their job without distraction.

4) –disable- FILE TRANSFER so that there can be no way for pictures, videos or anything else  to be uploaded to your meeting, either in chat or via screen sharing. It’s just too great of a security risk. It’s better to host files you wish to distribute somewhere and post the URL in chat or similar.

5) –disable- ALLOW REMOVED PARTICIPANTS TO REJOIN (This will prevent people who put on “time out” (read: the ones you kick from that particular meeting) to just change their name or something and come back in. Not allowing removed participants to come right back in is important.

6) In the RECORDING sub tab in settings, turn OFF all recordings (for recovery meetings especially, you most likely don’t want to be recording it anyway. For groups like do wish to record their speaker or whatever, there are other ways to do it, of course).

  1. –-disable- LOCAL RECORDING
  2. –-disable- CLOUD RECORDING

7) In the TELEPHONE sub tab in settings, change the following:

  1. –enable- MASK PHONE NUMBER IN PARTICIPANT LIST (This puts a few as**risks into a phone number to help protect phone users’ privacy).

8) In the MEETING sub tab in settings, change the following:

  2. –disable- FEEDBACK TO ZOOM
  3. –disable- SCREEN SHARING (So important I mentioned this twice, double check this that it is off, it needs to be off off off. But Host only is okay, no participants.)
  5. –disable- REMOTE CONTROL

9) –-disable- VIRTUAL BACKGROUND! (I can’t stress this enough. YES it’s fun but YES the trolls ARE making pornographic backgrounds and such. Do yourself a favor and turn it off and leave it off, please. You’ll thank me later.)

10) It’s important that only hosts and co-hosts control the muting or unmuting of people. If you let participants do it themselves… they will. Even the trolls.

11) –enable- the WAITING ROOM feature. You’ll need co-hosts for help keeping an eye on this, but the feature helps you see who is trying to enter your meeting by placing them in a separate area at the top of your participants list until you let them into the main meeting. It also prevents you from getting flooded with disruptive people because it gives you a pre-emptive chance to see who is trying to enter your meeting.

12) On the subject of LOCKING THE MEETING. I recommend that with these settings in the guide proper that you do not have to do it, but it is really up to the group conscience. If you want to lock out latecomers after the meeting starts (say, for example, you want to use the waiting room but don’t want to babysit it once the meeting starts), then by all means do it. It really is up to your own group conscience or right of decision if they gave it to you.

13) And finally, for now, I recommend NOT requiring a user/login to zoom as a requirement to join. Many older devices and phones do not even have this feature in their zoom client, and it could make it more difficult for a spun out newcomer to get into the meeting.

14) –disable– USER RENAME if you’re going to use chat functions. Here is why: a bad actor can post something nasty in your chat and then quickly rename themselves. Their posted chat will retain the old name but they will already be cloaked with their new name as you try to find them and ban them.”

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