Securing Your Zoom Meeting Room

Zoom is proving, for the vast majority of groups, and the members who attend their meetings, to be an excellent platform to host online meetings during this health crisis. However, as with much on the internet, there can be a darker side. There have been reports recently of a tiny minority of groups being attacked in what is known as "Zoom Bombing". This can be a distressing experience for members. During a so-called zoom bombing, certain features of the zoom platform are used by malicious actors to disrupt the meeting by showing unsavoury content, such as pornographic/racist/violent images. While there is no physical danger to anyone, or to their equipment, it can be, nonetheless, a deeply unpleasant experience. Luckily Groups can take measures to largely mitigate against these events, through selecting the right settings for their meeting's needs.

Zoom Blog

This article discussed the process of securing your Zoom meeting. It must be borne in mind Zoom is used in many contexts, and for many different types of groups i.e. schools, business meetings etc. Please read this article.

Thom R's Guide to Zoom Security

Excellent guide to securing your AA meeting online. In depth article from a member with many years experience as an internet security expert.

The Verge

Another interesting article discussing security settings for zoom. Again, it is emphasised, the need for the "Screen Sharing" function to be disabled, for both host and participant. It serves no purpose in an AA meeting, and should not be available. Thankfully, these settings are easy to adjust.

NZ GSO Advice

Fantastic advice on safety and security from AA in New Zealand. They are to be commended on their caring, progressive, and fair attitude to groups starting online meetings during this crisis.

General Points of Security

Stop other participants from screen sharing

This feature of Zoom allows people to share the contents of the screens with other participants. It is the main avenue by which "Zoom Bombers" attack meetings, by sharing the contents of their screen. This is usually material of a very upsetting nature. When disabled, they can no longer do this. This one setting alone can do much to secure your meeting. Please turn it off for both host and participants.

My account>settings>Screen Sharing (turn OFF)>Disable Desktop Screen Share for Users (Turn ON)

Lock the meeting after it starts

This is harsh to latecomers, but it can help keep out zoom bombers who might try to re-enter under a different account. Click  "Manage Participants" at the bottom of the Host screen and select "Lock Meeting."

Don't "Allow removed participants to Rejoin"

This setting allows people removed from the room to rejoin, unless you disable it. Without this, a malicious person can simply re-enter the room when they are removed. With this setting disabled they are kept out.
Go to Account Management >Settings >Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin" (Turn OFF) 

Allow Host to put Attendee on Hold

Turn on this setting to allow the meeting chairman/secretary to remove a person to a holding area away from other members. They can then remove them altogether, or allow them to re-enter if so desired.

Turn off File Transfer

This feature has no practical benefit in an AA meeting, but does allow malicious people the chance to send unsavoury files and images to other participants. This should be turned off.

Go to Account Management > Account Settings > Meeting > File Transfer.

Disable Chat

Chat between members, or from member to member, should take place in the open. The chat feature, many groups have found, provides no useful function in an AA zoom meetings. For this reason, it is probably best to disable it, for both participant and host.
Go to Account Management >Settings >(Turn off Chat, Private Chat, Auto-saving chats)

Video Recording

Zoom comes with the ability to record meetings. While probably useful in an academic or business environment, it has no place in an AA meeting. This functionality should be disabled.

Go to Account Management >Settings >Recording Tab>Disable all settings under this tab.