Video conferencing can be a great tool to connect with students during these unprecedented times, but you need to make sure you are taking steps to keep you and your students safe.
A number of schools around the country have reported incidents of “Zoom-bombing,” where uninvited individuals have joined a class video conference and yelled profanities or hate speech.
The FBI recommends taking the following steps to mitigate teleconference hijacking threats:
- Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.
- Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people.
- Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only.”
- Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.
- Lastly, ensure that your organization’s telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security.
You can also check out these tips from Zoom on securing your virtual classroom.
For answers to other questions about video conferencing and online learning, read these CEA FAQs for teachers.
The FBI asks that if you are a victim of teleconference hijacking, or any cyber-crime, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. Additionally, if you receive a specific threat during a teleconference, please report it at tips.fbi.gov or call the FBI New Haven Division at (203) 777-6311.