What it is
Zoombombing is the video conferencing version of photobombing – an unauthorized person crashing your Zoom meeting. However, where photobombing is usually harmless, there have been incidents of Zoom-crashers spewing vile hateful text or images in Zoom meetings. See this report regarding disruption of classes at USC. It’s possible that meetings are being randomly disrupted by someone guessing the nine-digit Zoom meeting ID, but it’s also possible that authorized meeting participants or system administrators are leaking the meeting IDs to disruptors.
How real of a threat is Zoombombing?
Hard to say. The judgment of CERT is that the chance of a specific DeSales Zoom session being Zoombombed is low.
What to do if you are concerned that your meeting might be Zoombombed
Even if you schedule a Zoom session through Blackboard, anyone that knows or guesses the meeting ID can join the session. There are a variety of tactics that you can use to prevent unauthorized users from joining a meeting, but the tradeoff is that it increases the hoops your students need to clear to join the session. If you are concerned about the possibility of Zoombombing, the CERT-recommended tactic is to require a meeting password when you set up the meeting. You can change the meeting password to make it as simple or complex as you desire. You would of course need to communicate the meeting password to your students.
- Advice from Zoom: https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/20/keep-the-party-crashers-from-crashing-your-zoom-event/
- Zoombombing resources from USC: https://keepteaching.usc.edu/tools/zoombombing-resources/
- Zoombombing article: https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/17/zoombombing/
Contact the Center for Educational Resources and Technology (CERT) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-282-1100, ext. 2290.