Posted: March 8, 2021

In response to recent security breaches in Zoom meetings, the Penn State Zoom team has prepared specific guidance on what we can do before and during meetings to prevent unwanted guests from joining and mitigate disruptions if they occur. Zoom security is critical and it will take our collective actions to protect ourselves from these unwarranted attacks on members of our University Community.

Image: Chris Montgomery

Image: Chris Montgomery

Before a Zoom meeting

  1. Do not publicly post meeting links on social media platforms and other online sites. There are recommended guidelines on how to properly advertise and promote virtual events to keep meetings and events secure.
  2. Do not use Personal Meeting rooms (PMI) for publicly scheduled meetings or post public links to Personal Meeting rooms.
  3. Do create webinars for publicly scheduled meetings.
  4. Do consider including a co-host or meeting monitor to manage participant entry and react if a disruption would occur (more information below).

When the meeting begins

  1. Click the Security button on the Zoom toolbar and familiarize yourself with the following settings:
    • Waiting Room
    • Share Screen
    • Chat
    • Rename Themselves
    • Unmute Themselves
    • Start Video
    • Remove a Participant
    • Suspend Participant Activities
  2. If a setting is checked, then it is enabled. For example, a check beside Share Screen means that participants may share their screens.

If a disruption occurs

The host or co-host should:

  1. Click Suspend Participant Activity under the Security button.
    • The meeting will lock to prevent others from joining, all participants videos will be disabled, audio will be muted, screen shares and recordings will stop, and break out rooms will end.
  2. Unmute their own microphone to let participants know how to proceed. This may include rescheduling the meeting or continuing after the disruption has been addressed.
  3. Report any incidents of Zoom bombings to University Police immediately.


  • Check out this screencast Zoom-bombing: Take Action to Secure Your Meetings.
  • Users should periodically review their Zoom security settings and remain vigilant when choosing to adjust the default settings in Zoom. A listing of the default security settings can be found on the Office of Information Security website.
  • Other units such as Student Affairs will also communicate with student groups to take action to remove meeting links posted publicly on social media platforms and other online sites, and to discourage the use of Personal Meeting rooms for publicly scheduled meetings. There are recommended guidelines on how to properly advertise and promote virtual events to keep meetings secure.
  • In addition, Penn State IT Learning and Development has Zoom Office Hours and trainings available to assist faculty and instructors.
  • For the latest Zoom updates, news, resources, support, and training information, please visit

As always, Ag IT is here to assist. Please reach out to us via, help request form or 814-865-1229.

Information Technologies


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