Zoom launches new features against ‘zoombombing’

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Zoom, the web-based video conferencing application, has introduced new security features to help avoid disturbances during virtual meetings and allow users to delete disruptive participants and report them.

The video conferencing tool also offers an At-Risk Meeting Notifier that helps in alerting the hosts of meetings that are at high risk of being interrupted and trolled by some people.

Zoom meetings continue to be widely used as people work from home due to the pandemic. During these meetings, online disruptors influence the virtual conversations and cause disturbances, which is widely known as ‘zoombombing.’

New features

The ability to let hosts and co-hosts momentarily pause their meeting and delete a disruptive participant is one of the new security changes introduced by Zoom. For accessing it, you just need to do go to the ‘Security’ icon and then select Suspend Participant Activities. It will stop all activities including video, audio, meeting chat, commentary, screen sharing and recording. It will also end Breakout Rooms.

Zoom will also ask the host or co-host if they want to report a user from their meeting and share their details. It removes the identified user from the ongoing meeting and notifies the Trust and Safety team of Zoom.

The company posted in a blog that, “Hosts and co-hosts may resume their meeting by individually re-enabling the features they’d like to use. Zoom will also send them an email after the meeting to gather more information.”

Both the free and paid user can utilize the Suspend Activities feature by Zoom.

In addition to the latest addition, Zoom also allows meeting members to report a disruptive user by clicking the top-left Security badge. This is similar to how hosts and co-hosts have the option to report disruptive users and trolls using the Security icon. Besides, account owners and admins can allow non-hosts to report.

Both features of Zoom are available in various operating systems including the mobile application.

At-Risk Meeting Notifier

Zoom has also launched its At-Risk Meeting Notifier that scans public social media posts and other websites to search for publicly shared Zoom Meeting connections. It warns the account owner through email to identify a meeting that appears to be at high risk of being disturbed.

Meeting hosts will also be informed on measures that may include to eliminate the unsafe meeting and create a new one with a new meeting ID, allowing improved security settings and using alternatives such as Zoom Video Webinars or OnZoom.