Zoom has introduced more security features to keep meetings secure.
Image: iStock/fizkes

Zoom has introduced new security measures to let hosts remove disruptive or unauthorized meeting participants and report them to Zoom administrators, alongside other tools to keep trolls at bay.

The new features include an option allowing hosts and co-hosts to temporarily halt a meeting while they remove a disruptive participant. Under the security icon, hosts and co-hosts can pause all video, audio, chat and screen-sharing in an ongoing meeting by clicking ‘Suspend Participant Activities’. Any recording of the meeting will stop, and breakout rooms will close.

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Hosts will then be able to report a participant, along with any details or screenshots. Once they’ve submitted this information, the reported users will be booted from the meeting and an alert will be sent to Zoom’s Trust and Safety team.

Hosts can then resume their meeting along with any of the video or chat features they wish to re-enable.

The Suspend Participant Activities feature is enabled by default for all free and paid Zoom users.

Additionally, meeting participants can now report a disruptive user directly from the Zoom client by clicking the top-left ‘Security’ badge. This can be enabled or disabled by account owners and admins and is supported on Zoom for desktop and mobile across all platforms. Support for web and virtual desktop setups is coming before the end of the year, Zoom said.

Zoom has had a persistent problem with unauthorized users crashing meetings, particularly as use of the platform shot up this year, otherwise known as ‘Zoom-bombing’.

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In these instances, someone who had gotten hold of a Zoom meeting ID – after seeing it posted on social media or shared in a screenshot, for example – could quite easily join and disrupt a meeting.

Zoom has spent most of 2020 remediating these problems, most recently with the long-awaited rollout of end-to-end encryption for all users. It has now taken further action to prevent unwanted trolls: the company has launched an ‘At-Risk Meeting Notifier’, that scans social media, forums and other websites for Zoom meeting links that have been shared publicly.

If it detects a link, the tool will automatically notify the account owner to tell them that their meeting might be compromised. Users will be given suggestions on what actions they should take, for example creating a new meeting or enabling security features.

Zoom points out that one of the best ways to prevent Zoom-bombing is also the most obvious: namely, to never share a meeting ID or passcode on social media, or any other public site for that matter.