As Jewish institutions continue to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, many community activities are now being conducted online. Unfortunately, the increased use of conferencing platforms like “Zoom” has resulted in a new opportunity to spread antisemitic hate through “Zoom-bombing.”
Zoom-bombing is when a malicious individual identifies and intentionally enters an online meeting to which they have not been invited, for the sole purpose of causing disruption. From Yeshiva University in New York, to a Holocaust remembrance event in Germany, we are witnessing a disturbing trend of individuals hijacking Jewish activities, posting graphic materials, and spewing antisemitic vitriol at participants.
Our community is not immune. UJA Community Security is aware of Zoom-bombing incidents in Toronto and are providing support to the affected institutions.
We encourage all Jewish institutions using Zoom to adopt practical steps to help protect your calls from Zoom-bombing. This includes:
- Update Your Zoom Apps
To make sure your Zoom toolbar is updated with the latest security options, you must update your app. Check for and install updates on all devices where you use Zoom.
- Use a Unique ID and Password for Calls
When you schedule a public Zoom meeting, select the Meeting ID option to Generate Automatically and limit the number of people with the invitation. Make sure to require a password.
- Create a Waiting Room
To prevent unwanted guests entering your conference, create a Zoom Waiting Room. When participants log into the call, they see a Waiting Room screen that you can customize. They can't get into the call until you, the host, let them in. You can let people in all at once or one at a time, which means if you see names you don't recognize in the Waiting Room, you don't have to let them in at all.
- Make Sure Only the Hosts Can Share Their Screen
Don't let anyone hijack the screen during a Zoom call. To prevent it, make sure your settings indicate that the only people allowed to share their screens are hosts. You can enable this setting in advance as well as during a call.
- Lock a Meeting Once It Starts
If you start a meeting and everyone you expect to join has, you can lock the meeting from new participants. While the meeting is running, navigate to the bottom of the screen and click Participants. The Participants panel will open. At the bottom, choose More > Lock Meeting.
- Kick Someone Out or Put Them on Hold
Sometimes an unruly participant manages to slip through the cracks. As the meeting host, you do have the power to kick someone out of a call or put them on hold.
To kick someone out: During the call, go to the Participants pane on the right. Hover over the name of the person you want to remove and, when options appear, choose Remove.
If you are a victim of an antisemitic Zoom-bombing incident, please contact my colleague Ryan Clow, UJA’s Director of Community Security, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for continuing to keep Jewish life thriving in our city through the creative use of technology. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with us at any time.
Senior VP, Corporate Affairs, Community Relations & Counsel