Edited 7 April: more details below:
As of Sunday 5th April 2020, Zoom teleconferencing requires use of a password to enter a meeting room.
A knee-jerk response to address security concerns and the rise of Zoom-bombers, the password step has stone-walled the majority of users. Oblivious account users are wondering why people aren’t joining regular meetings and requests for a password.
If you use the free or PRO account plans, there is no way of disabling this for a meeting.
The password can be set by the account/meeting host in the https://zoom.us/meeting
The (encrypted) password is now added to the meeting URL so users can still one-click join a meeting. Those who’ve previously joined a meeting via the app and entered the meeting ID now require a password that has to be supplied by the host. Challenge is, the host is probably scrambling to find it and then communicate it.
While official notification from Zoom came via their Twitter feed, the website does contain concise detail on the change: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360041408732
The change is to block a dramatic rise in room gate crashers who trolled meeting ID numbers and randomly joined meetings. The password is a second step they need to get access and while it will never stop a determined cracker it will deter many from being a nuisance.
Other tactics to deter/defer room-crashers are:
- Have more than one host (a co-host) who’s role is to monitor room activity,
- Disable screen sharing (https://zoom.us/account/setting)
- Ensure participants are muted upon entry
Observing a recent double-header Zoom-bomb instance reiterates a significant point: Have a co-host, who’s role is to monitor room activity, observe arriving guests and be ready to remove them without question.
Act first, ask questions later.