Use Zoom? You’ll need a password

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.

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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
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Update:

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.