The official communication from University IT

You are most likely going to use Zoom web conferencing in your campus role moving forward.  Unfortunately, hackers have figured out a way to exploit Zoom and we must now guard against “Zoombombing.” This has occurred when Zoom links that are publicly available have been exploited by people who inject offensive material into the Zoom session via screen sharing. We are aware of this happening during some online courses at USC and local high schools.

This may sound distressing or overwhelming but don’t worry, this can be avoided by taking the following precautions: 

  • Only share Zoom links to your collaborators via Email (or also via Camino if you are faculty) -- Do NOT publicly share the link to your Zoom session

  • Enable "Only authenticated users can join: Sign in to Zoom" (which also ensures you see the name of all of your attendees and not an anonymous phone number)

  • Set a password for the session, using something easy for all to remember, e.g., so that hackers using bots can’t join your sessions

  • Disable “Join Before Host” so people can’t cause trouble before you arrive.

  • Enable “Alternative Host” before a meeting or “Co-Host” during a meeting so you can assign others to help moderate

  • Disable desktop/screen share for users, requiring them to ask permission to share their screen [this may make it difficult to have student easily share their desktops during a session]

Click here for detailed instructions on ensuring login to Zoom or enabling/disabling Zoom Privacy Settings.

Please remember, Media Services is providing Zoom support - please sign up for a Zoom 1:1 consultation using this link

I hope this information helps, please let us know if you have questions.  You can contact Media Services at or 408-554-4520.


Here is Zoom's response to the problem, and provides a few more options if you are interested.


For even more information, check out these articles: