Access Keys:
Skip to content (Access Key - 0)

Limiting Access and Reducing Disruptive Behavior in Zoom

On this page:


Protect your virtual interactions and minimize disruption, intentional or unintentional, to your Zoom meetings and online classes by managing access and features to ensure a positive and productive teaching, learning, and working environment.

Zoom has published a resource with several recommendations.

The instructions below were created on the Zoom desktop app for MacOS. Other platforms and devices will vary slightly.

Recommended access settings for all MIT Zoom meetings

To reduce disruption to your Zoom sessions from those who are not the intended invitees, MIT strongly recommends the following guidelines for all MIT Zoom meeting hosts:

Require a passcode

Require a passcode to enter the room that you communicate only to attendees. This option is set during meeting scheduling.

  1. Start Zoom
  2. Click the Schedule button. 
  3. Under Meeting Options select Require meeting passcode
  4. Specify a strong passcode

  5. Be sure to click Schedule to save your settings and schedule your meeting.
    Result: Only users who have the passcode will be able to join your meeting. Be sure to let your participants know the passcode far enough in advance of the meeting they will be able to attend.

Enable the Waiting Room Feature

The Waiting Room lets the host to control which participants join the meeting. Attendees stay in the virtual waiting room until the host admits them to the room. Undesired attendees can be left in the waiting room indefinitely.

It can be difficult to determine who participants are if they join as a guest, call in, or have an unexpected Zoom account name. Encourage MIT attendees to authenticate to their MIT Zoom account using Touchstone Authentication so you know who they are when they appear in the waiting room. You can also require this (see below).

  1. Start Zoom
  2. Click the Schedule button. 
  3. Open the Advanced Options at the bottom-left.

  4. Enable the "Waiting Room" option at the bottom.

  5. Be sure to click Schedule to schedule your meeting.
    Result: Your meeting is scheduled, and your participants will have to wait to be allowed into the meeting by the host. For instructions on using host controls for waiting rooms, see Using a Waiting Room with Zoom Rooms.

You can also set up your account to always enable the waiting room for meetings you host. See: Setting up Your Zoom Personal Room.

Require Touchstone authentication

Only Touchstone-authenticated participants can join your room. Participants without an MIT Touchstone account cannot join your meeting

Schedule a meeting requiring Touchstone authentication:

  1. Start Zoom
  2. Click the Schedule button. 
  3. Open the Advanced Options at the bottom-left.

  4. Enable the "Only Authenticated Users can Join" option at the bottom.

  5. Be sure to click Schedule to schedule your meeting.
    Result: Your meeting is scheduled, and your participants must be logged in to Zoom through Touchstone in order to attend unless you set an Authentication Exemption. See: How do I allow somebody to join an authentication required MIT Zoom meeting who cannot authenticate with MIT Touchstone?

Manage Features to Prevent Disruption

Manage Screen Sharing Permission to Prevent "Zoom Bombing"

Pranksters or a participant with fumble fingers may start screen sharing disrupting a zoom meeting. To prevent this, you can set it such that only the host can use screen sharing functionality in the meeting.

As host of an ongoing meeting:

  1. Click the Security button.

  2. In the "Allow Participants to" section, deselect the "Share Screen"
  3. Close the window.
    Result: Only the host of the meeting will be able to share their screen.

Mute Participants

To avoid having voices speak at inappropriate times, follow these steps once you have started the meeting:

  1. Select the Manage Participants button in the Zoom toolbar
  2. At the bottom of the Participants window, select More
    * Choose Mute Participants on Entry
    * Deselect Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves
  3. Encourage participants to use the Raise Hand feature to indicate when they would like to speak
    You will see a raised hand next to the person’s name in the Participants window. Verbally call on them and manually unmute them

Disable Annotation

If you have the Annotation feature enabled in your account settings, attendees can annotate on your shared screen. To check your settings:

  1. Log in to
  2. Choose Settings
  3. Choose In-Meeting Basic
  4. Scroll to Annotation. If this is set to enabled, participants can annotate on your screen.

If you wish, you may deactivate this feature while you are sharing your screen.

  1. Share your screen
  2. Click More in the Screen Share controls
  3. Select Disable Participants Annotation

Remove a Disruptive Participant

When all else fails, the host can eject a disruptive participant from their meeting.

  1. If the Participants panel is not visible, click “Manage Participants” at the bottom of the Zoom window.

  2. Next to the participant you want to remove, click “More”.
  3. From the list that appears, click “Remove”.

Result: The participant is ejected from the meeting.

Consider Locking the meeting to prevent the person from re-entering. Note that doing so will also prevent others from entering.

  1. Select the Manage Participants button
  2. In the Participants window go to the bottom and select More
  3. Choose Lock Meeting

See Also

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

July 14, 2024

Get Help

Request help
from the Help Desk
Report a security incident
to the Security Team
c-zoom c-zoom Delete
Enter labels to add to this page:
Please wait 
Looking for a label? Just start typing.
This product/service is:
Easy to use
Difficult to use

This article is:
Adaptavist Theme Builder (4.2.3) Powered by Atlassian Confluence 3.5.13, the Enterprise Wiki