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More and more children and teens are using video conferencing for learning. But do you know how safe these virtual rooms are? 

As we shift toward regular online meetings and education, it is imperative for us to use these online tools with extreme caution. There is a couple of things you can do today to ensure the security of your “Zoom® Room.” 

What exactly is the threat?

A recent article from NBC News highlighting the growth of a trend known as Zoombombing.” The NBC piece describes the act as “a form of online harassment in which someone hijacks a group video call to show something inappropriate or unexpected.”

Many learning institutions and businesses have already been victims of this heinous act. From racist remarks and comments to inappropriate video – the threat is real and happening now.

The Beau Biden Foundation has met with many of our Shield of Protection® partners to help protect children by implementing a Virtual Learning Child Protection Policy in their schools and youth-serving organizations – a meeting safely conducted via Zoom thanks to some simple steps to ensure everyone’s wellbeing. 

What were these steps and how can you do now to help protect yourself, colleagues, and students from these virtual video trolls?  Here is some advice and quick tips from Zoom to help combat against potential “Zoombombers”:

  • When you share your meeting link on social media or other public forums, that makes your event extremely public. ANYONE with the link can join your meeting.
  • Avoid using your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) to host public events. Your PMI is basically one continuous meeting and you don’t want anyone invading your personal virtual space after the meeting or lesson is over. 
  • Familiarize yourself with Zoom’s settings and features so you understand how to protect your virtual space when you need to. For example, the Waiting Room is an unbelievably helpful feature for hosts to control who comes and goes.

A full list of tips on Zoom features that can help you safely share your videoconferences and protect from “Zoombombers” is available at https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/20/keep-the-party-crashers-from-crashing-your-zoom-event/.

If you’re a teacher, coach, youth mentor, school/school district, or youth-serving organization that wants to help protect children from abuse, bullies, harassment, and online predators; please visit www.BeauBidenFoundation.org/ShieldOfProtection and email our Program Director at programming@beaubidenfoundation.org.