Security guidelines for ITAA meeting hosts

ITAA meetings may be targeted by disruptive trolls. Below are some suggestions that can help you keep your Zoom meeting safe and secure. Meetings are encouraged to hold group consciences and discuss plans for how to prevent and respond to disruption.

Please note that these security measures are only for intentionally disruptive people, and not for censoring genuine participants from sharing, even if what they say may be triggering for others. As our third tradition states, the only requirement for ITAA membership is a desire to stop using internet and technology compulsively.

  • You may wish to arrive 5-10 minutes early and enter the host code. Click on the “Participants” tab at the bottom of the Zoom screen to open up the participants sidebar. On the lower right of the sidebar is a button that says “claim host”. After clicking on this you’ll be prompted to enter the host code.
  • You could ask at least one trusted member to be co-host with you. You can do this by pressing on the “…” on the top right of their video square, or next to their name on the participants sidebar. Make sure you recognize their voice or that they have their video on before making them co-host. Your meeting may wish to establish a regular tech host service position to help manage security settings and remove disruptive members.
  • You can enable the waiting room by clicking on the “Security” button at the bottom of the zoom screen. You may wish to wait a minute or so before admitting unfamiliar names to the meeting. Trolls tend to join meetings partway through and work in groups, so if in the middle of the meeting you see a group of people joining the waiting room all at once, this is a sign they may be trolls (particularly if they have abnormal usernames, such as of a famous celebrity). If you are uncertain, you may wish to admit participants but be alert and ready to take swift action should anything disruptive occur.
  • By clicking on the “Security” button, you can disable participants’ ability to unmute themselves. Instead, participants will need to raise their hands (or press *9 if dialing in), and then the host can unmute them. This will prevent trolls from interrupting members while sharing. Alternatively, you may wish to disable participants’ ability to unmute themselves only while somebody is sharing, and then reenable participants’ ability to unmute themselves when the share is finished. This will prevent interruptions while still allowing participants to unmute themselves (without needing to raise their hand) when they feel moved to share.
  • You can disable the ability for participants to privately message each other in the chat by opening the chat sidebar, clicking on the “…” on the bottom right and selecting “Participants can chat with: Everyone publicly.” You could also change this to “Participants can chat with: Host only.”
  • For even greater meeting security, meeting hosts could open a breakout room where the main meeting can take place. This is done by clicking the “Breakout Rooms” button at the bottom of the zoom screen, creating 1 breakout room, selecting “Assign manually”, and then “Open all rooms”. New participants who come into the waiting room would first be admitted to the main session, and a co-host could then move out of the breakout room to greet them and vet any potential trolls. A simple question to ask might be: “Welcome, what brings you to ITAA?” Afterwards, the participant could be added to the breakout room where the meeting is taking place.
  • If disruption does occur, you can press the red “Suspend Participant Activities” button in the Security settings to turn off video and audio, disable chat, prevent users from renaming themselves, and lock the meeting (which prevents new users from joining). You can then remove the disruptive participant.