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Northwestern University

Tool Tip #10: Prevent Zoombombing

Recently there have been a number of Zoombombing attacks on our community. In these disruptions, an individual joins a public meeting and shares extremely disturbing content, posts hateful comments in the chat, or audibly disrupts the meeting or event.

Although relatively rare, Zoombombers have attacked Northwestern’s public events, including some recent events hosted by individuals and departments in Weinberg College. We abhor these malicious disturbances, which have been particularly harmful to members of our community who are a part of historically marginalized groups. We are working with Northwestern IT to assist our community in implementing the critical measures to help prevent them. We hope that in sharing this information, all our Northwestern community will be informed and equipped to keep our virtual meeting spaces safe. NUIT and Weinberg College IT are also working with Northwestern University Police to address these incidents.

“Zoombombing” Is Not Limited to Zoom

All video conferencing platforms that allow participation from the public are susceptible to these types of attacks. Therefore, the best preventive action is to follow the guidelines provided by Northwestern IT and to know what to do if a disruption happens. When hosting a session that includes non-Northwestern participants, the most effective actions you can take to limit "Zoombombing" are requiring individuals to register and to not publicize your Zoom, or other videoconferencing, link.

NUIT Guidelines for Protecting Meetings

The NUIT guidelines on “How to Protect Your Meetings and Respond to Disturbances” are available and have been recently revised to include:

  • Customized security recommendations specific to meetings with only Northwestern participants as well as those that include non-Northwestern individuals
  • Clear guidelines for responding to a meeting disturbance, including (1) steps individuals can take to regain control of a disrupted meeting and (2) information for meeting hosts on what they need to do to report an incident once the meeting ends

Please take some time to familiarize yourself with these recommendations, particularly if you have responsibility for managing public events that will be advertised broadly. Please contact with any questions or concerns.

Additional Support from the Office of Equity

If you have experienced a Zoombombing event, additional support is available. The Office of Equity ( is available to connect community members with supportive resources on- and/or off-campus, as appropriate. Northwestern offers a variety of supportive resources, including the Employee Assistance Program, for Northwestern staff and faculty, the Faculty Wellness Program for faculty, and Counseling and Psychological Services and the Center for Awareness, Response, and Education for students.

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