Google Meet adds ‘zoombombing’ protection for G Suite education customers

In our COVID-19 existence, online classes are now part and parcel of education systems around the globe. However, “zoombombing” became a slightly hilarious but also big problem, an issue that Google Meet is mitigating by adding protections against anonymous users.

The problem was widely popularized as a result of Zoom’s relaxed approach to security — the ability to join as an anonymous, unauthenticated member. This meant that sharing a link for meetings, classes, and video calls would allow complete strangers to join and potentially cause havoc. It’s a prank that can actually crash classes if enough unexpected guests join and, therefore, bring an early end to any meeting, lesson, or video call.

To increase the privacy of education meetings in Google Meet, anonymous users (users not signed into a Google account) can no longer join meetings organized by anyone with a G Suite for Education or G Suite Enterprise for Education license. This prevents participants from sharing a link publicly to encourage anonymous users to request access.

Announced in an official G Suite for Education blog post, Google will now block anonymous users from joining Meet conferences and classes. Only those explicitly invited will be able to join video streamed meetings and more, which should prevent participants from being able to share a link publicly — preventing “zoombombing” (via ZDNet).

By default, the new security settings will be applied for Education customers to ensure that “zoombombing” is not possible when using Google Meet. Education customers can have these protections removed for whatever reason by contacting G Suite support directly. The enhanced security will begin rolling out over the next 15 days to those with G Suite for Education and Enterprise for Education licenses.

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