Securing Your Zoom Meetings

Attackers are attempting to take advantage of Zoom's user. As more users access videoconferencing platforms, you can take small but important steps to ensure effective use and secure communications. Use these important instructions for securing your Zoom meetings.

Accessing the security icon

After launching a Zoom meeting, the Security icon will be visible on the task bar for a host. If you do not see the Security icon, you will need to make sure to update your Zoom client. To update your Zoom install, open Zoom, then click on your profile icon in the top right corner. From this menu, select Check for Updates to install the most recent version.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with the settings in the Security Icon menu. As the host, this is a quick way to access the following security features:

  • Lock Meeting - Once you lock the meeting, no one is able to join the meeting
  • Enable Waiting Room - Turns the waiting room on or off

Settings to allow participants to perform these tasks:

  • Share Screen - Checking this will allow participants to share their screen
  • Chat - Allows the chat to be used by participants
  • Rename themselves - Allows participants to rename themselves
  • Unmute themselves - Allows participants to unmute themselves 
Control screen sharing

Screen sharing is a great feature that allows you to broadcast your computer screen to your participants. Privileges are now set to "Host Only." This will ensure only the people who are supposed to be sharing are. By default, the host of the meeting is the only one who can share content in the Zoom session.

However, if a participant needs to share their work with the group, you can still allow participant sharing. Click the arrow next to Share Screen and then Advanced Sharing Options. Under "Who can share?" choose All Participants and close the window. As the host, you do still have the ability to stop someone from sharing and also interrupt a participant that is screen sharing by sharing your own screen.

Detailed tutorial on screen sharing

Enable the Waiting Room

The Waiting Room feature is one of the best ways to protect your Zoom session and keep out those who aren't supposed to be there. By default, waiting room is checked on for your meetings when creating a new meeting. The waiting room allows you to see who is attempting to join your meeting and admit them in all at once or one by one. You also can put someone back into the waiting room if needed by hovering over the participants name in the Manage Participants window and clicking More. Click the link below to view an in-depth video on the waiting room.

How to use the Waiting Room

Lock down the chat

The meeting Host can restrict chat so participants cannot privately message other participants. While inside your Zoom meeting, click the Chat icon to open your chat pane. In the bottom right of the chat pane you should see three dots which, when clicked on, open the various options for the meeting's Chat. By default, all participants can chat with the meeting as a whole and private message others. You may choose in that menu several options to restrict the chat function for your participants.

How to control chat access

Remove a participant

If someone who's not meant to be there somehow manages to join your virtual session, you can easily remove them from the Participants menu. Hover over their name, click More, and the Remove option (among other options) will appear. Click to remove them from your virtual classroom, and they won't be allowed back in.

How to use the Manage Participants tab

Security options when scheduling a class or meeting

There are many other protection options at your disposal when creating a meeting. Here are a few of the most applicable.

  • Meeting ID - Generate Automatically: It's best practice to generate a random meeting ID for your session, so it can't be shared multiple times. This is a better alternative to using your Personal Meeting ID, which is not advised because it's basically an ongoing meeting that's always running. When creating a meeting, Generate Automatically is set as default in the Meeting ID section.

  • Require Meeting Password: Create a password and share with your participants via IUP email so only those intended to join can access a virtual session.

  • Allow only authenticated users to join: Checking this box means only users who are signed into their Zoom account can access this particular session. Best practice if you want to use this option would be to make sure your class/participants understand how to log into their Zoom accounts, as this does lock out guests.

  • Disable join before host: By default, this option is already set to disabled. Participants cannot join a session before the host joins and will see a pop-up that says, "The meeting is waiting for the host to join." Once the host starts the meeting, then the students/participants that are waiting will join automatically.  

Additionally, hosts have a couple of in-meeting options to control the virtual session:

  • Disable video: Turn off a student's video to block distracting content or inappropriate gestures while class is in session.

  • Mute participants: Mute/unmute individual participants or all participants at once. Mute Upon Entry (in your settings) is also available to keep the clamor at bay when everyone files in

  • Manage annotation: While sharing a screen in your Zoom meeting, you have the ability to annotate over your shared screen. Participants are also able to annotate, which can be seen by the entire meeting. To turn off participant annotation, click the More button on the toolbar that appears when you are sharing your screen, then select Disable Participants Annotation. If you want to allow participants to annotate and want to see who is drawing, then you may choose the option Show Names of Annotators in the same menu.
Enabling Registration and require participants to register

To utilize registration for a meeting, you will need to use the IUP Zoom Web Portal to set up your meeting. When you go to the IUP Zoom Web Portal, you will click on the Sign In button (configure your account). Log in with your credentials to access your profile. If you are already logged in to a Web Single Sign-on session, you will be taken directly to your profile.

From the menu on the left side, click on Meetings. To start a new meeting, click on the Schedule a New Meeting button. After setting the time for your meeting, you can check the Registration checkbox. Review the remaining options on this page, then click Save. By selecting the Registration checkbox, it will require invited participants to register by providing their first name, last name, and email address before they can join your meeting. You can copy the invitation from the screen so you can email the invitation to the participants.

Now that the meeting is saved, scroll to the bottom of the page to review your registration settings. You will be able to view who has registered and change registration settings. Some of the settings you can change:

  • Allow all registrants to be approved automatically (default) or manually. If you set this to manual, you will need to check this page to review and approve the registrations. 
  • Receive an email when a participant joins the meeting.
  • You can also choose different questions from a list of questions. Note that a first name and email address are required.
  • Create your own custom questions for your registration page.