Zoom Privacy and Security

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

OVERVIEW

To maintain the integrity of your Zoom meeting or webinar, you may take advantage of several features offered in Zoom at UT. The following article includes many steps to better prevent unwanted disruptions during Zoom calls.

Zoombombing

Zoom-bombing is the term for when individuals "gate-crash" Zoom meetings. These uninvited guests share their screens to bombard real attendees with disturbing pornographic and/or violent imagery. Most of these are perpetrated via publicly available Zoom links; however, not all depending on your settings. 

MAKING MEETINGS SECURE

This page contains a number of tools you can employ to ensure the security of your Zoom meetings. Here are a few quick steps you can take to prevent uninvited guests from joining and participating in your meetings. 

BEFORE THE MEETING

Before your meeting begins, consider the below options to reduce the likelihood of unwelcome or disruptive participants joining your event.

1. Generate a unique meeting ID

To join a meeting, participants provide a 9- or 10-digit ID number unique to said meeting. If one of your previous meetings was compromised, a similar disruption could happen again if you use the same ID. Consider using unique IDs instead. Although they are less convenient than using a recurring meeting ID or your personal Zoom room, unique IDs make it harder for previous disruptive participants to join future meetings. If you are posting about a meeting on a public resource (for example, a departmental website), we recommend generating a unique ID. To do so:

  1. Log in.

  2. Click 'Schedule a New Meeting'.

  3. Provide all details for your meeting.

  4. Do not select 'Recurring meeting', even if your meeting is part of a series.

  5. Click 'Save'. The page will reload, and the ID should be listed to the right of "Meeting ID".

If your meeting is part of a series, then you'll need to schedule a new meeting for each session. You cannot change an existing meeting's ID.

2. Require participants to register

You can configure your meeting so individuals can't attend unless they have registered. Participants register for meetings through a custom URL that Zoom generates for you. To register, participants must provide their first name, last name, and email address. Participants won't be able to join unless their name and email address matches the information they initially provided when registering.

  1. Log in.

  2. Click the name of the desired meeting.

  3. Click 'Edit this meeting'.

  4. Scroll to the "Registration" section.
     
  5. Check 'Required'.
     
  6. Click 'Save'. The page will then refresh.
     
  7. In the "Invite Attendees" section, you should see a registration URL. To copy a default invitation template message that includes the registration URL, click 'Copy the invitation'. In the resulting window, select 'Copy Meeting Invitation'. You can then paste the message into an email message, Canvas announcement, etc.

3. Require a password

  1. Log in.

  2. Click the name of the desired meeting.
     
  3. Click 'Edit this meeting'.
     
  4. Check 'Require meeting password'. In the resulting text field, enter the desired password.

    When creating meeting passwords, keep in mind that some videoconferencing equipment can only enter numbers. If some participants might connect from videoconferencing hardware instead of a computer or mobile device, set a numerical password to ensure that they can connect without issue.

  5. Click 'Save'.

4. Require participants to be logged into a Zoom account

You can require all participants to be logged into their Zoom accounts before accessing your Zoom meeting room. While this setting does not discriminate between institutions providing Zoom accounts (that is, it cannot restrict the meeting to accounts provided by UT), this is an additional precaution you can take to restrict access to your meeting.

To enable this setting:

  1. Log in.

  2. Click 'Meetings'.
     
  3. Click 'Upcoming Meetings' (or Personal Meeting Room).
     
  4. If you clicked 'Upcoming Meetings', select the desired meeting.
     
  5. Click 'Edit this Meeting'.
     
  6. Check the box to the left of 'Only authenticated users can join'. After you check the box, "Sign into Zoom" will appear to the right of "Only authenticated users can join".
     
  7. Click 'Save'.

5. Turn off participant video upon entry

You can configure your meeting room so that every participant's video feed is disabled when first joining. However, unless you have manually disabled the user's video feed (see Stop the participant's video), these participants can enable their video feed once they've joined. To do this:

  1. Log in.

  2. Click the name of the desired meeting.
     
  3. Click 'Edit this meeting'.
     
  4. Scroll to the "Video" section. To the right of "Participant", click off.

6. Mute participants upon entry

You can configure your meeting room so that every participant's audio feed is disabled when first joining. However, unless you have manually disabled the user's audio feed (see Mute the participant), these participants can enable their audio feed once they've joined. To do this:

  1. Log in.

  2. Click 'Meetings'.
     
  3. Click the name of the desired meeting.
     
  4. Click 'Edit this meeting'.
     
  5. Check 'Mute participants upon entry'.
     
  6. Click 'Save'.

7. Enable the waiting room

As of June 2, 2020, the Waiting Room setting has been unlocked, effective immediately. Doing so will allow meeting hosts to change the Waiting Room setting from “Only guests” to “All participants”, which will help accommodate advising sessions and office hours. However, unlocking the Waiting Room also allows a host to disable the setting, which would automatically allow anyone into the meeting and increase the possibility of disruptions. This is highly discouraged for any meeting format (meetings and academic classes), especially if the meeting link is posted publicly. Please read the following page to learn more about the Waiting Room and how to configure future meetings.

https://zoom.its.utexas.edu/zoom-waiting-room

8. Private chat

Private chat is disabled by default. It can be re-enabled by a user in the web interface.

  1. Login to https://zoom.utexas.us
  2. Open the settings menu
  3. Locate In Meeting Settings
  4. Update options under Private Chat

 

9. When hosting public events

If you share your meeting link on social media or another public location, anyone with the link can join your meeting. Here are some tips to safeguard a public meeting space:

  • Convert your meeting to a webinar (here’s how).
    • A webinar will give you control over who participates with video, audio, chat, and screen sharing
    • NOTE: A webinar license is necessary for the conversion
  • If you are using Zoom for remote instruction in an event with over 300 attendees, you can request a temporary license by following steps in this article
    • NOTE:  Log in with your UT EID and password to view this article

 

DURING THE MEETING

If you are mid-meeting and need to handle a disruption (for example, a participant is interrupting the session), there are several ways you can resolve the issue.

1. Designate a co-host

Depending on the size of your meeting, it may be difficult to both run your session and moderate your participants. A second host can help with these responsibilities while you conduct your meeting. To delegate host privileges to an additional person:

  1. In the Zoom meeting window, click 'Manage Participants'. A tab called 'Participants' should appear on the right.
     
  2. Hover over the name of the desired co-host and select 'More'.
     
  3. Click 'Make Co-Host'.

2. Mute the participant

To mute a participant:

  1. In the Zoom meeting room window, click 'Manage Participants'. A tab called 'Participants' should appear on the right.
     
  2. Hover over the name of the desired participant and select 'More'.
     
  3. Click 'Mute'.

3. Stop the participant's video

To disable a participant's video feed:

  1. In the Zoom meeting room window, click 'Manage Participants'. A tab called 'Participants' should appear on the right.
     
  2. Hover over the name of the desired participant and select 'More'.
     
  3. Click 'Stop Video'.

4. Remove the participant

To remove a participant from the meeting:

  1. In the Zoom meeting room window, click 'Manage Participants'. A tab called 'Participants' should appear on the right.
     
  2. Hover over the name of the desired participant and select 'More'.
     
  3. Click 'Remove'.

5. Lock the meeting

Once a meeting is locked, no one else can join. To lock your meeting:

  1. In the Zoom meeting room window, click 'Manage Participants'. A tab called 'Participants' should appear on the right.
     
  2. Click 'More' in the bottom right.
     
  3. Click 'Lock Meeting'.

6. Other Tips

  • Turn off file transfer: In-meeting file transfer allows people to share files through the in-meeting chat. Toggle this off to keep the chat from getting bombarded with unsolicited pics, GIFs, memes, and other content.
  • Turn off annotation: You and your attendees can doodle and mark up content together using annotations during screen share. You can disable the annotation feature in your Zoom settings to prevent people from writing all over the screens.
  • Disable private chat: Zoom has in-meeting chat for everyone or participants can message each other privately. Restrict participants’ ability to chat with one another while your event is going on and cut back on distractions. This is really to prevent anyone from getting unwanted messages during the meeting.
  • Remove unwanted or disruptive participants From that Participants menu, you can mouse over a participant’s name, and several options will appear, including Remove. Click that to kick someone out of the meeting.
  • Allow removed participants to rejoin: When you do remove someone, they can’t rejoin the meeting. But you can toggle your settings to allow removed participants to rejoin, in case you boot the wrong person.

 

Thanks to Indiana University and UC Berkeley for content.

 

Last updated on October 20, 2020, 6:54 pm