Zoom Security

There’s been concern lately about ZOOM security, as we hear stories of unwelcome attendees disrupting ZOOM meetings, or lurking to see or hear what they should not. Education Commons wants to reassure you that you are safe and secure using ZOOM for your online classes or meetings. Here’s some advice to help you feel, and be, more secure. 

Steps to take for better Zoom Security

Be up to date.

Software manufacturers release fixes for security issues often and rapidly, so if your version of the ZOOM application is out of date it might be vulnerable. Updating is easy. Click here to find out how to update ZOOM.

Learn Zoom Security Settings

Closed ZOOM Sessions

A closed Zoom session is a private meeting or event that is only available to a select group of people that you invite. The link might be provided to a group of people by email or private message, or through a secure page such as Quercus, where someone must login to access it. As private sessions these events are protected by their context.

Security Features:

  • The Waiting Room. The waiting room is auto-enabled on OISE Zoom meetings.
  • Add a passcode. Share the password only with the people you’ve invited. Learn how to add a meeting passcode.

Open ZOOM Sessions

If you’re advertising your Zoom session to the public or a large group of people, we recommend adding extra security features to prevent unwanted guests. There are steps you can take before your meeting and security features during your meeting.

Security Features before your meeting:
  • Set up Registration for your Zoom session. With Registration enabled, participants register with their e-mail, name, and other optional questions. This allows you to you to capture more information about your attendees, and know how many people to expect.
  • Only allow certain users with authentication settings. You can restrict attendance to signed-in users, or those whose emails match a domain. For instance only allow attendees with email@utoronto.ca.
  • Consider a Webinar. For larger sessions or events, consider setting up your meeting as a Webinar. As a webinar host you are able to control who participates with video, audio, chat and screen sharing. Webinars can also enable Registration. There is a small fee associated with the webinar feature. Contact Education Commons to assess your webinar needs.
Security Features when your meeting has started
  1. Lock your ZOOM meeting, once everyone you expect has arrived, or after the agreed-upon start time. When you lock the meeting, no new participants can join, even if they have the meeting ID and password. As the host or co-host of a locked meeting, be aware that you will NOT be alerted if anyone is trying to join your meeting after you’ve locked it. To lock your meeting once you are in it, click Participants at the bottom of your Zoom window, and, in the pop-up box, click Lock Meeting.
  2. Know how to expel a participant from your ZOOM meeting. In the participants menu, when you mouse over a participant’s name,  several options will appear. Click Remove to immediately eject a participant from your meeting. If you then lock the meeting, they will be unable to reenter.
  3. Know how to place an attendee on hold in your ZOOM meeting, to prevent their seeing or hearing anything: this is a temporary way of asserting your session’s privacy from a particular attendee, useful as a quick security measure while you determine whether or not to expel them altogether. Click on the attendee’s video thumbnail and select Start Attendee On-Hold to activate this feature.
  4. Make sure only the meeting host can share their screen. By default, this setting is on, and you should know how to turn ZOOM attendee screen-sharing on and off, so that you can allow everyone to share screens when you know it will be necessary, and forbid it in all other case.
  5. Know how to mute individual attendees, or all attendees, so you can maintain control of who speaks at your meeting.
  6. Be aware of ZOOM encryption. Encryption of your communication over ZOOM is switched on by default, to protect you from snooping spies on the Internet, and you should leave it switched on. However, if you are communicating extremely sensitive material in a ZOOM meeting, you should also be aware of the limitations of ZOOM encryption.
  7. Do not discuss, or visibly reveal, any private material in an open meeting. This might seem to go without saying, but most of us are new to videoconferencing and it’s worth reminding everyone to think carefully about what we allow to be seen or heard.

Education Commons is available to assist you with Zoom security. To learn more about these features or to set up a webinar, we welcome you to book a consultation, join a weekly drop-in session, or drop-in on our virtual service on Zoom Monday-Friday 11am – 3pm.