May 28, 2020

Important Information for Zoom Users

The following information is important for anyone using Zoom to host meetings.  If you do not use Zoom, you can disregard this message.

With the increasingly widespread use of Zoom, we’re seeing a rush of “Zoom bombing” – uninvited participants dropping into Zoom meetings to share inappropriate or distracting audio, video, or images. To prevent this, Digital Learning Support is making some changes to the default settings of our UMW-owned Zoom accounts, and offering the following safety tips for anyone using Zoom (whether a free, shared, or UMW-owned account).

  1. Avoid sharing your meeting link publicly (on social media or a public website). Share the link in a closed environment like Canvas or direct email.

  2. Change your screen sharing settings to “Host Only.” Note: If you are using a UMW-owned Zoom account, we have edited the settings to make this the default. You will need to change the settings during your meeting if you want to allow other participants to share their screen.

  3. Consider turning on the Waiting Room feature. This will require the host to approve every participant before entry into the meeting. Keep in mind that if a participant is disconnected, you will need to re-approve them for entry, so this option requires keeping an eye on your Zoom notifications during the meeting.

  4. Alternatively, consider locking your meeting (via the “Manage Participants” button in your Zoom tool tray) once all attendees are present. Keep in mind that if a participant loses connection, they will not be able to reenter unless you unlock the meeting.

Feel free to use these tools at your own discretion. Some may work for your meetings, some may not.

For more information, we recommend Zoom’s blog post on the subject: How to Keep the Party Crashers from Crashing your Zoom Event

And of course, if you have questions or run into issues, you are always welcome to contact DLS using our contact form, or by emailing dls@umw.edu.