May 28, 2020

Zoom Security Recommendations

The following message is from the Office of Information Technologies.

Tips for Securing Zoom and IT  

In recent days, there has been a surge in the news regarding Zoom privacy and security. To maximize the security of all users and minimize the possibility for disruption, Zoom recently enabled some additional precautions to help prevent unwanted participants from joining meetings.

With more people using Zoom than ever before, the video-conferencing platform has become a target for unwanted attendees to try to interrupt meetings in a number of disruptive capacities. This gatecrashing, or “Zoom-bombing,” has been reported nationally, and has occurred at many other universities.

To prevent this and other privacy and security issues, please follow these recommendations and safety tips when 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.
  5. Keep the camera on your computer covered, and the microphone turned off when not in use.
  6. Don’t use the same password for your Zoom account that you use for other systems.
  7. Zoom has recently released patches to address newly discovered security issues so please update your client as soon as possible. You can use the “Check for updates” feature in your Zoom client.
    1.     Sign in to Zoom desktop client.
    2.     Click your profile picture, then click “Check for Updates” If there is a newer version, Zoom will download and install it.
  1. For more information, we recommend these two articles:

From the Zoom blog: Best Practices for Securing Your Virtual Classroom
From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:  Harden Your Zoom Settings to Protect Your Privacy and Avoid Trolls