Tips to (really) secure your Zoom meetings

...or just manage it well in general!

With all the negative news surrounding the security of the video-app zoom we thought it was time to share some tips for those using it and not very familiar with all the features yet. If you are an avid user, keep reading.

The first question to answer is, is it secure? Yes, but only if you set up the security features properly.

Currently zoom already automatically enables the virtual waiting rooms and passwords for accounts in its free and lowest-tiers.

Having to deal with sending around passwords and keeping an eye on whether people are joining your conference in the virtual waiting room may be a bit of a hassle, but it also means that there is a lower chance that people you do not know will just get into your business meetings or personal poker- or board-game sessions.

Some other ways to ensure that you keep your meetings secure are:

Planning the meeting:

Zoom is now automatically adding passwords to accounts, which can be embedded directly into the link to a personal room. So, if you go to your zoom profile and look for the ‘instant meeting’ link, you will see that it contains both your ID and, the password. Anyone using that link can immediately get access to your meeting without having to enter a password.

This means that if this link gets shared, or leaked, anyone can get access once you have a meeting. So if you are creating a meeting it is probably a good idea not to use your usual meeting ID and to generate a separate password. How it works in the web interface:

  • From the main page -> go to ‘my account’ in the right corner -> click ‘schedule a meeting’
  • Enter a meeting topic and description (or not). Select a date, time and duration
  • Go to ‘meeting ID’ and select ‘generate automatically’. This generates a unique ID instead of just using your personal ID
  • Finally, check the box on ‘require a password’. – send this password separately from your invite to the people participating
  • Also ensure that you have the ‘enable waiting room’ checked and save

In the zoom app just click on ‘schedule’ and follow the same steps.

Scheduling a Zoom meeting
Zoom meeting

During the meeting:

The virtual waiting room lets you check the people trying to join before actually granting access. You can kick them out, or let them in at your whim. The person trying to enter is told to wait and you will get a notification in the bottom bar (participants) telling you that someone is waiting in the virtual waiting room.

If you click on ‘participants’ – a sidebar will pop up and you will be able to see everyone who is in, and the people that are waiting. Our tip: keep this open if you are the host, because the reminder is easy to oversee and people might be waiting for a very long time otherwise.

During the meeting you can also choose to ‘lock the meeting’ this means that even people with a link and a password cannot get in anymore. You can do this to prevent people from getting in, either because they are too late and would be a disturbance to your meeting OR when everyone has joined to ensure that no-one else can potentially get in. To do so, just click on the ‘security’ (with the little shield) button at the bottom of your bar, or – if you are in full-screen, at the top of the page and select ‘lock meeting’.

Finally, if participants are a nuisance because they have their microphone on or because they are being generally obnoxious you can mute their microphone from the participants panel or you can put them back into the waiting room (or just kick them out all together).

Virtual waiting room

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