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Managing Zoom Meeting Security

In response to reports of Zoom conferencing incidents (e.g., uninvited meeting participants being disruptive) within the community and at other higher education institutions, the University is taking additional steps to ensure a safe and productive conferencing experience. The University has an enterprise contract with Zoom that includes Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliance.

Zoom has been updated for the University to enable additional security features. Please review this information before scheduling meetings and course sessions.

Recommended Instructor Settings for Zoom Classes
Zoom Security Settings for Meetings Scheduled in Canvas

To stay secure while using Zoom for classes, please view this video tutorial Zoom Security Settings for Meetings Scheduled in Canvas.

For additional information about Zoom security, please consider the key settings outlined below:

  • Require a meeting password: When setting up a meeting, select “Require a meeting password” (even for meetings that have already been set up, consider going back into the meeting to edit this setting.) Using this setting decreases the likelihood of uninvited participants joining a class or meeting.
  • Screen sharing: When hosting a meeting, click the Security button and then confirm that “Share Screen” is deselected. This helps prevent accidental screen sharing by class or meeting participants.
  • Enable only authenticated users to join: This option ensures that only users with UChicago Zoom accounts can attend your class (Note: It does not prevent UChicago students who are not registered for a class from joining.) Students who have not claimed a student Zoom account will have one automatically created when they are required to authenticate into Zoom for the first time for a meeting. This is the most important setting to use to prevent meeting disruption. By clicking on the Zoom navigation item in your Canvas course, you may add this setting when scheduling new meetings or editing existing meetings by checking Only authenticated users can join in the Meeting Options section.
  • Disable join before host: Deselect “Join Before Host” when setting up the meeting. This will allow students to connect ahead of time, but they will see a pop-up window that says, “The meeting is waiting for the host to join.” Students won’t be able to join the meeting until after you join.
  • Mute participants upon entry: All student participants will start the class with their audio muted and will need to unmute themselves to speak. This can cut down on ambient noise from having many active microphones. The host can also click the “Mute all” button at the bottom of the Manage Participants window to deactivate all participant microphones (e.g. to silence paper rustling or background music from one student).
  • Disable entry/exit chime: If hearing the entry chime (e.g. doorbell) is disruptive, the host can turn this off from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the Manage Participants window once the meeting has started.
  • Assign one or more co-hosts: The instructor may want to ask a Teaching Assistant (TA), and/or a trusted student in the class to serve as a co-host. They can help mute/unmute students, help monitor the chat for questions and problems, and remove any disruptive attendees. The host can add a TA as an “alternative host” when creating the class, and the host can also click on the “More” button next to a name in the Manage Participants window after the session has begun and select “Make Co-host.”
General Zoom Meeting Recommended Settings and Considerations
  • Require a meeting password: Adding a meeting password means participants can only join the meeting with a password the host has selected (Note: The password can still be shared.)
  • Add a waiting room: A waiting room lets a host or co-host review who is attempting to join the meeting before it starts. Participants can be admitted one-by-one or all at once. For large meetings or classes, consider assigning the review function to a co-host.
  • Disable join before host: Participants cannot join a meeting before the host joins and will see a message that says, “The meeting is waiting for the host to join.“
  • Enable only authenticated users to join (use with care): This option ensures that only UChicago Zoom users can attend a meeting. IMPORTANT: Many UChicago users do not yet have a UChicago Zoom account and enabling this account setting will prevent many from joining meetings. Note: students who have not claimed a student Zoom account will have one automatically created when logging into the course for the first time.
  • Do not use a Zoom Personal ID for group meetings: Use the Zoom website or client tools to Schedule meetings with a unique ID for every meeting. This reduces the likelihood of a meeting ID becoming known and public.
  • Disable public chat: For larger meetings, consider disabling public chat if there is are concerns about disruptive or inappropriate behavior. To disable chat during a meeting, click on the Chat button to bring up the Chat window, then click on the three dots (…) at the bottom right of the Chat window and select “Host only” or “No one.”
  • Do not post meeting links online: Only share meeting invitations and links via emails and calendar entries. Do not post them on websites or social media.
  • Use a Zoom webinar for large meetings: For large public meetings, a Zoom webinar provides greater control and participant management. Fill out the webinar request form at least three working days before the meeting to request access to a webinar license. Details about lending terms, license costs, and feature comparisons are provided in the Zoom Webinar Overview.
Manage Participants During a Zoom Meeting

To halt a Zoom disruption during a meeting, please view this video tutorial Halt a Zoom Disruption.

Most of the in-meeting controls are accessed by clicking on the “Manage Participants” button at the bottom of the main Zoom window, which displays the Participants list. From the Manage Participants window, the host can lock a meeting, mute all participants, make someone a co-host, and remove an uninvited or disruptive individual.
  • Limit chat options: From the Chat window, the host can disable chat, limit to host only, limit to everyone publicly or publicly and privately. This can prevent multiple private chats from occurring during a meeting. (Chat options are No one, Host Only, Everyone Publicly, Everyone Publicly and Privately) For large meetings, it is recommended to set chat to No One or Host Only.
  • Lock meeting: When all attendees have arrived, the host can lock the meeting by clicking on the “More” button at the bottom of the Manage Participants window and selecting “Lock Meeting.” This will prevent new participants from joining.
  • Mute all: A host can mute all in the Manage Participants window. The host can also stop participants from unmuting themselves and ask them to use chat for questions. For large meetings or classes, consider assigning the job of managing chat to a co-host.
  • Mute a participant: People often leave their microphones on unintentionally, meaning everyone in the meeting can hear their background noise. The host can mute individual participants by clicking on the “More” button next to their name in the Manage Participants window.
  • Stop a participant’s video: If a participant’s video is distracting or disruptive or causing them to have connection issues, the host or co-host can switch it off by clicking on the “More” button next to a participant name.
  • Remove unwanted or disruptive participants: In the rare event that someone joins a meeting who shouldn’t be present, or if they need to be removed for another reason, the host or co-host can quickly remove a participant and prevent them from being able to rejoin by clicking on the “More” button next to their name in the Manage Participants window and selecting “Remove.”
Global Defaults for Zoom Meetings
  • Host video – Off: All meetings will be launched with the Host video off. Hosts should click Start Video to turn on video.
  • Participant video – Off: All meetings will be launched with the Participant video off. Participants should click Start Video to turn on video.
  • Require a meeting password – On: Participants can only join the meeting by using a password.
  • Embed password in meeting link for one-click join – On: Participants can join a password-protected meeting by using the “join meeting” link instead of manually entering the password.
  • Screen sharing – Disabled: Participant screen sharing is disabled to provide the host control. To allow participants to share their screen during a call, click the arrow next to Share Screen and Advanced Sharing Options.
  • File transfer – Off: File sharing between hosts and participants in Chat is disabled.
  • Auto saving chats – Off: Meeting chats are deleted when the host ends the meeting.
  • Only authenticated users can view cloud recordings – On: Participants must use their UChicago Zoom account to view recordings in the Zoom cloud.
  • Nonverbal feedback – On: Participants are permitted to provide nonverbal feedback by clicking the Participant button and using feedback icons during the class or meeting.
  • Recording disclaimer – On: Participants will hear a message when they join a meeting that is being recorded, notifying them of the recording and giving them the option to join or leave.

If you have questions or need guidance on optimizing these settings, please contact IT Services or your local IT support team.