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How to Protect Your Zoom Meetings

Settings and Controls

University IT is seeing an increase in Stanford Zoom meeting abuse while also hearing news of “Zoombombing” incidents both here and at other institutions where interlopers have disrupted virtual events. Below are tips for managing Zoom meeting participants and protecting your meetings from unwelcome guests. It’s up to you to decide which of these are appropriate, based on how you use Zoom.

Start by disabling “Join before host” on your Personal Meeting Room

A good place to start is disabling the “Enable join before host” option on your Personal Meeting Room.  This prevents others from using your Personal Meeting ID without you. As of April 16, 2020, this setting is disabled by default for all users. To check this setting for your meeting, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to meeting settings in the Zoom web portal at https://stanford.zoom.us/meeting.
  2. Click Personal Meeting Room.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Edit this Meeting.
  4. Deselect Enable join before host.
  5. Click Save.
Settings to Consider Before a Zoom Meeting Begins

Configure meeting settings when you schedule a new meeting or afterward by editing a scheduled meeting. Some of the settings aren’t accessible via the Zoom desktop client and must be configured via the Zoom web portal.

  • Enable only authenticated users to join*: This option ensures that only Zoom users with email addresses in the specified domains can join the meeting.

    IMPORTANT: Some at Stanford do not yet have a Zoom account, and enabling this setting will prevent them from attending your meeting. To create a Stanford Zoom account, SUNet account holders can go to https://stanford.zoom.us/ and click Log In.

    When scheduling a meeting, the host can select the allowed email domains. To do this, navigate to Meeting Options, select Only authenticated users can join, and choose an option based on who will attend:

    1. Zoom users with Stanford University email: Only participants with a @stanford.edu email may join (appropriate for most internal university meetings)
    2. Zoom users anywhere: Anyone with a Zoom account can join (not recommended)
    3. Zoom users with Stanford community email: Only participants from the Stanford community, including Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health, may join.

    When selecting options 1 or 3 above, the host can edit the list of allowed email domains to enable guests from outside of Stanford to participate. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Click Save.
    2. Click Edit under the drop-down menu box.
    3. In the box under View/Edit domains, type an asterisk followed by the domain names you’d like to include.
    4. Separate each domain name by a comma (For example, *stanford.edu,*usc.edu)
  • 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.”

  • Require a meeting password*: Adding a meeting password means participants can only join the meeting by entering the specified (or auto-generated) password. As of April 16, 2020, by default, participants who join a meeting by phone will need to provide a password if a password is required. As of June 23, 2020, Zoom will require that all meetings are password protected. (Note: This provides little additional security if passwords are included in broadly shared meeting information.)

  • Automatically generated meeting ID: Selecting Generate Automatically for “Meeting ID” generates a random meeting ID instead of using your static Personal Meeting ID (PMI). This reduces the likelihood of meeting room abuse by limiting the lifetime of a given meeting ID.

  • Enable waiting room*: A waiting room allows a host or co-host to review who is attempting to join the meeting before it starts. Participants can be admitted individually or all at once. For large meetings or classes, consider assigning the review function to a co-host. You can enable this feature before a meeting starts or during the meeting by clicking Security at the bottom of the Zoom window.

* These settings can be configured for individual meetings or changed to become your defaults for all of the future meetings that you schedule. For instructions, go to How to Change Zoom Meeting Settings (below).

Recommended Settings for Zoom-Based Classes

If you will be using Zoom only for class meetings and recordings, you can change your Zoom settings in the web portal to apply to all meetings and recordings. If not, be sure to change settings as you schedule a particular meeting or recurring meetings. Visit Use Zoom to support your course for comprehensive details on required Zoom settings and recommendations in the context of course instruction at Stanford.

  • Enable only authenticated users to join*: This option ensures that only Zoom users with email addresses in the specified domains can attend your class. (Note: It does not prevent Stanford students who are not registered for a class from joining.) Students who have not claimed a Zoom account will have one automatically created by going to https://stanford.zoom.us/ and clicking Log In.

    When scheduling a meeting, the host can select the allowed email domains. To do this, navigate to Meeting Options, select Only authenticated users can join, and choose an option based on who will attend:

    1. Zoom users with Stanford University email: Only participants with a @stanford.edu email may join (appropriate for most internal university meetings)
    2. Zoom users anywhere: Anyone with a Zoom account can join (not recommended)
    3. Zoom users with Stanford community email: Only participants from the Stanford community, including Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health, may join.

    When selecting options 1 or 3 above, the host can edit the list of allowed email domains to enable guests from outside of Stanford to participate. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Click Save.
    2. Click Edit under the drop-down menu box.
    3. In the box under View/Edit domains, type an asterisk followed by the domain names you’d like to include.
    4. Separate each domain name by a comma (For example, *stanford.edu,*usc.edu)
  • Disable “Join before host”*: Deselect Join before host when creating the meeting (or edit settings if already scheduled). This will allow students to connect ahead of time, but they will see a pop-up message that says, “The meeting is waiting for the host to join.” Students won’t be able to join the meeting until after you join.

  • Require a password when scheduling new meetings*: Turn this on. There is now a policy that instructors add a password to their Zoom-based classes. Turning this setting on will auto-generate a password for each future meeting. (Note: This provides little additional security if passwords are included in broadly shared meeting information.)

    • Embed password in meeting link for one-click join*: Leave this on. If you change the password, a new meeting link will be generated and the old one becomes invalid. Note: this is how the Canvas Zoom tool links to password-protected meetings, even if you turn this setting off.

  • 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 click on More next to a name in the Manage Participants window after the meeting has begun and select Make Co-host.

  • Mute participants upon entry*: All meeting participants will enter 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 Mute all at the bottom of the Manage Participants window to silence all participant microphones.

  • Disable “Play sound when participants leave or join”: If the entry and exit chimes are 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.

  • Restrict screen sharing to host only*: To ensure that only the meeting host can screen share, click Security on the host’s controls at the bottom of the main Zoom window. Under Allow participants to:, deselect Share Screen. ​

  • Adjust Recording Settings: Go to Recording Settings online at https://stanford.zoom.us/profile/setting?tab=recording and turn the settings on or off per the requirements and recommendations provided under Recording Settings in Use Zoom to support your course on the Teach Anywhere website.

* These settings can be configured for individual meetings or changed to become your defaults for all of the future meetings that you schedule. For instructions, go to How to Change Zoom Meeting Settings (below).

Manage Participants During a Zoom Meeting

Most of the in-meeting controls are located at the bottom of the main Zoom window. The host can click Security to lock the meeting, restrict chat or screen share, or remove a participant. Clicking Participants opens the Participants window, which enables the host to mute all participants or designate a co-host.

  • Lock Meeting: When all attendees have arrived, the host can lock the meeting by clicking Security at the bottom of the Zoom window and selecting Lock Meeting. This will prevent new participants from joining.

  • Mute all: A host can mute all via the Participants window. The host can also prevent participants from unmuting themselves.

  • Mute a participant: People often leave their microphones on unintentionally, broadcasting their background noise to all participants. The host can mute individual participants by clicking More next to their name in the 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 More next to a participant name in the Participants window and selecting Stop Video.

  • Override unwanted or inappropriate screen sharing: Stanford’s default screen sharing settings allow the host to override sharing when someone else is sharing.

  • 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 Security at the bottom of the Zoom window. Next, select Remove Participant to open the Remove Participant window and click Remove to the right of the name of the participant to be removed.

  • Block annotations: When annotations are disabled, participants are prevented from using annotation tools to add information to shared screens.

Manage a Disruptive or Distracting Meeting Participant

Use these in-meeting controls accessed at the bottom of the Zoom window to quickly manage a disruptive or distracting participant. Print or bookmark this guide with step-by-step instructions for managing a Zoombomber so you have it handy should you need it during your meeting.

  • 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 Security at the bottom of the Zoom window. Next, select Remove Participant to open the Remove Participant window and click Remove to the right of the name of the participant to be removed.

  • Override unwanted or inappropriate screen sharing: Stanford’s default screen sharing settings allow the host to override sharing when someone else is sharing.

  • 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, and Everyone publicly and privately.) The host can also disallow chat for all participants by clicking Security and deselecting Chat under Allow participants to:.

  • Report an incident: Submit the Report a Disruptive Zoom Participant form

Global Privacy and Security Settings for Stanford Zoom Meetings

Stanford has locked these settings at the account level.

  • Allow removed participants to rejoin (Disabled): As host, you have the ability to remove a participant from the meeting for inappropriate behavior, and they’ll be unable to rejoin the meeting using the same login.

  • Recording disclaimer (Enabled): Participants will hear a message when they join a meeting that is being recorded and will see a pop-up message to notify them of the recording and give them the option to continue or leave the meeting.

  • File transfer (Disabled): File sharing between hosts and participants via the in-meeting chat feature is disabled.​

  • Co-Host (Enabled): Allows you to add a co-host who has the same in-meeting controls as you. Your co-host can help you manage participants and settings during meetings.

How to Change Zoom Meeting Settings

You can adjust meeting settings for a meeting while you schedule it or change settings for meetings you've already scheduled. You can also change your default meeting settings.

To adjust settings while you schedule new meetings, do one of the following:

  • If you use Outlook for the web, adjust settings in the Outlook web app.
  • If use Outlook desktop and have downloaded the Outlook plug-in:

    1. Click the Add a Zoom Meeting .
    2. Click the Settings icon.
  • If you use the Zoom web portal, navigate to meeting settings at https://stanford.zoom.us/meeting.

    1. Click Meetings on the left menu.
    2. Clicking Schedule a New Meeting.
    3. Adjust settings.

To update settings for meetings you’ve already scheduled, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to meeting settings in the Zoom web portal at https://stanford.zoom.us/meeting
  2. Click Upcoming Meetings.
  3. Under Topic, select the meeting topic. ​
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Edit this Meeting.

To change default settings for all future meetings you schedule, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to meeting settings in the Zoom web portal at https://stanford.zoom.us/meeting
  2. Click Settings from the left menu.
  3. Toggle to enable or disable settings as appropriate.
Get Help Managing Your Zoom Settings

If you have questions or need guidance on optimizing these settings:

  • For immediate assistance, please call the University IT Service Desk 650-725-4357 (5-HELP)
  • Submit a Zoom Help request
  • For information on Zoom updates and changes, go to Stanford Zoom Updates