Hackernoon logo15 Quick And Effective Tips To Make Zoom Meetings More Secure by@kunal

15 Quick And Effective Tips To Make Zoom Meetings More Secure

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@kunalKunal Mishra

Tech Writer. Creating Graphics. theciva.wordpress.com/subscribe

The Verge reporter Casey Newton and investors Hunter Walk were hosting WFH Happy Hours, a popular daily public video call show on Zoom. Some crooks started screen sharing, showing inappropriate images to everyone in the meeting.
Verge Staff responded with kicking the troll out of the meeting. But it seems he wasn’t in any mood to let go. Changed his username, he entered again into the meeting and screen shared a second-time, broadcasting disturbing imagery again.
This is called Zoombombing. Entering into Zoom meetings and disrupting them. Public video conferences make for an easy target.
And surprisingly enough, The Verge is a big name in technology media. Recently, one of their videos got selected for the Webby People’s Choice Awards.
You won’t expect such carelessness from them. After all, they should’ve been the one to save us from Zoombombing. And they did (but later).
Though Zoombombing is now a federal offence in the US, elsewhere we still anticipate such laws.
Zoombombing can disrupt your online meeting or classes. And you don’t want that. So, here’s how you can save your meeting from Zoombombing.

How To Make Zoom Meetings Secure:

  1. Make Sure Waiting Room is Turned On
  2. Make Sure All Your Meetings Require Password To Join
  3. Master Security Option In Meeting
  4. Set Up A Co-host
  5. Control Whom Participants Can Chat With
  6. Force Participant Video On While Entering
  7. Configure Who And How Many Can Screen Share
  8. Hide Participant Profile Picture
  9. Turn Off Annotation
  10. Turn Off File Transfer
  11. Disable Participant’s Video/Audio
  12. Let Participants Join On Browser
  13. Record Meeting
  14. Put a participant on hold
  15. Report a User To Zoom

1. Make Sure Waiting Room is Turned On

Waiting Room is one of the best features in Zoom that prevents the entry of any unwanted individual into the meetings.
With Waiting Room enabled, the host will see a list of all those who are trying to get into the Zoom meeting. He, then, can add or remove anyone from the meeting.

How to enable the Waiting Room in Zoom?

  1. Go to the Zoom Web Portal Settings
  2. Tap on ‘In meeting (Advanced)’ on the sidebar.
  3. Scroll until you find ‘Waiting room
  4. Make sure it’s toggled on.

2. Make Sure All Your Meetings Require Password To Join

Meetings that aren’t password-protected make easy prey for Zoombombing. So make sure your meetings don’t come into this division.
When password protection is toggled on, anyone you (the host) invite for the meetings will have to enter a password. You can and should change your password for each meeting.

How to password-protect your Zoom meetings?

  1. Go to the Zoom Web Portal Settings.
  2. Tap on ‘In meeting (Advanced)’ on the sidebar.
  3. Scroll until you find ‘Require a password for Personal Meeting ID (PMI)’, ‘Require a password when scheduling new meetings’, ‘Require a password for instant meetings’, and ‘Require password for participants joining by phone’.
Toggle on all of them. You can also change your password with the option just below this toggle: ‘Require a password for Personal Meeting ID (PMI)’.

3. Master Security Option In Meeting: 

If you’re the host, you’ll see an option titled Security in the menu bar. That can be of great help when it comes to combating or preventing Zoombombing.

According to your meeting’s need, you can:

  • Lock meeting: No one can enter the meetings if it’s locked even if they have the password or the link.
  • Enable Waiting Room: When a person joins your meeting, he’ll be added to a waiting list instead of the meetings itself. The host can then choose if he wants to add him to the meeting or not.
  • Allow (or refuse) Participants To Share Screen: To share screen means to stream the laptop or smartphone’s screen to everybody else in the meeting. If you want your participants to show their screen for, say, showing a presentation or a PDF, you can allow participants to do that. But if there’s no reason for that, you should disable this option.
  • Allow (or refuse) Participants To Chat: Participants can chat with each other privately or with everyone unless this option is disabled. If you want your participants to be allowed for chat, keep this enabled. If there’s no need for this chat option, I’d recommend disabling it. (More on chat control in upcoming points)
  • Allow (or refrain) Participants To Rename Themselves: Enabling of this option allows participants to change their name while in a meeting. I can’t find a possible use case of this feature. But if not required, you should disable it.

4. Set Up A Co-host:

 All the security features we discussed so far and the ones we’ll be talking about next can only be accessed by the meeting host. But if you need a helping hand in managing these settings, you can promote someone trusted into a co-host.
A co-host can do everything a host can do except:
  • Give a participant the ability to record locally.
  • Make a participant host or co-host.
  • Enable waiting room.

How to set up a co-host in a Meeting?

  1. In a Zoom meeting, tap on the ‘Participants’ button on the menu bar.
  2. Hover your mouse over the name of the person you want to make co-host.
  3. Tap on ‘More’  button beside his name.
  4. Select ‘Make Co-host’.

5. Control Whom Participants Can Chat With

Chat can be a distracting feature. But it’s much needed when you want to give out resources or let participants ask without speaking. In this case, you need your participants to be able to chat with you but not with other participants.

How to control chat settings?

  1. In a meeting, tap on the ‘Chat’ button on the menu bar.
  2. Tap the three-dot button (⋯) there.
  3. Select ‘No one’ if you wish to disable the chat for everyone, except you.
  4. Select ‘Host only’ if you want participants to chat with you and no one else.
  5. Select ‘Everyone publicly’ if you allow participants to chat with everyone but only publicly.
  6. Select ‘Everyone publicly and privately’ if you don’t want participants to talk to everyone publicly or privately. This means no restriction.

6. Force Participant Video On While Entering

You might not know if a crook entered your Zoom meeting. But you can force him to show his face when he enters. This option will turn on the video of anyone that joins the meeting until the participant turns it off himself.

How to make participant video when entering?

  1. Head to Zoom Web Portal Settings.
  2. In ‘Schedule Meeting’, you’ll see the second toggle titled ‘Participants video’.
  3. Turn it on.

7. Configure Who And How Many Can Screen Share

Screen sharing, just like chats, are useful yet can be easily misused. This is why configuring the who and how many can share their screen is important.

How to control screen sharing in a meeting?

  1. In the meeting, tap on the up arrow beside ‘Share Screen’ button in the menu bar.
  2. Select ‘Advanced Sharing options…’
  3. Then you can configure how many participants can share the screen simultaneously, who can share and who can start sharing when someone else is sharing.

8. Hide Participant Profile Picture 

Participants may use any random good-looking as their profile photo. As long as the profile photo is their actual photo and you can recognise them by face, there’s no problem. But when you can’t recognise them by the photo, you’ll have to hover over their image to see their name. To get rid of this, you can just hide the participant profile picture.

How to hide participants’ profile pictures during a meeting?

  1. Head to Zoom Web Portal Settings.
  2. In ‘Schedule Meeting’, you’ll see the last option titled ‘Hide participant profile pictures in a meeting’.
  3. Toggle it on.

9. Turn Off Annotation

While someone is sharing the screen, another participant or the host can draw or write something on the screen for others to see. This is called annotation and is useful when someone wants to explain anything to others. But in a class, the students don’t have to explain anything. So this can be a tool for mischief. I’d recommend disabling it for them.

How to turn off annotation in a meeting?

  1. Head to Zoom Web Portal Settings.
  2. Under ‘In Meeting (Basic)’, scroll until you find ‘Annotation’.
  3. Toggle it off.

10. Turn Off File Transfer

 If you have the chat option turned on you’ll notice there’s a ‘File’ button in the chat window. That allows anybody who can chat to share files with another participant. If you’ve disabled chat for participants already, you don’t have to turn this off. But if you haven’t you should. Because crooks can use this to share malicious files.

How to turn off file transfer through chat in a meeting?

  1. Head to Zoom Web Portal Settings.
  2. Under ‘In Meeting (Basic)’, scroll until you find ‘File Transfer’.
  3. Toggle it off.

11. Disable Participant’s Video/Audio

 If you spot something inappropriate in video or audio of any participant during the meeting, you can mute their video or audio.

How to disable a participant’s audio or video in a meeting?

  1. In a meeting, tap on the ‘Participants’ button in the menu bar.
  2. Hover the mouse over the name of the person you want to mute.
  3. Tap on the ‘More’ button beside his name.
  4. Tap on ‘Stop Participant’s Video’ and/or ‘Mute Participant’.
For example, if you’re in a class and you don’t want to hear students’ audio, this can be helpful. But doing this for a large number of students can be hard. So, instead, you can mute them upon entry.

How to mute participants on entry?

  1. In the same ‘Participants’ window opened above, tap on the ‘More’.
  2. Select ‘Mute Participants on entry’.

12. Let Participants Join On Browser

It’s important to consider the privacy of your participants. Some feel using Zoom on the web is safer than downloading the app. You can allow your participants to enter a meeting directly from the Zoom Web Portal with a special link. This will bypass the need to download the app for the participant.

How to enable browser link for a Zoom meeting?

  1. Head to Zoom Web Portal Settings.
  2. Under ‘In Meeting (Advanced)’, scroll to the last option ‘Show a “Join from your browser” link’.
  3. Toggle it on.

13. Record Meeting

You or any other participant can record meetings for future reference if you want. You can also restrict participants from recording video.

How to restrict anyone from recording the meeting?

  1. Head to Zoom Web Portal Settings.
  2. Click on the ‘Recording’ tab.
  3. If you want to disable the option to record a meeting, turn off the first toggle, ‘Local recording
  4. If you want to record the meeting automatically as it starts, turn on ‘Automatic recording

14. Put a participant on hold 

In case a user misbehaves or you want to remove him from the meeting from some time, you can put him on hold. Someone put on hold will not be able to see, hear or chat with other participants.

How to put a participant on hold?

  1. In a meeting, tap on the ‘Participants’ button in the menu bar.
  2. Hover the mouse over the name of the person you want to put on hold.
  3. Tap on the ‘More’ button beside his name.
  4. Tap on ‘Put participant on hold’.

15. Report Intruders To Zoom 

When an unwanted user enters into your meeting and does something inappropriate, you can report him to Zoom’s Trust & Safety team who will “review any potential misuse of the platform and take appropriate action.” You first need to enable this feature.

How to report a user to Zoom?

  1. Head to Zoom Web Portal Settings.
  2. Under ‘In Meeting (Advanced)’, enable the first option ‘Report participants to Zoom’.
  3. Toggle it on.
  4. You can now report anyone while in a meeting by clicking on the ‘Security’ button in the menu bar.

How To Remove a Participant from a meeting?

  1. In a meeting, tap on the ‘Participants’ button in the menu bar.
  2. Hover the mouse over the name of the person you want to remove.
  3. Tap on the ‘More’ button beside his name.
  4. Tap on ‘Remove’.

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