How Can I Make My Zoom Room More Secure?

Are there different types of Zooms rooms?

There are two types of Zoom rooms available to Georgetown community members: Zoom Meeting rooms and Zoom Webinars.  

Our classes and internal meetings function best when participants have free access and can interactively share screens and video. All our course and personal Zoom Meetings have those features turned on by default. By contrast, Zoom Webinars are locked down by default and restrict audio and video access by participants, so they are ideal for large public events or any event where outsiders have access to the URL.

Zoom Meetings

Ideal for Georgetown-only types of meetings (e.g. class, group, department or program meetings) with trusted participants where meeting links are not publicly shared outside of Georgetown. All participants can share their audio, video (camera), screen, chat, and change their virtual background by default. If you use a Zoom meeting for public purposes you run the risk of your participants taking control of your meeting by sharing their screen, talking over the host, displaying their video (camera), and writing chat messages to the group or individuals. 

Zoom Webinars

For large meetings and publicly advertised events where the meeting link is shared with others outside of Georgetown (e.g. twitter, facebook, website, etc.). Webinar attendees do not interact with one another by default and enter the meeting in listen-only mode and can only see the host’s video and screen share. In a Zoom Webinar, hosts can control who sees attendee chat submissions and use Q&A and polling features which allow hosts to manage and share attendee input after previewing it to make sure it’s acceptable.

Georgetown has licensed Zoom Meetings for all faculty, students, and employees. Zoom Webinars require an extra license based on the maximum number of hosts and attendees. Where can I find more information about hosting a Zoom Webinar?

How can I better secure my Zoom Meeting room?

Classes and internal meetings function best when participants have free access and can interactively share screens, chat, and video. All our course and personal Zoom Meetings have those features turned on by default. There is a low risk of classroom disruption unless a professor or a student publicly shares the Zoom Meeting link or meeting ID outside of a secure platform like Canvas.  

It is important to note, however, that because our Zoom default settings allow open sharing which is critical to classroom interaction, there is a possibility for some internet users with ill intent to disrupt Zoom meetings and events. These incidents are referred to as ZoomBombing and are rare and tend to only affect publicly shared events. 

If you are concerned about ZoomBombing there are three easy measures your can take to further secure your room:

  1. Refrain from selecting options that utilize your Personal Zoom Meeting ID (PMI) to host meetings – Your PMI is a static meeting ID that is reserved to you and linked to one virtual room. It is essentially one continuous meeting and anyone with the link can join at any time, all the time. Reusing your PMI for multiple meetings or class sessions could mean that guests not intended for that meeting could inadvertently join as the meeting ID does not change. You can start an instant meeting or schedule a meeting without using your PMI.  
  2. Set a meeting password – When scheduling a meeting, consider setting a meeting password for sensitive meetings. Trusted meeting attendees that receive the link from you won’t actually have to enter the password, but participants without the password protected link who attempt to join the meeting will be asked to use a password in order to join the meeting.
  3. Update Zoom to the latest version – Zoom regularly provides new versions of the Zoom desktop client and mobile app to release new features and bugs fixes. We recommend always upgrading to the latest version once it is available. You can also check which version you’re currently running.

    Check out Zoom’s release notes to stay updated on the latest Zoom releases.

There are additional Zoom Meeting settings you may want to change based on your needs and meeting type to ensure that you maintain control of your Zoom meetings and have a positive meeting experience: