We’re willing to bet that at the start of this year (2020) the majority of standard office users wouldn’t have known what Zoom did or was. Today, it’s a verb unto itself, in the same way we ‘Google’ something.
Back when life was normal, you would have been invited to a ‘video conference’, or at most a ‘WebEx’ if your host was feeling super techy. Now you’ll hear, ‘let’s have a Zoom’ thrown into regular conversation both personally and professionally – it’s become a critical component in keeping many companies going during these challenging times.
While it’s a super simple platform for even the most technically illiterate to use, it also has some enhanced features that can get overlooked, but are invaluable for keeping it safe and secure for all.
If video conferencing is here to stay, and Zoom is to be one of the major players, it’s worth having a read through our tips below for some enhanced protection features designed to make your remote experience even better.
Turn on notifications to be alerted every time a new attendee joins during the conference.
The meeting host must approve every attendee requesting to join the meeting – ensures no unexpected guests.
Bypass Waiting Room
Add pre-approved domains to your ‘safe list’ so these users, when logged in with an email address at this domain, can skip the waiting room and join the meeting directly.
Limit Screen Sharing
Control whether meeting participants can share their screens or not. If you, as the host, want to be the only one with this ability, toggle the feature off from the screen sharing or security menus.
For further restrictions, the admin can enforce that only selected applications can be shared, rather than the entire desktop. This limits the risk of other sensitive data being displayed.
Wait for Host
Don’t allow others to join a meeting before the host as the first to join may automatically be given host privileges and so have full control over the meeting.
Switch off the ability for attendees to share files within a conference to limit the spread of malicious or compromised files.
Require a Password to Join
You can apply this feature to your Personal Meeting ID and to newly scheduled meetings. It ensures only those with a password can connect to the meeting.
If you use the “Copy Invitation” option to send the meeting link on it may already include your password. Check if the URL seems unusually long and has a question mark in it – this usually indicates your password is in there too.
If you’re posting about the meeting publicly, you probably don’t want to include the password in there to be able to control who joins – just the meeting ID – you can always send the password on privately to those who specifically register for the event.
Registered Users Only
You can schedule a meeting that requires registration. All attendees must fill out their name, email and any custom questions you set – you can also add your own logo to the page. You can choose between automatic or manual approval.
In-meeting chat can be a productive feature where questions can be posed or additional materials shared. However it can also be distracting and unnecessary. You can disable or enable chat throughout your meeting.
For privacy purposes, you can also choose whether or not participants may save chats from meetings.
Change Personal Meeting ID (PMI)
Your PMI is the default ID that launches when you start an ad hoc meeting – this doesn’t change unless you actively change it. It’s useful for your contacts to know how to reach you. You don’t however want to display this publicly, or anyone can call you on it. When scheduling a new public meeting, you can randomly generate your meeting ID – or in your profile settings you can turn off your PMI when starting an instant meeting.
Turn Off Annotation
Zoom allows the meeting host to remove participants’ ability to annotate screen shares, either for the whole meeting or just temporarily. While it can be useful to annotate in small personal groups – it opens up the opportunity for misuse in a wider or impersonal group.
To save from unfortunate interruptions the meeting host can mute all participants at the click of a button. It’s also possible to remove a participant’s ability to unmute themselves. If and when you wish to make a meeting interactive again, you can either unmute all, or allow participants to unmute themselves.
Use a Strong Password
This goes without saying for any application, however here are some simple tips to make yours and your users’ Zoom experience more secure:
- Have a minimum password length: 10-12 characters
- Have at least 1 special character (!, @, #…)
- Cannot contain consecutive characters (e.g. “11111”, “12345”, “abcde”, or “qwert”)
- Use enhanced weak password detection
- New users need to change their passwords upon first sign-in
- Password expires automatically and needs to be changed after the specified # of days
- Users cannot reuse any password used in the previous number of times
Keep your desktop client up to date at all times. If you think you might be using an old version, switch off and use the web client instead.
An admin can lockdown the backgrounds the users on their account are able to use by adding specific virtual backgrounds to the Zoom web portal.
Hopefully you’ve found the tips helpful. We’ve also put them into a PDF which you can download here and share with your users.
If you need any assistance with your remote working setup, whether that’s refining it or making it more of a permanent feature, we’d be happy to help – please contact us.