Securing Your Zoom Meetings

Zoom Meetings have a number of features to enhance security, both in-meeting as well as controlling access to the meeting room. This guide gives an overview of the major features, their function, and how to use them. In order to keep your meetings private and secure, all Zoom meetings will now require the use of either a passcode or waiting room. 

Note: In order to properly secure your meeting and take full control of the room you *must* be properly signed in with your WSE Zoom Account and hosting the meeting through the application, not in a web browser.

Zoom Security Best Practices

Zoom Meetings are secure thanks to a number of technological measures, but the most important element of the security system is you, the host. The most sophisticated lock is only effective when used, and is easily bypassed if the wrong person is given the key.

Best Practices for Security with Zoom

  • Be intentional with distribution of information.
    • Do not post the meeting link anywhere public, or semi-public where it can be accessed by anyone not on your invite list. In practice, this means only posting the link to your Canvas site (which is only accessible by students registered for your course), or emailing it directly to participants.
  • Only enable screen-sharing for participants in meetings when it will be needed, this can prevent accidental or intentional disruption.
  • If you are using the waiting room feature, remember to check for late attendees after the start of the meeting.
  • If a malicious user gains access to your meeting, use the in-meeting controls to remove and report them.

Waiting Room

Enabling the Waiting Room feature will allow you to review all meeting participants before admitting them to the meeting. No one will be able to join the meeting room until the host (you) allows them to join. This has the added benefit of preventing people from joining an empty meeting room, or using the meeting room for purposes other than your intended meeting.

When attendees join the meeting they will remain in the waiting room until the host admits them.

Note:  Enabling the Waiting Room will render the 'Join Before Host' option moot, as no one will be able to join the meeting until the host admits them. The Join Before Host box may remain checked, but attendees will not be able to start the meeting without the host.

Enabling the Waiting Room for Meetings

  1. When scheduling a meeting.
    • Select the Enable waiting room option.
  2. In an existing meeting
    • Sign in to the WSE Zoom website and navigate to Meetings.
    • Click the title of the meeting you would like to update
    • Click Edit this Meeting. If this is a recurring meeting select All when prompted.
    • Click the Enable waiting room option.
    • Save the changes to the meeting.

Admitting Attendees

  1. Open the Participants panel
    • If desired, open the three dot (...) menu at the bottom of the participant panel to enable the sound effect when someone joins the meeting, this can be helpful to know if someone is waiting to join a meeting in progress
  2. Select Admit next to the attendee, or Admit All to let all members of the Waiting Room join the meeting

You can read more about waiting rooms in the official Zoom support document Waiting Room.

Meeting Passcodes

Enabling the Passcode option will restrict access to your meeting to only those who have either the meeting passcode or meeting link containing the passcode.

Adding a Passcode to an Existing Meeting

If you have an existing scheduled meeting and need to add a passcode, you can do this from the Zoom web interface:

  1. Sign in to the WSE Zoom website and navigate to Meetings.
  2. Click the Edit next to the title of the meeting you would like to update the passcode for (Meetings with no passcode will have a red circle next to them).
  3. Click Edit this Meeting. If this is a recurring meeting select All when prompted.
  4. Check the 'Passcode' setting and either enter a passcode or use the randomly generated passcode.
  5. Save the changes to the meeting.
  6. Copy and distribute the passcode and/or new one-click link from the meeting description or invitation.
    Note: All attendees will need one or both in order to join the meeting after adding the passcode.

More information about meeting passcodes can be found in the Zoom official support document Meeting and webinar passcodes

Require JHU Authentication

Another option is to require users to have a JHED ID and authenticate into the JH SSO before being allowed to join the meeting, this does not require participants to have a Zoom account, only an active JHED ID.

What does it do?

JHU SSO Authentication requires that participants joining your meeting/webinar are authenticated using their JHED credentials. This will prevent unwanted guests from gaining access to your session and will further ensure that only Hopkins colleagues are joining. A Zoom account is not required for those joining.

How do you set it up?

When scheduling a meeting, select the Only authenticated users can join option. Then, select Johns Hopkins SSO from the drop down.

Web Client:
Desktop Client:

How secure is it?

  • This is set per meeting, not across all meetings, so you can have different options for different meetings depending on your use case.
  • JHU SSO Authentication will prevent unwanted guests from joining. This feature will limit your meeting participants to only those who have JHED credentials.
  • Without a JHED ID and password, they will not be able to enter the session.

JHU’s Recommendation

  • Determine per meeting whether you want to utilize JHU SSO Authentication.
  • If your meeting is comprised of only Hopkins employees, we would recommend enabling this setting.
  • If your meeting is comprised of guests from outside of the enterprise, we would recommend not enabling this feature and securing your meeting using another setting.

In-Meeting Security Controls

Security features for in-progress meetings can be accessed by the host using the Host tools button in the meeting toolbar:

Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 10.53.20 AM.png

Meeting Controls

  • Lock Meeting: Locks the meeting, keeping new participants from joining the meeting.
  • Enable Waiting Room: Enables Waiting Room for incoming new participants or to move current participants into the Waiting Room.
  • Allow participants to:
    • Share Screen: Allows participants to start Screen Shares.
    • Chat: Allows participants to use the chat function.
    • Rename Themselves: Allows participants to rename themselves from the Participants panel.
    • Annotate on Shared Content: Allows participants to annotate over content shared during the meeting. The host can enable or disable annotation when the host is sharing. 
    • Share whiteboards: Allows participants to start sharing a whiteboard.
    • Share Notes: Allows participants to share collaborative notes during the meeting.
    • Record to computer: Allows participants to record the meeting on their device.
    • Request to record to computer: Allows participants to request permission, from the Host, to record locally on their device.
    • Request host to start cloud recording: Allows participants to request that the meeting Host begin recording to the cloud.
    • Collaborate with Zoom apps: Allows participants to collaborate with other meeting participants, using Zoom Apps.
    • Set meeting timers: Allows participants to set a meeting timer with the Zoom Timer app.
  • Remove Participant: Allows the removal of a participant from a meeting. The participant cannot rejoin unless Allow removed participants to rejoin is enabled in Meeting settings.
  • Suspend participant activities: This will pause the meeting, including all video, audio, screen sharing, chat, and recording.

More information about the in-meeting security controls can be found in the Zoom official support document In-meeting security options.

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