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Checklist: Keep Your Zoom Meeting Secure

This article applies to: Zoom


Enhance the security of your Zoom meeting by setting up protective options in advance of your meetings. Some of these can be set as the default for all meetings you schedule, some can be chosen when you are scheduling a specific meeting, and some can be used while the meeting is in progress.

One way disruptive or abusive individuals have made their way into meetings is by clicking a link shared through social media or elsewhere on the web. To avoid this, keep meeting information private and share it through secured services (for example, share a course Zoom meeting in Canvas). See also the recommendations below, under the heading How to Plan for Common Zoom Scenarios at Cornell.

Recommended Zoom Profile Settings Affecting All Your Meetings

These options are controlled in Zoom Settings. An option is On when the slider is to the right and colored blue, and Off when to the left and colored gray. After you make a change to a setting in your Zoom profile, it will affect all meetings you schedule going forward.

Navigating Zoom's Settings
Zoom offers a wide range of detailed settings to help you control your meetings. You may find the list daunting! However, most browsers will allow you to use Find to locate words on the page. This can be helpful when looking for specific information in a long list like Zoom Settings. Try Control-F on Windows or Command-F on Mac.

Go to your Zoom Settings. In the Security section, turn on:

  • Waiting Room
    You can choose to either put all attendees in the waiting room until you admit them, or only guests—attendees who haven't signed into cornell.zoom.us or their Zoom app with their Cornell NetID and password.

In the Schedule Meeting section, turn off:

  • Participants video
    When the participants join, their video will be turned off, though they can turn it on once they have joined. You may also want to turn off Host video, then turn it on in-meeting.
  • Allow participants to join before host
    Unless you have a reason to allow your participants to join before you, it is strongly recommended to turn this off, since participants in a session without the host presents a serious security risk. If you may need another person to run a meeting in your absences, consider assigning one or more alternative hosts instead.
  • Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI) when scheduling a meeting

In the Schedule Meeting section, turn on:

  • Mute all participants when they join a meeting
    When the participants join, their audio will be muted, though they can un-mute once they have joined.
  • Screen sharing, and for the options Who can share? and Who can start sharing..., select both Host Only options.
    Screen sharing permissions can be changed during a meeting if the hosts would like to give a participant the ability to share the screen. For more, visit Override Defaults for Zoom Screen Sharing and Annotation.

In the In Meeting (Basic) section, turn off the following:

  • Annotation
  • Remote control
  • Allow removed participants to rejoin
  • Allow users to change their name when joining a meeting
  • Allow participants to rename themselves
    It is generally recommended that hosts turn this option off. You may choose not to do so if you frequently host meetings whose participants need to identify themselves by institution, job title, department, or other information not in their user name.

    However, when hosting meetings that do not require participants to modify their name, then, at the start of the meeting, click Participants, then the More (three dots) menu at the bottom right, and uncheck Allow Participants to Rename Themselves.
Requiring Authentication
It is strongly recommended that hosts make meetings more secure by requiring authentication. See Require Authentication to Join Zoom Meetings for details.

Students participants in course Zoom meetings should sign into Zoom with their Cornell NetID and password, install the Zoom app, and sign in through that before class. This will:
  • Create a Zoom account for them if they haven't done so already
  • Let them directly into the meeting instead of the waiting room
  • Provide better information in the Participants list in the meeting

Recommended Settings When Scheduling Individual Meetings

When you have set meeting options in your Zoom profile, it makes your choices the default for meetings you schedule going forward. Hosts can also set or change options while scheduling the Zoom meeting.

Under the Security heading:

And, under the Advanced Options heading:

  • Turn off: Allow participants to join any time
  • Turn on: Mute participants upon entry
    Participants will join with their microphone muted until they unmute.

Under the Video heading:

  • Turn off: Participant
    (Participants will join with their video turned off until they turn it on)

How to Plan for Common Zoom Scenarios at Cornell

To help you decide what to do in some common Zoom session scenarios, here are some guidelines. For a meeting with:

Cornell and external participants, open forum, publicly promoted

Cornell-only participants, open forum

Cornell-only participants, with all participants known to you

  • Only share the password and join link with those who are invited to attend.
  • Use the Only Authenticated Users option, choosing Cornell Users from the dropdown list.

  • Do not post the meeting link to websites or social media.

Cornell and external participants, with all participants known to you

  • Only share the password and join link with those who are invited to attend.
  • Use the Only Authenticated Users option, choosing Sign in to Zoom from the dropdown list.
  • Do not post the meeting link to websites or social media.

In the event of meeting disruption

Zoom now offers the option Suspend Participant Activities.

During a disruption, click Security in the Zoom host menu, then click Suspend Participant Activities. This "locks down" the meeting by stopping all video, audio, in-meeting chat, annotation, screen sharing, and recording, and allows the host to report the disruptive participant.

For more about using this option to handle disruption in a meeting, visit Suspend Participant Activities.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 4:44pm

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