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zoom security faqs

Office of Information Security

Zoom Meetings » Zoom Security FAQs

Why are we making these changes?

Like many Zoom customers, Penn State has experienced recent security breaches during Zoom meetings—also known as Zoom-bombing”—and some of the incidents have been quite serious. The new security changes are intended to reduce the likelihood of these incidents occurring again

Do I need to update my client? What if I don’t have admin rights to my machine? If Zoom clients aren't updated, will old clients still be able to connect?

You must be using the latest version of Zoom by May 30, 2020 on all of your electronic devices—including desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices—to ensure that the program continues to run properly. However, it is recommended that you upgrade to the new version before that date (preferably by May 11). Work with your local IT support to makes sure that you have the latest version or reach out to the IT Service Desk

Do I need to turn chat on manually before every meeting?

Not necessarily. If you utilize chat during most of your meetings, you should set your Global Settings for chat to “on.” Once turned on in Global Settings, you will be able to enable or disable chat while you are hosting individual meetings. All features that will have settings changed at the Global Settings level can be changed while scheduling or hosting a meeting, but please only do so for those features you use in most meetings. The more features you keep locked down, the less susceptible your meetings will be to intruders and/or disruptions. 

Do these changes to features also apply to Zoom Webinars?

Most apply to both Zoom Meetings and Webinars. However, there are some features that are only applicable Webinarssuch as the “Q&A in Webinar” feature. 

The Security Toolbar available in the most recent version of Zoom allows for some features to be changed while a meeting is in progress. What key features are NOT available to change from the toolbar during a meeting?

The best way to see which features are available during meetings is to explore the Security button on the Meeting Hosts Control toolbar. However, some key features must be enabled before the meeting or webinar is scheduled for the Host to have access to them during the meeting. These include:  

  • Chat: This feature will be off for new meetings. The Host has the option to turn chat back on for Participants before a meeting and then they will be able to enable or disable chat while hosting a meeting using the Security button.  
  • Waiting Room: This feature will be on by default, and the Host will need to allow each Participant into the meeting individually or all at once. The Host will have the option to turn this off for all meetings or for individual meetings before the meeting begins, and/or during the meeting. 
  • Q&A in Webinar: This feature will be turned off by default, and the Host has the option to turn it on before the meeting or during the meeting by using the new Security button in the Zoom toolbar. 

What is the best way to make sure my future meetings are secure?

Once you are using the latest version of Zoom, you can delete and recreate your previously scheduled meetings to apply the new security settings to those meetings. You should also alter as few of the new default feature settings as possible to maintain the greatest level of security against intruders and disruptions. 

Are there additional behaviors and strategies that can help me secure my meetings and reduce the threat of Zoom-Bombings?

  • For added security, set a new meeting password for each meeting, let your attendees know that you will be emailing it to them, and only send out the password shortly before the meeting starts.  
  • Don’t reuse obvious personal meeting IDs that hackers can potentially guess. 
  • If you are a faculty member, consider having a Tech TA facilitate your Zoom teaching sessions for you (they can focus on the Zoom technology like muting participants and troubleshooting while you focus on the academic content). This may be particularly useful for meetings with a large number of participants. 
  • If you anticipate or see inappropriate behaviors, remind students that the Student Code of Conduct applies to virtual classrooms as much as it does to physical classrooms, and that the same sanctions exist for misconduct, including potential suspension and expulsion. 

How do I upgrade to the latest version on Zoom?

Please work with you local IT department to upgrade. You may also visit the zoom download center for the most recent versions.