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10 Zoom Security Tips to Keep Students Safe 

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Zoom end-to-end encryption
Image courtesy Your Story

Zoom security is a huge issue especially for parents and students now. Here are a few tips courtesy of Sara Altschule you can use to make sure your Zoom meetings are secure.

LOCK YOUR MEETINGS

Think of locking your meeting similar to a deadbolt lock on a door. Even if someone has a key (the meeting ID number and password) they still cannot get in. Once all of your students are in the virtual classroom, lock the meeting room to stop unexpected visitors.

How to lock a Zoom meeting:

At the bottom of the screen click, Participants > a panel on the right side of the screen will pop up, click the More button on the bottom right > click Lock Meeting.

zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

MANAGE SCREEN SHARING

As an instructor, you want to be the only one who can share a screen. Unless a student is giving a presentation, there’s really no need to enable screen sharing amongst the class. Thankfully, you can easily prevent access to screen sharing with Zoom’s security features.

How to manage screen sharing:

At the bottom of the screen, click Security, under ‘Allow participants to’ uncheck Share Screen.

zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

ENABLE THE WAITING ROOM OPTION

This feature is similar to being a security guard at an exclusive event. As the host, you can let participants in one by one, or all together as a group. That way, you can see each and every person entering the meeting.

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How to enable the waiting room feature:

Click Schedule to schedule the meeting > click Advanced Options at the screen > make sure Enable Waiting Room is on (it should be set up that way by default).

zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

REMOVE UNWANTED PARTICIPANTS

Kicking out an uninvited guest has never been so easy with Zoom’s Remove feature. If you forgot to lock the meeting room or someone accessed the meeting ID and password and entered, this function makes removing them quick and painless. Additionally, if a student is acting inappropriately, you have the option to remove them swiftly. Power never felt so gratifying.

How to remove an unwanted guest:

Click Participants at the bottom of the screen > on the right panel, hover over the participant you want to kick out > click More > click Remove.

zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

ELIMINATE PRIVATE CHATTING

Students should only be paying attention to the lessons during a Zoom meeting, not chatting with others.  Disabling the private chat not only helps keep them focused, but it also levels up the security and privacy of the meeting room.

How to disable Zoom’s private chat:

At the bottom of the screen, click Chat > in the panel on the right side, click the three dots on the bottom right corner > under Participants Can Chat With, click No One or Host only.

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zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

You can also disable the entire chat feature, removing your ability to chat even as a host.

Login to your Zoom web account > toggle off the buttons for Chat and Private chat

USE THE MUTE OPTION

Utilize the mute feature if you can’t quickly kick out an uninvited person. This tool allows for less distraction and minimizes disruptive noise from transpiring in class.

Click Participants at the bottom of the screen > at the bottom of the right-side panel, you will find the option to Mute All. If you click More > you can click Mute Participants on Entry as well.

zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

CREATE A RANDOM MEETING ID AND A STRONG PASSWORD

Don’t use a personal meeting ID, as this is a recurring meeting. This leaves you more vulnerable to an unwanted guest finding your meeting ID and joining. Instead, create a random meeting ID. More important though, you need to create a strong password. We know you create strong passwords when it comes to your email address or your online bank account. Do the same here.

Not sure how to create a solid password? Zoom’s got you covered.

zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

DOWNLOAD THE LATEST VERSION OF ZOOM

Zoom is always evolving with new security features. In order to get those privacy features, make sure you download the latest version. A pop-up screen will come up alerting you when a new update needs downloading. It easily takes the guesswork out of it.

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zoom safety tips zoom privacy security

LET STUDENTS KNOW IF YOU ARE RECORDING

If you set up a camera in your classroom, you would tell your students you are recording them, right? The same still applies when conducting a virtual classroom. Let your students know if you hit the record button so they have full knowledge you are filming the lesson. If you are recording a presentation, make sure you don’t have the gallery display on (where you can see every participant).

If you are a student and you see a red dot — alert alert!  That signifies a recording is taking place.

Furthermore, we advise you to not post pictures of your video conferencing classes on any social media channel. Even though it can be exciting to share your hard work with others online, you need to remember that your students’ privacy is at stake.

ALLOW STUDENTS TO RENAME THEMSELVES

Keep your students’ information private (specifically their names) by enabling them to use an alias. If prepared, Sally Jones could just use her first name Sally, or even SJ, if she feels more comfortable. Just make sure Sally doesn’t get carried away and change her name to something that isn’t classroom appropriate.

How to enable students to rename themselves: Click Security on the bottom menu > Under ‘Allow participants to’ check off Rename themselves.

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