Zoom – Best Practices

How to Protect You and Your Students in Zoom

Due to recent concerns over security and privacy concerns using Zoom to host synchronous classes, here is a quick guide to the 10 best settings to ensure you are doing everything you can to create a safe space for you and your students. This list aims at striking the best balance between privacy, security, and classroom management.

Please note that this guide does not address ways to encrypt data or ensure privacy outside of what is currently offered within Zoom.

The number one suggestion is to use the Waiting Room feature. When enabled, participants will be placed in a “waiting room” that is outside of the meeting space. The host can then admit participants into the meeting. Once in a meeting, the host can send participants back to the waiting room or remove them from the meeting altogether. This can protect against “zoombombing” and other types of unauthorized access because it gives the host real time control over who enters the meetings (which is not the case with only password protection). This also allows the hosts the ability to remove participants who become disruptive. Once all of the participants are in the meeting, the host also has the ability to “lock” the meeting so that no one else can join.

It is also important to note that not all “attacks” originate from outside of the classroom. For this reason, some of these recommendations focus on preventing participant-to-participant issues. It is up to the individual instructor to choose how best to design classroom interactions.  

Here is the list with the official Zoom Documentation Guides. In the order of most important. Below we provide an MSU specific walkthrough.

  1. Enable Waiting Rooms
  2. Require Meeting Passwords
  3. Keep Your Personal Meeting ID Private
  4. Allow Authenticated Participants Only 
  5. Mute Participants Upon Entry Default, Mute Participants During Meeting 
  6. Disable Participant Screen Sharing
  7. Disable Participant-to-Participant Chat (Or Disable the Chat Altogether)
  8. Disable File Transfer
  9. Hide Telephone Numbers
  10. Enable Virtual Backgrounds

See our MSU-specific walkthrough of how to enable these features

See our MSU-specific list of all recommended settings