Emerson IT Help Desk

Securing Your Virtual Classroom

On Tuesday, March 31st, 2020, we sent a notice to campus to advise our community about 'Zoombombing' (the unauthorized sharing of content in a Zoom meeting from an uninvited attendee), and to alert everyone of the new screen sharing settings that now default to "Only Host" for all meetings.

In an effort to improve security for our virtual classrooms and meetings, newly created Emerson Zoom meetings will require a password by default starting Tuesday, April 7th, 2020.

What does this mean?

Where can I find the link, meeting ID, and password?

What about students joining Zoom meetings via Canvas?

If the password is included in the link, how does that make my meeting more secure?

What happens to my previously scheduled meetings?

What about my Personal Meeting link?

Can I decide to turn off the password for my meetings?

My Zoom class was interrupted. What should I do?

How can I secure my Zoom cloud recordings?

What does this mean?

When you schedule a new Zoom meeting either from emerson.zoom.us, through canvas.emerson.edu, or via Google calendar, Zoom will automatically generate a unique password for the session. You have the option to edit the password if you wish.

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When you share the meeting link with invited participants, the password will automatically be part of the link. Participants will not need to know the password explicitly unless they are joining only via the Meeting ID (the 9-digit unique meeting identifier) or using the browser-based version of Zoom. However, we do still advise sharing the full meeting information (the link, meeting ID, and password) with participants to ensure those expected to join can do so.

Where can I find the link, meeting ID, and password?

Sign in to emerson.zoom.us, click on Meetings, and click on the name of your meeting under Topics. In Canvas, you can see the same thing by going to the Zoom tab in your course.

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What about students joining Zoom meetings via Canvas?

Students will not be required to enter the password when joining a Zoom meeting via the Zoom desktop of mobile app, including those in Canvas. Students will only be prompted for the password if they join using the Meeting ID or via the browser-based version of Zoom. To be completely safe, faculty should post the password in a location accessible to students so that they can still access the meeting in case they're not entering via the desktop or mobile app.

If the password is included in the link, how does that make my meeting more secure?

The password would protect against outside attacks that are happening by people guessing or using an app to select a random Meeting ID (the 9-digit meeting identifier) and then joining the meeting unexpectedly. Participants would not be able to enter a meeting this way without also knowing the password. This measure, however, will not prevent invited guests from intentionally sharing the link or meeting information with others.

What happens to my previously scheduled meetings?

We recommend that everyone review their existing Zoom meeting settings. You may elect to turn on the password option for any previously scheduled meetings if you have not already, or delete and generate new meeting links (which will have the password requirement automatically on).

What about my Personal Meeting link?

Many of us have customized the link to our Personal Meeting links to make it easier to share our link for recurring meetings. For example, you can create a link that is simple to remember with your name, similar to: https://emerson.zoom.us/my/first_last. We have not turned on the password requirement for Personal Meeting links at this time.

If you are currently using your Personal Meeting link for class, we highly recommend that you access the meeting settings and enable the password, and/or turn on the ‘Enable Waiting Room’ feature, which requires you as the host to allow each participant into the room individually. This way you can allow only participants who you recognize to join the meeting.

Can I decide to turn off the password for my meetings?

Yes, while this will now be a default setting for new Zoom meetings, you can elect to turn off the password requirement in your individual meeting settings. (Though we do not recommend doing so).

My Zoom class was interrupted. What should I do?

We hope that these changes will help to keep our virtual classrooms and meetings more secure. Please continue to report incidents of unwanted virtual meeting disruptions to helpdesk@emerson.edu and to the Emerson College Police Department, 617-824-8555.

Read on for a list of recommended Zoom features for managing meetings that can help you safely share your Zoom class or meeting and avoid unwanted interruptions. These are listed in the order of easiest to implement to hardest:

  • Mute all participants
    • This is a good practice for any meeting - muting participants by default helps prevent echo and other audio issues.
  • Remove Participants from a Session 
    • As the meeting host, you can boot someone out if they're being disruptive or should not be there in the first place. 
  • Lock a Meeting in Progress 
    • If you have confirmed that all participants have successfully joined, you could lock the meeting so that no further participants can jump in. This could also be useful if you see a disruptor join. You can remove them and lock the session to prevent them from rejoining. 
  • Enable Waiting Room 
    • This feature requires the meeting host to allow each participant to join the session individually through the Participant's Pane. Warning: this level of multi-tasking can be tricky once you've started leading a session. You'll have to remember to check the participants list frequently for any late-comers! 
  • Add a trusted student as a co-host
    • They can help you with participant moderation: admitting people from the waiting room, muting participant microphones and audio, and removing participants.

How can I secure my Zoom cloud recordings?

Cloud recordings can be downloaded by the host, or shared via a link  when the host clicks the Share button next to a cloud recording, they will see options to:

  • share the video publicly (not secure, anyone with the link can view)
  • share with authorized Emerson Zoom users only (recommended for classes)
  • password protect the recording (recommended) 
  • prevent viewers from downloading
  • allow others to request access to view the recording via registration

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