Securing Your Virtual Classroom/Meeting

Emerson College aims to create an environment where classes and college business can be conducted accessibly and securely. In an effort to improve security for our virtual classrooms and meetings, all Emerson Zoom meetings require a passcode by default.

What does this mean?

When you schedule a new Zoom meeting, whether from emerson.zoom.us, through canvas.emerson.edu, or via Google calendar, Zoom will automatically generate a unique passcode for the session. You can customize the passcode, if you'd like.

A screenshot of security settings within Zoom, with the Passcode option checked and a text field available to edit the passcode contents.

The meeting invite link generated by Zoom will automatically include the passcode. Participants will not need to know the passcode 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 passcode) with your participants to ensure everyone can join without an issue.

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

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

A screenshot of meeting settings on emerson.zoom.us showing the Meeting ID, Security, and Invite link sections, with the shown passcode highlighted.

Click Show in the Security section to view the passcode.

What about students joining Zoom meetings via Canvas?

Students will not be required to enter the passcode when joining a Zoom meeting via the Zoom desktop or mobile app, including those in Canvas. Students will only be prompted for the passcode if they join by typing in the Meeting ID or via the browser-based version of Zoom.

To be completely safe, faculty should post the passcode in a location accessible to students to ensure they will be able to join the meeting in all circumstances.

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

The passcode protects against outside attacks from intruders who guess—or use an app to select—a random Meeting ID (the 9-digit meeting identifier) and then attempt to join the meeting unexpectedly. Potential intruders would not be able to enter a meeting this way without also knowing the passcode.

This measure, however, will not prevent invited guests from intentionally sharing the link or meeting information with others.

What about my Personal Meeting link?

Your customizable Personal Link will prompt attendees for a meeting passcode when joining. To avoid this, be sure to use your Personal Meeting ID link, which can be found by navigating to your Personal Meeting ID in your Profile at emerson.zoom.us (click Show next to the link to view it in full).

A screenshot of profile settings on emerson.zoom.us annotated with an X next to 'Personal Link', a checkmark next to 'Personal Meeting ID', and a circle around the word 'show' next to the personal meeting ID.

If you are currently using your Personal Meeting room for class, be sure that you are sending your students the full Personal Meeting ID link, which includes the passcode, in advance of your sessions.

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

No. In alignment with Zoom's recommendations and the assessments of our own information security team, all Emerson Zoom meetings must have passcodes.

My Zoom class/meeting was interrupted. What should I do?

Please report incidents of unwanted virtual meeting disruptions to us at helpdesk@emerson.edu, and to the Emerson College Police Department at 617-824-8555. If you have been impacted by identity-based harm, you can seek out support from Intercultural Student Affairs or share your experience anonymously with the Social Justice Center or at bias@emerson.edu.

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:

  • Share Links Safely
    • Be aware that sharing your Zoom meeting info publicly or on social media means anyone can join. Be careful about where you post your link.
    • When posting your virtual events on EmConnect, make sure you've set your Event Visibility to Students & Staff at EmConnect. This ensures it will only be visible to people who have logged into EmConnect.
  • 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.
    • Warning: If you remove a participant from a meeting, they will not be able to rejoin that meeting with the same email address. Only use the Remove function if you want to ban the participant from your meeting.
  • 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 multitasking 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 or colleague 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.
  • Host your meeting using Zoom at Emerson (logged in with your Emerson account, at emerson.zoom.us), not with a personal account, which won't take advantage of our security management.

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)
  • passcode-protect the recording (recommended) 
  • prevent viewers from downloading
  • allow others to request access to view the recording via registration

A screenshot of the sharing settings window for a Zoom cloud recording, with arrows highlighting the settings for 'Only authentcated users can view' and 'Passcode protection'.

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