Zoom, How to protect your sessions

We strongly recommend that you take steps to protect your Zoom meetings. This will help prevent unwanted disruptions, commonly known as “Zoombombing.” This article provides direction on how to protect your Zoom lecture or meeting. Please weigh these options carefully to find the right balance between providing access and protection.

Meeting Setup Options

Follow the instructions below to access Zoom settings.

  1. Go to https://illinois.zoom.us and click the Sign in button.
  2. Click Settings on the left-hand side of the screen. This will take you to the "Settings" page which has three sections across the top: Meeting, Recording, and Telephone.
  3. Select Meeting.

Waiting Room

The Waiting Room feature in Zoom allows you to control when a participant joins the meeting. You can set up the Waiting Room so that only un-authenticated users are placed there. The host must admit these users to the meeting.
Zoom waiting room setting found within your Zoom meeting settings.  This should be the first setting listed.

Password Protection

There are five separate password settings we recommend enabling.

Require a passcode when scheduling new meetings Require a passcode for instant meetings Require a passcode for Personal Meeting ID (PMI) Embed passcode in invite link for one-click join Require passcode for participants joining by phone

Authentication Options

For additional protection, you can use authentication to limit access to a Zoom event. See Zoom, Using authentication to limit access to your virtual event for more information.

Require Registration

This setting can be used to get more information about a participant before they attempt to join the meeting. You can then automatically or manually admit registered participants. If someone who registers should not be there, you can deny their admittance. This will require more coordination on your part. For more information about Zoom's registration tool, please visit Zoom Support: Setting up registration for a meeting  or Scheduling a Webinar with Registration.

Additional Recommended Options

The following settings can also be applied to prevent someone from taking over your lecture or meeting. These settings will apply to previously scheduled sessions. Please consider how you are using Zoom before adjusting these settings. For example, disabling screen sharing will make it harder for participants to share content in an interactive class or meeting.
  1. Screen sharing
    • You can set screen sharing to Host Only to prevent participants from taking over the screen during a meeting. (You can still allow users to share during a meeting by using the Share Screen button when the meeting is in progress by either promoting them to co-host, or by using the Advanced Sharing Options during the meeting. The host role is required to both promote a participant to co-host or alter the screen sharing options in-meeting.)
  2. File Transfer
    • Please disable this unless you need it for collaboration purposes. We recommend file sharing through Box or a Learning Management System (LMS), such as Illinois Compass 2g or Moodle.
  3. Annotation
    • Please disable this unless you need it for collaboration purposes.
  4. Allow removed participants to rejoin
    • Please disable this setting to keep removed participants from rejoining the meeting.
    • IMPORTANT: Participants that are inadvertently dropped from the meeting because of poor internet or cellular connection will be allowed to rejoin.
  5. Allow participants to rename themselves
    • Please disable this setting. This will prevent attendees from changing their name after they enter the meeting.
    • Note: This setting requires version 4.6.10 of the Zoom Desktop Client or later.  For more information on how to update your Zoom desktop client please visit: Zoom, Updating your Desktop Client.
      Allow participants to rename themselves setting turned off.  The button toggle is found to the right of the setting text.

Options for In-Progress Meetings

Once a meeting has started, you can use the options below to prevent or manage disruption.

Advanced Sharing Options

Use the advanced sharing options to adjust who can share their screen or other device during a meeting.

  1. Click the ^ icon (caret) to the right of the Share Screen button in the Zoom meeting toolbar.
  2. Click Advanced Sharing Options... in the drop-down menu.
  3. A new settings window will appear, allowing you to change sharing privileges.
 Share screen button, located in the bottom toolbar (also known as the in-meeting toolbar) between, for the host, the Chat and Record buttons.  The caret icon is located in the upper right hand corner.  Advanced sharing options is the lowest option in the drop down menu.

Advance sharing options window.  The first option will allow the host to determine how many participants can share at one time.  The second option describes who can share.  If All participants is selected for the second option, the third option becomes available. The third option us used to allow others to start sharing when someone else is sharing.

Restrict Chat Messages

During a meeting, you can choose who participants can chat with. If you can supervise chat, but only want to make it available for messaging between the host and the participants, change the setting to Host Only.

Host only chat option

You can also restrict chat messages by default in your illinois.zoom.us settings window.  You can disable the chat for participants by default and prevent participants from saving the in meeting chat.  You can also restrict private chat which would disable the ability for participants to send 1:1 chat messages to another participants.  Finally, you can enable or disable auto-saving chats.  Auto saving chats allow for hosts to sutomatically save the chat history at the end of the Zoom session.  Note: a version of the chat history can be stored, when recording to the cloud.  This setting can be found in your illinois.zoom.us settings under the recording tab.

This image shows the default chat settings found in your illinois.zoom.us settings window.  These settings are located in the In Meeting (Basic) subsection.

Muting Options

There are two mute settings (Mute All and Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves). Both settings can be configured during a meeting in progress. You should familiarize yourself with their location and functionality, because you may need to use them quickly.
  1. Click the Participants button from the bottom screen toolbar.
  2. Click Mute All at the bottom of the screen to mute all participants.
  3. Select More (ellipsis) from the lower right corner of the Participants panel.
  4. In the drop down that appears, un-check Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves.
  5. Select Continue.

Prevent Participants from Renaming Themselves

  1. Click the Participants button from the bottom screen toolbar.
  2. Select More (ellipsis) from the lower right corner of the Participants panel.
  3. In the drop down that appears, un-check Allow Participants to Rename Themselves.
  4. Select Continue.

Disable an Individual Participant's Video

If an attendee is using their video/webcam disruptively, follow these steps to disable their video:

  1. Click the Participants button from the bottom screen toolbar to open the Participants panel.
  2. Hover your mouse over the attendee’s name and click More.
  3. Select Stop Video. The participant will no longer be able to turn video on for the duration of the meeting, unless the host re-enables the option.

Lock the Meeting 

IMPORTANT: Use this with caution.  After the meeting has begun, you can lock the meeting, preventing anyone further from joining. This option can only be activated after a meeting has begun. To lock the meeting, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Participants button from the bottom screen toolbar.
  2. Select More (ellipsis) from the lower right corner of the Participants panel.
  3. In the drop down that appears, check Lock Meeting.
  4. Select Continue.

Remove a Disruptive Participant

If a disruptive/unwanted attendee has joined a meeting in progress, follow these steps to remove them:
  1. Click the Participants button at the bottom of the Zoom window to open the Participants panel.
  2. Hover your mouse over the attendee you wish to remove, and click More.
  3. Click Remove.

Tips for Publicly Accessible Meetings

Purchase and use a webinar license if possible. Webinar licenses will restrict participants to view only, and if properly managed, webinars can effectively prevent disruptions. If a webinar license is not feasible, please use the tips below to configure a publicly accessible Zoom meeting.

  1. Turn off Join Before Host when scheduling the meeting.
  2. The host should join the meeting 5-10 minutes before the start and make sure that participants cannot rename themselves or un-mute themselves.
    • Click the Participants button to open the Participants panel.
    • Find and click More (ellipsis) in the lower right corner.
    • In the drop down that appears, un-check Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves and Allow Participants to Rename Themselves.
      The in-meeting Zoom participants setting drop down.  The ellipsis is located to the right of the Un-mute all button.
  3. If an attendee is using their video/webcam disruptively, hover your mouse over their name in the participant listing and select Stop Video. The participant will no longer be able to turn on their video for the duration of the meeting, unless the host re-enables the option.
    The individual participant in-meeting zoom controls.  This is located within the manage participants pane, by hovering over the individual attendees name, and clicking more.  Stop video is second from the top.
  4. Restrict the meeting chat, if necessary. You can disable it completely or restrict who can communicate during the meeting both publicly and privately.
    • To disable chat completely, select No One. Or you can restrict chat usage as needed.



Questions and Assistance

Contact your local IT team for assistance or guidance, or contact the Technology Services Help Desk at: consult@illinois.edu