One of the biggest concerns that has come with the Zooms’ recent surge in popularity is simply, is it safe to use from a business standpoint? Well, if you set it up correctly, it absolutely is. While there are built-in features that allow you to safeguard your online meetings in Zoom, they are sometimes hard to find and are potentially unknown to new users. This leads to unwanted interruptions from uninvited guests that can be anything from a slight annoyance to a major security breach. In order to help you keep your meetings secure and free from outside eyes, below we have included some tips on features you can use and how to activate them.
Your Meeting ID And Password
Zoom now automatically adds passwords to new accounts and these passwords can be used in the links used to access personal rooms. Head to your Zoom profile and look for your ‘Instant meeting’ link, there you will see your personal meeting ID and next to it the password for said meeting. Sending this link out will result in anyone who uses it immediately gaining access to your meeting without needing to manually enter the password. Posting this link publicly will unfortunately negate any other security precautions you take.
If you’re planning a meeting that consists of anything more than a few friends, you will want to use a different meeting ID with a completely separate password, to do this via the web interface simply do the following:
- Click on ‘My Account’ in the top right corner of the main Zoom page and then select ‘Schedule a meeting’.
- Here you can enter a meeting topic and description as well as the date, time, and duration of the meeting. If you are using the free version of Zoom you have a maximum of 40 minutes.
- Locate ‘Meeting ID’ and select the ‘Generate Automatically’ option, this will create a unique meeting ID instead of using your personal one
- Be sure to check the ‘Require a password’ option, Zoom will generate a random password but you can also make your own.
- Next, make sure to check the ‘Enable waiting room’ option and we recommend you uncheck the ‘Enable join before host’ option to prevent anyone from joining before you.
- Save your settings and you will be taken to the meetings page where you can double-check the options for your meeting. Roughly halfway down the page, you can find a ‘Copy the invitation’ option that will put the information into your buffer, ready to send to any of the desired attendees.
This process is very similar on the Zoom app with the exception being that instead of having all your options visible, after pressing the ’Schedule’ button, you will need to click on ‘Advanced Options’ to enable the waiting room.
Use Virtual Backgrounds
Another useful feature that Zoom offers is that it allows you to set a custom background in order to hide anything behind you. This is useful if you have a messy home and want to maintain a professional appearance but is practically a necessity if you have sensitive information visible behind you. There is an online home background from Hello Backgrounds to help you keep your private life private and any sensitive information safe and away from unwanted prying eyes.
The Virtual Waiting Room
The virtual waiting room we briefly mentioned above is another one of the most useful security features available in Zoom. They allow you to check the attendees out before they actually get into your meeting room, letting you identify whether or not they were really invited and giving you the option to deny access if they were not.
A sidebar will show you anyone who is in said waiting room and you can either allow them into the meeting, remove them from the room, or send them a message if you need to question them for any reason. While individually approving each member may be time-consuming, it is a safer way to ensure than anyone who gains access to your meeting was actually invited.
Lock It, And Don’t Forget You Can Kick People Out
Finally, there are a few other features you can take advantage of if you really want to keep your meeting secure. You can completely lock down your meeting by clicking on the ‘Security’ button at the bottom of the screen and selecting the ‘Lock Meeting’ option. This will prevent anyone from joining the room, even if they have the correct ID and password. You can use this feature once all intended members have joined to ensure that nobody else can jump in mid-way through.
However, if an unwanted guest does manage to join your meeting for whatever reason, don’t forget that as the host you can easily and instantly kick them from the group, preventing them from disrupting your call any further.