Stay Safe in Zoom Sessions

Apr 6, 2020

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Last month, to further support teaching and learning at a distance, Northeastern launched Zoom videoconferencing as a service.

At the same time, Zoom’s security and privacy have come into question globally from users, the media, and law enforcement, for a range of vulnerabilities and reports of bad actors disrupting Zoom sessions, also known as Zoombombing.

Zoom has taken several steps to address these concerns, including issuing guidelines for users on how to protect their sessions and their privacy, and releasing software updates to fix security issues. The company also changed default settings for accounts used by Northeastern and other schools and universities, including turning off the ability for guests to share content without permission, for example.

The company continues to focus on fixing its privacy and security problems, freezing work on all new features to do so.

How to Keep Your Zoom Sessions Safe

Implement one or more of these simple best practices below to protect your Zoom sessions from unwanted participants:

    • Keep Zoom sessions private and off social media. Don’t post links to your sessions or your meeting ID anywhere public.
    • Require a Northeastern login for Zoom sessions. Change setting to only allow internal users to join your sessions.
    • Use passwords for Zoom sessions. Require participants to enter a password before they can join your session.
    • Enable waiting rooms. Manage entry to your sessions on an individual basis.
    • Turn participants’ cameras and microphones off by default. Users who join will do so initially without the camera or microphone enabled.

More information on preventing unwanted guests and how to implement the above best practices is available in the knowledge base.

Additionally, always use the latest software version as the company releases new versions that patch security flaws and add new privacy controls. If not prompted, you can always upgrade manually by clicking on your profile picture in the top-right hand corner of your Zoom client and selecting Check for Updates from the menu.

Alternative Solutions and Support

Microsoft Teams is another web conferencing solution available to faculty, students, and staff through the university’s enterprise Office 365 suite of tools. Teams, Northeastern’s primary conferencing and collaboration solution for the digital workplace, meetings, and business operations, has integrations with both Blackboard and Canvas to also support teaching and learning.

For technology questions or concerns, please contact the IT Service Desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at help@northeastern.edu or 617.373.HELP [4357].

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