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. Enter your NetID and university password, then accept the 2FA prompt (if necessary).
  3. 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.
  4. 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 into the meeting.

Zoom waiting room setting found within your Zoom meeting settings.  This should be the first setting listed.

Editing the Waiting Room Options

You can decide in advance who is placed in your meeting's waiting room using your illinois.zoom.us settings. We strongly recommend you consider your audience and the potential security risks of choosing the options below. 

  1. Access your settings using the instructions above, and find the waiting room setting near the top of the Security subsection.
  2. Click Edit Options

  3. Configure Who should go in the waiting roombased on your attendees.

    1. Available waiting room profiles include:

      Everyone: All participants joining your meeting will be admitted to the waiting room.
      Users not in your account: Only participants who are not on your Zoom account or are not logged in will be admitted to the waiting room. If not logged in, they will have an option to log in.
      Users who are not in your account and not part of your approved domains: Users who are on your account or logged in to a Zoom account at the domains you list will bypass the Waiting Room. After selecting this option, enter the domain(s), separating multiple domains by a comma.
      Note: If "Users not in your account" or "Users who are not in your account and not part of your approved domains" is selected, you can allow those users who bypassed the waiting room to admit participants if the host is not in the meeting.
  4. Determine who can admit participants from the waiting room.  For public events it is strongly recommended to set to Host and co-host only.

Password Protection

There are six separate password settings.  These are enabled, and locked on by default.  All UIUC Zoom sessions require a passcode.  Please review these settings; be aware of their scope and how they work.


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 choose to automatically or manually admit registered participants. We recommend manually admitting registrants. 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.

Mute all participants when they join a meeting

You can automatically mute participants when they initially join a meeting to prevent unwanted noise or distractions.

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.)

File Transfer

Please disable this unless you need it for collaboration purposes.  If you must send files in your meeting, restrict them by file type.  Below is an example showing how to restrict file transfer to only allow PDFs (.pdf) and text files (.txt).  We recommend file sharing through Box or a Learning Management System (LMS), such as Illinois Compass 2g or Moodle. 


Please disable this unless you need it for collaboration purposes. If the presenter requires annotation during their lecture, please check the sub-setting: Only the user who is sharing can annotate.

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.


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.


Identify guest participants in the meeting/webinar:

This setting will label users not in the UIUC Zoom account as "Guests" in the participant listing.  The guests themselves do not see that they are listed as "guests".  This can help you identify potential users who may act disruptively.

Options for In-Progress Meetings

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

Security Tab

Zoom in meeting security tab

The In meeting Security tab has many Zoom meeting protection controls consolidated in one place.  You can do the following:

Lock Meeting: this stops anyone else from joining your meeting

Enable Waiting Room: turn on or off the waiting room while the meeting is in session.  This setting will utilize your waiting room configuration found at: illinois.zoom.us/profile/setting

Hide Profile Picture: for public meetings hide participant profile pictures.

Allow Participants to:

Share Screen: another place to control the share screen feature.  This setting should be disabled (unchecked) for public meetings.

Chat: Turn off the chat completely.  See below for more granular chat settings.  This setting should be disabled (unchecked) for public meetings.

Rename Themselves: This setting will grant users the ability to rename themselves during the Zoom meeting.  This setting should be disabled (unchecked) for public meetings.

Unmute Themselves: Uncheck this setting if you want your participants to remain silent

Start Video: Uncheck this setting if you don't want to allow your participants to show their video

Remove Participant: this allows the host or co-host the ability to remove disruptive participants from the meeting

Suspend Participant Activity: stop all interactive participants features if your meeting is being disrupted.

IMPORTANT: If you want to make your meeting "View Only" turn on (check) Hide Participant Profile Pictures and turn off (uncheck) Share Screen, Chat, Rename Themselves, Unmute Themselves, and Start Video.

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 is 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 automatically 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 participant 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. Log into your Zoom profile settings at illinois.zoom.us/profile/setting and reconfigure Annotation and file sharing.
  3. The host should join the meeting 5-10 minutes before the start and make sure that the open the in meeting Security Tab and turn on (check) Hide Participant Profile Pictures and turn off (uncheck) Share Screen, Chat, Rename Themselves, Unmute Themselves, and Start Video.  Carefully consider turning on the waiting room.
    • Click the Security Tab.  
    • After you're done it should look similar to what is shown below
    • In meeting security tab

Questions and Assistance

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

Keywords:Zoom, roulette, chat, block, remove, protecting, webinar, settings, privacy, Zoombombing, privacy, meetings, meeting   Doc ID:99469
Owner:zoom t.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2020-03-25 12:16 CSTUpdated:2021-08-04 13:03 CST
Sites:UI Gies College of Business , University of Illinois Technology Services
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