Internal - Faculty & Staff

Simmons Zoom Security Feature Changes

August 13, 2020

Dear Simmons Community:

When we wrote the community back in March about securing Zoom meetings, we provided some best practices to prevent Zoom Bombing, a then new, malicious activity where uninvited guests crash and disrupt Zoom meetings.  In recent weeks, this type of activity has targeted members of the Simmons community.  In the wake of this, we will be updating global security settings for all scheduled Zoom meetings and events.  By doing so, Simmons will be proactively addressing a recent Zoom announcement that starting September 27, they will require all meetings to have a Passcode or Waiting Room enabled.

Meetings joined after Wednesday, August 19, 2020 will have the Waiting Room enabled by default. Users who are logged into their Simmons accounts in Zoom will bypass the Waiting Room.  Users who are not logged into a Simmons Zoom account will need to be admitted.

The Waiting Room is a helpful feature for hosts to control who comes and goes from meetings. When enabled, guests must be manually “admitted” to meetings by a meeting host. Read More.

Additional security features that are recommended to prevent Zoom bombing attacks for public Zoom event links that may be published on the web or shared on social media, include:

  • Require Registration – With this enabled, attendees must answer pre-determined questions and be approved in the meeting management page. Once approved, they will be sent a special link with the meeting details. This feature also allows for custom branding, custom data collection from the attendees, and the ability to close registration after the meeting date. Read More.
  • Set a Meeting Passcode. This feature requires that attendees enter a predetermined passcode prior to being admitted to the meeting or enter the meeting through a special link with the passcode embedded.
  • Disable Join Before Host.  Disabling this feature will prevent guests from joining the session before the host is present. Read More.
  • Lock the meeting. After you start a meeting, you may lock it so that no new participants can join, even if they have the meeting ID and password.
  • Disable video.  Hosts can turn someone’s video off. This will allow hosts to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate gestures.
  • Enable Mute Upon Entry. Block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise from other participants by muting participants as they enter the meeting room.

A note for faculty and students:  The Online Campus Zoom instance is separate from the Simmons instance and may have its security features configured differently.

Thank you for your cooperation in our continual efforts to create a safer, more secure remote experience.

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