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What does the ETO recommend for Zoom session(s) settings?

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As Zoom is not integrated into Quercus, it is important to double check your session settings, particular those relating to security. This guide explains the different setting options (there's a lot!) you can make when creating and running your sessions. This guide does not cover every Zoom setting but it details the settings that have the most effect on your session (e.g how to avoid events such as Zoom-bombing, where uninvited guests disrupt your session).

Keep Zoom up to date! To ensure that your Zoom applications (desktop or mobile) have the latest security fixes and features, it is important to update the app to the latest version whenever possible. For instructions on how to check for updates, please follow Upgrading Zoom to the Latest Version.

1. Access your Zoom settings via browser

Security settings for your Zoom account are managed via the web settings not via the desktop client.

1.1. See how to access Zoom Settings

Ensure that you are logged in to Zoom on your web browser through U of T's Zoom Portal and then:

  1. Once you are logged in, navigate to Settings (in the left sidebar menu).
  2. Select In Meeting (Basic) to manage your options.

2. Consider your chat settings

If you anticipate an active chat session, you might want to share this file with your course as a resource. This should be balanced with considerations of chat abuse, which can lead to inappropriate comments.

Private chatting during Zoom sessions is available by default. You are able to turn off this option under Private Chat in these settings to limit who your participants chat with.

2.1. ETO Chat Recommendations

  1. Enable chatting for the session
  2. Default setting for chat is "everyone" - you might choose to limit this to host/co-hosts for specific sessions.
  3. Allow only hosts and co-hosts to save the chat
  4. Disable private chatting (this would be student to student chatting, usually)
  5. Save yourself the stress of remembering and auto-save your chats
  6. Enable file sharing in meetings; this is helpful if you'd like to send any resources for the session

3. Select your screen sharing settings

You want to ensure that you're controlling what can be shared and when. This is especially important for large sessions. Limiting screen sharing to hosts decreases the chance that you'll be at risk for what is known as "Zoom bombing," wherein someone uninvited drops in and takes over your session.

3.1. ETO Screen Sharing Recommendations

3.2. Manage the emojis used in Meeting reactions

In Zoom versions 5.6.3 and later, participants can react with any emoji available. When selected, the emoji appears on the participant's video and in the participant's list for 10 seconds. To restrict the emojis or to disable this feature all together, navigate to the Meeting reactions section.

Features indicated with the "v." icon at the end mean that those are only available with specific versions. Hover over the icon to see which version is required.

3.3. Restrict students from joining before you (host) do

Similar to previous settings, navigate to Settings > Schedule Meeting. To prevent students from joining while you're not present, ensure that the option to join before host is disabled.

4. Scheduling Zoom Sessions

For instructions on how to schedule Zoom meetings, please follow Zoom's How to Schedule a Meeting. Please note that with U of T's Zoom Education license, we can host meetings with up to 300 participants.

4.1. Allowing only authenticated users to join

Authentication is an important and useful feature to use in avoiding security threats and Zoom-bombing. When scheduling a meeting either through your web browser or the desktop web client, under Security you are able to select only authenticated users to join.

The recommended setting is to have "Only UTM e-mails under site license can join" selected. This allows anyone with an email ending in domain to join even if they have not set up an account through

  1. Select the "Only authenticated users can join" check box.
  2. Use the drop down menu to select "only UTM emails under site license can join"

Will you have external attendees? If you plan on having participants outside of U of T attending your meeting, you have the option to not enable the Only authenticated users can join settings, as these will prevent external attendees from joining. However, if you prefer to maintain a higher level of security in your meetings, you can keep the authentication settings as recommended above and use the Authentication Exception option to add your external users. 

For more information, refer to our guide: How do I invite guests (non-UofT) to my Zoom session?

4.2. Limit how users can join your meeting

When scheduling your meetings, you can alter some settings to prevent unwanted guests from joining.

  1. Under Audio, you can select the meeting to only be accessible through Computer Audio. This will restrict the ability for participants to join the session anonymously via telephone, which can be especially helpful if Only authenticated users can join is disabled.
  1. Click the dropdown menu to view the Advanced Options.
  2. Ensure that the option Allow participants to join anytime remains unchecked (it is like that by default) to avoid participants from joining before you do as the host.

5. Resolving issues with Disruptive Participants

5.1. How to Remove Participants During a Meeting

If someone in your call in being disruptive, you can remove them from your meeting. When removed, the user cannot rejoin the meeting and you can report their account to Zoom. To do so,

  1. Click the Participants icon on the navigation bar.
  2. Hover your cursor over the name of the user you want to remove and select More.
  3. Select Remove.
  4. A window will appear to confirm removal, and here you can choose to report the account to Zoom.

If you decide to report to Zoom, Zoom's Trust & Safety Team will be notified. Read more about the process at Reporting a participant for inappropriate behavior.

5.2. How to Place Participants in the Waiting Room

If you don't want to completely remove a participant, you can follow the same steps as in 4.1 but instead select Put in Waiting Room. This option work even if you have disabled the waiting room. To remove them from the waiting room, select "Admit" next to the participant's name in the Participant tab.

5.3. How to Stop Audio or Video from Participants

As a host, you can block inappropriate noice or visual content from a participant.

  1. To stop someone's audio, hover over their name and select Mute.
  2. Additionally, you can stop their video by selecting More > Stop Video.

If you'd like to mute all of your participants, select Mute All under the Participants tab.

6. Managing In-Meeting Security Settings

During your meeting as a host, you have access to a tab called Security, which allows you to quickly enable or disable select meeting settings. These settings include:

  • Lock Meeting: New participants will not be allowed to join. Note that participants who are in the waiting room can still join.
  • Enable Waiting Room
  • Control what participants can do during the meeting: Share Screen, Chat, Rename Themselves, Unmute Themselves
  • Remove Participant: Same option as 4.1.
  • Suspend Participant Activities: This option stops all video, audio, screen sharing, recording, and break out rooms, disables the chat, and locks the meeting. When you click this, a window pops up where you have the option to Report to Zoom.
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