Answering Your Security Questions
We had a few questions during the “Securing Your Zoom Meetings” webinar that we weren’t able to address in real time. Rather than respond to everyone individually via e-mail, I thought it might be helpful to post my responses here, as a supplement to the recording posted earlier. So let’s get to it:
Question: Is it possible to set a password for a recurring meeting that was schedule prior to COVID-19 or do you have to delete that recurring zoom and create a new one with the password?
Answer: Yes, any meeting scheduled in the past which either has yet to occur or is recurring in nature can be edited at any time to include a password. Log into your account at vcu.zoom.us, go to the “Meetings” tab, click on the name of your meeting and choose the “edit” option near the bottom of the page. Then you can check the box to require a password, as well as making other changes to the details of your meeting. Be sure to alert your invited participants if you end adding a password after your initial invitations were sent.
Q: How did you get to setting password screen? I missed it.
A: On your account page (vcu.zoom.us), go to “Settings > Meeting > Schedule Meeting” and enable passwords for instant meetings and/or scheduled meetings. Whatever you do at this level will apply to all meetings. Alternately, you can turn on passwords one meeting at a time during the “Schedule A Meeting” process.
Q: On the standard set up for all my meetings, if I click to include a PW, can I change the automatic PW feature?
A: By default, Zoom will generate a randomized sequence of characters to serve as your password. You can accept this or replace it with your own password, provided it is at least 10 characters long, with at least one numeral and one letter.
Q: Are passwords case sensitive?
Q: Should all VCU Zoom meetings/classes be set up through the VCU Zoom page on the the VCU website versus having the app on our computers?
A: The desktop client is fine for starting either ad-hoc or scheduled meetings and can be used to schedule future meetings. It’s really up to you. Scheduling on the desktop client should provide you with all the choices you’d get at the portal, although you may have click on the “Advanced” tab at the bottom of the window to see options like “Alternate Host” or “Mute Participants on Entry.” The desktop client also includes a “Calendar” feature to remind you of pending events.
Q: So the invitation that we received today for this webinar, the invitation had the password included and when I added it to my calendar, anyone could view the password. Would that reduce security?
A: It depends on who’s allowed to see your calendar. If you’re using Google Calendar, you can set it so others are only allowed to see that you’re “busy,” not what it is you’re busy doing. If you’ve set it to “make available to Virginia Commonwealth University” and set the access level to “see details,” then yes, your Zoom meeting password isn’t very secure, at least within VCU. If you’ve set it to “make available to public,” then the whole world could potentially see your password, and anything else going on in your day. In fact, this information would show up in Google searches. So it’s probably not the best idea.
Q: Have you noticed login issues if you have @vcu.edu and @vcuhealth.org email addresses regarding zoom accounts?
A: First, it’s important to understand that VCUZoom, accessed at vcu.zoom.us, serves the “education” side of VCU and requires a vcu.edu eID for membership. There is a separate service, VCUHS Zoom, that serves the hospital and related departments: it can be found at vcuhealth.zoom.us and requires “vcuhealth.org” credentials for membership. There could be folks with roles on “both sides of the street,” but the bottom line is you have to log in with a VCU eID, not a “vcuhealth.org” identity, to access vcu.zoom.us. This also applies to meetings where you choose to enable the “only authorized users can attend” feature: anyone who wants to get into your meeting hosted on VCUZoom must have an account there; VCUHS users would be locked out. And vice-versa.
Q: On the “Removed Participants”–would this also affect someone who loses their Wifi connection? Does it only pertain to those people I “throw out”?
A: This question relates to the feature “Allow Removed Participants to Return to Meeting.” And no, if a person loses their connection due to bandwidth issues, power failures or other causes, they will still be able to rejoin the meeting. Zoom notes the reason for every disconnection (“participant left,” ” host ended meeting”, etc) so it will know who you’ve ejected vs who left “on good terms.”
Q: If you lock the meeting, does it still allow participants to leave the meeting as they may need to?
A: Yes, locking the meeting only locks others out, it doesn’t lock anyone IN. Having said that, it would be a good idea to alert your participants that you’re locking the room, and ask them to tell you when they’re leaving, and whether they intend to return. If they want to come back, you’ll need to unlock the room for them.
Q: Can people request entry if the meeting is locked? What do they see?
A: They see a message that says “This meeting has been locked by the host.” As host, you see no indication they’re trying to get in. There is no feature native to Zoom for them to communicate with you, so they’d need to reach you by e-mail or phone to request entry.
Q: (re: Alternative hosts): If they are someone outside of the VCU organization, can you set that in advance?
A: The only persons you can designate as “alternate hosts” for a meeting are those persons who are members of the same account. If you’re on VCU Zoom and the other person has an account at another university, business or agency, or a personal Zoom account, you can’t list them as “alternate.” This also applies to persons on the VCUHS Zoom account. Once the meeting is in progress you can name anyone you like as “host” or “co-host” and leave the meeting with them in charge, but you can only designate “alternate hosts” ahead of time if they are members of the same account as yourself.
Q: What is difference between setting controls in Zoom preferences from my computer vs. going to vcu.zoom.us?
A: There’s a lot more options at the portal than you’ll find on the desktop client. However, you can start with the controls on the desktop client, and if you don’t see everything you need, there are numerous places in the client where you can click on “More Options” to be taken to the portal page.
Q: Can temporary VCU employees get a VCU Zoom account?
A: Anyone who’s been issued a VCU eID is eligible for a Zoom account.
Q: Is there a difference between using VCU Zoom vs VCU Health.org
A: Yes, see above. The features on both systems are mostly identical, but access to VCUHS Zoom requires “vcuhealth.org” credentials for access and VCU Zoom requires a vcu.edu identity. Also, all of VCUHS Zoom is subject to certain restrictions under HIPAA guidelines, whereas only specific departments under VCU Zoom are subject to these rules.
Q: How do you run an attendance report?
A: At this point, you’d need to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and request one of the admins to run a report. Be sure to include the Meeting ID # for your event. Hopefully this ability will soon be granted on the user level.
Q: How can the chat session be saved? Is this automatic or a separate setting?
A: On your account page, under “Settings > Meeting > In Meeting (Basic)” is a control for “Auto Saving Chats”. With this turned on, your chats will be saved for all meetings. Otherwise, you’ll need to click on the “…” (“More”) button during the Meeting and choose “Save Chat.” Please note this will create a file of the chat up to that point, so it’s best to do it at the end of the meeting.
Q: Looks like the attendance report can only be used for meetings that require registration. Not for those that joined the meeting from your email invitation. Is that correct?
A: As a user, you can generate a registration report for any meeting where you required registration. But as noted above, at this point only an admin can pull a report of actual attendance.
Q: I have the desktop app on my VCU computer. Can I get it installed on my personal computer?
A: You can install the Zoom desktop app on any PC or laptop from the download page at zoom.us/download. You can also use the Zoom Mobile app on any Android or iOS smart phone or tablet. Note that if you log into Zoom on one device, it will log you out of Zoom on any device where you were previously logged in.
Q: Can we share the video outside VCU?
A: Feel free to share the recording of the webinar outside of VCU. Most if not all of the contents apply anywhere.
Q: I have a recurring meeting 3 days a week. Normally, I can log onto the meeting, but there has been 2 occurences t hat I can not log on. Is that a problem on my end?
A: Probably. One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of people now have multiple Zoom accounts, some for personal use, others for work. It can be easy to lose track of which one you’re logged into, but depending on how you’ve set up your access to a meeting, you may not be able to get in from just any account. For example, if you’re listed as host on your VCU account and have not enabled “join before host,” Zoom will treat you like any other participant if you’re logged into a different account; it won’t let you in.
Thanks to everyone for the great questions and I hope this has been helpful. Stay safe, and Happy Zooming!