October 6, 2020

Changes to Zoom security and storage

This message was sent to all Zoom users.

UW Zoom Users,

This message is a follow-up about recent changes to Zoom security, including:

  • When you schedule new meetings, waiting rooms are enabled by default.
  • Meeting hosts can once again allow participants to change their display name.
  • Reminder about changes to cloud storage of Zoom recordings, first announced in June.

Zoom security

This week, Zoom reversed its earlier decision to require meeting hosts to enable either the waiting room or a passcode (formerly “password”) for all meetings. Although Zoom is no longer requiring these security measures, UW-IT strongly encourages meeting hosts to enable one or more of the following options for any Zoom meeting to prevent unauthorized entry:

  • Only authenticated users can join
  • Waiting room
  • Passcode

This recommendation includes meetings scheduled with your personal meeting ID and meetings scheduled via the Zoom in Canvas app (but does not apply to webinars).

Although Zoom is no longer requiring the waiting room or passcodes, UW-IT has chosen to keep the waiting room enabled by default to create an additional layer of security. New meetings you scheduled will have the waiting room enabled by default so long as this feature is turned on for your user account. You can disable the waiting room if you choose.

About the waiting room

A waiting room is a place for meeting participants to wait before being admitted by the meeting host or co-host.

If you choose to keep the waiting room enabled, you do not have to manually admit all meeting participants. You can allow meeting participants with the proper credentials to bypass the waiting room. For example, instructors can set this option to allow students signing in with a UW NetID to join the meeting directly without having to wait.

Learn more:

About passcodes

A passcode is a short code (up to 10 characters) that participants must provide to successfully join a meeting. If a passcode is enabled for a meeting, users will be prompted to enter the code when they attempt to join the meeting. These codes can be customized when scheduling or editing the meeting.

An additional option is to embed the passcode in the meeting link. Once this option is enabled for your account, new meetings will automatically include the passcode encrypted at the end of the meeting link. Participants can then join the meeting by clicking the meeting link, which contains this unique code.

For those meetings previously scheduled, you will need to edit the meeting to enable a passcode for each individual meeting. For previously scheduled recurring meetings, you only need to do this once for the series. Remember to resend calendar invitations for any meetings you previously scheduled in order to include the passcode or updated meeting link.

Learn more:

Allowing meeting participants to rename themselves during meetings

UW-IT enabled the option for meeting hosts to allow participants to rename themselves during a meeting. Meeting hosts can set this option for all meetings or on a per meeting basis.

Reminder: Changes to UW Zoom cloud storage

As previously announced, UW-IT is implementing changes to storing Zoom recordings. These changes are necessary to free up cloud storage capacity that will ensure Zoom continues to be available for everyone, and include:

  • Effective September 1, 2020recordings stored in the Zoom cloud are set to auto-delete after 90 days. For example, on September 1, any Zoom cloud recording created before June 1 will be moved to Zoom trash; on October 1, any recording created before July 1 will be moved to Zoom trash, and so on.
  • Going forward this will be a monthly process of moving recordings older than 90 days to Zoom trash, where they can be recovered, downloaded, and stored elsewhere. After 30 days in Zoom trash files will be deleted. Monthly reminders about file deletion will be sent through the end of 2020.

To learn more about these changes, including steps you can take:

Thank you for your patience and flexibility during these unprecedented times. We appreciate your support in helping to keep UW Zoom secure and available for everyone.

As always, we welcome your questions at help@uw.edu.

Sincerely,
UW Zoom service team