IT Connect
Your connection to information technology at the UW

Security tips and best practices

The following tips can help you increase the security of your UW Zoom meetings and classes. Many security settings can be configured either by using the Zoom application, or by visiting your UW Zoom web portal.

Also see a graphical representation of these tips, which you can share with your peers and colleagues.

Use the security icon

The in-meeting toolbar’s security icon gives you quick access to many security settings.

Zoom security icon explained

Zoom’s in-meeting toolbar appears at the bottom of the screen when you are in a Zoom meeting. For meeting hosts, a security icon appears on the toolbar that gives the host access to several security settings for the meeting, including the ability to:

  • Lock the meeting so nobody else can join.
  • Enable and disable a waiting room for the meeting.
  • Set participant abilities to share screens and chat.
  • Remove participants from the meeting.


Watch a video about the Zoom security icon.

Require authentication with a UW NetID

Authentication with a UW NetID will prevent people from outside the UW from interrupting your class or meeting.

Require participants to sign into UW Zoom meetings

Due to misuse of Zoom by meeting participants, UW-IT strongly recommends that instructors require students to sign in with their UW NetID and password prior to joining meetings. This will prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to class sessions held in Zoom. 

Why? By asking students to authenticate themselves you require them to prove that they are who they say they are. Students can authenticate themselves for a Zoom session by providing their UW NetID and password to sign in.

You will need to confirm that authentication is turned on for meetings you have already scheduled as well as for future meetings. 

Verify that authentication is turned on for meetings you have already scheduled

  1. Sign in to the UW Zoom web portal at washington.zoom.us.
  2. In the left sidebar, click Meetings
  3. Open each meeting and review its settings. 
    • If you see a green check mark next to Only authenticated users can join, you are all set and need do nothing more.
    • If you see an X next to Only authenticated users can join, scroll down and click Edit this Meeting and go to step 4.
    • If this is a recurring meeting, in the dialog box, click All to turn on this setting for all scheduled instances of the meeting. 
  4. Select the Only authenticated users can join checkbox, and then scroll down and click Save
  5. As needed, repeat step 3 for all meetings you have scheduled to ensure that every meeting requires your students to sign in with UW NetID and password.

For future meetings, you simply need to turn on the authentication setting at the time that you are scheduling the meeting. If you make the meeting recurring, this setting will persist for each instance of the meeting. 

For UW Zoom meeting hosts who are not using the Zoom app in Canvas, turn on authentication by following these steps:

  1. Sign in to the UW Zoom web portal at washington.zoom.us.
  2. Click Schedule a Meeting
  3. Under Meeting Options, select Only authenticated users can join meetings.

Use a waiting room

Attendees cannot join until a host admits them from the waiting room.

Turn on Waiting Room

When Waiting room is turned on, attendees cannot join a meeting until a host admits them individually from the waiting room. If Waiting room is enabled, the option for attendees to join the meeting before the host arrives is automatically disabled.

  1. Sign in to the UW Zoom web portal at washington.zoom.us.
  2. In the left sidebar, click Settings and then click In Meeting (Advanced).
  3. Scroll down to find (or press CTRL+F / Command+F and search for “Waiting”) Waiting room and Make sure that the setting is on.

Require a passcode to join a meeting

Passcodes can be shared, so this works best with smaller meetings.

Set a passcode on a meeting

When you set a passcode on a meeting, attendees must enter the passcode for the meeting before they are able to join. Passcodes can be shared or posted to the internet, so passcodes work best for smaller meetings or classes.

  1. Sign in to washington.zoom.us and click on the meetings tab on the left side of the screen, or log into the Zoom application itself.
  2. Click on the Schedule a New Meeting button, or in the Zoom application click on the Schedule button.
  3. In the “Meeting passcode” section, click the checkbox next to Require meeting passcode. Use the auto-generated passcode that appears in the text box to the right or set your own custom passcode.

Turn on features only if you need them

Annotation, chat, and whiteboard are disabled by default for participants in UW Zoom to prevent misuse.

Turn on annotation, whiteboard and chat features

The steps to turn on Annotation, Whiteboard or Chat are nearly identical.

  1. Sign in to the UW Zoom web portal at washington.zoom.us.
  2. In the left sidebar, click Settings, and then click In Meeting (Basic).
  3. Scroll down to find the setting you want to turn on (or press CTRL+F / Command+F and search for “Chat,” “Annotation,” or “Whiteboard”). 
  4. Toggle on the chosen setting(s).

These changes apply to all future meetings. 

Have a co-host

Co-hosts can help facilitate user management, answer questions, and keep an eye on larger meetings or classes.

Set a co-host for a meeting

Co-hosts have all of the same permissions and controls as hosts in a UW Zoom meeting. Having a co-host can allow another person, such as a teaching assistant, to help run the meeting or class. Co-hosts can help manage users and user permissions, answer questions in chat, and keep an eye on larger meetings or classes. Note: The following instructions don’t apply to the Zoom app in canvas. Co-hosts should be added through the UW Zoom web portal.

Set a co-host when scheduling a meeting

  1. Sign in to washington.zoom.us and click on the meetings tab on the left side of the screen, or log into the Zoom application itself.
  2. Click on the Schedule a New Meeting button, or in the Zoom application click on the Schedule button.
  3. In the Alternative hosts field, enter the email address of co-host.

Set a co-host on a meeting that is in progress

  1. Click on the Participants icon in the in-meeting toolbar that appears at the bottom of the Zoom meeting.
  2. Using your mouse, hover over the name of the user you want to make co-host.
  3. Click the More dropdown that appears to the right of the users name, and select the Make Co-Host option.

Check recording settings

Recordings are only available to UW users by default, and settings can be changed both globally and on each video.

Configure recording settings

Meetings and classes held in UW Zoom can be recorded. You can configure both global recording settings that apply to all recordings, and also settings on individual videos that supersede global recording settings. For example, recordings are only viewable to authenticated users who have signed in with a UW NetID by default, but you can change settings on individual recordings to share them publicly.

Configure global recording settings

  1. Sign in to washington.zoom.us and click on the Settings tab on the left side of the screen.
  2. Click on the Recording tab that appears on the top screen.

Configure recording settings on an individual video

  1. Sign in to washington.zoom.us and click on the Recordings tab on the left side of the screen. A list of your recordings will appear.
  2. Using the Share or More buttons, configure settings on the individual recording.

Use Webinar for public meetings and events

Webinar allows you to host public events where users are view-only – only hosts and panelists can use video and voice.

About Webinar

UW Zoom Pro provides collaborative space where everyone can see one another, hear one another and each individual participant can share their screen. The Webinar is useful when you want to do a one-way push or presentation to a large audience. Attendees are view-only participants. Panelists can share audio, video, and screen.

Last reviewed May 27, 2020