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UW Zoom Security FAQ

Starting September 27, to increase meeting security, Zoom will require all meetings to have the waiting room or a passcode enabled, including personal meeting IDs. To avoid disruptions at the start of autumn quarter, UW-IT is enabling the waiting room as the default setting for new meetings you schedule as of August 26.

Steps to take before September 27:

  • Enable either the waiting room or a passcode for recurring meetings you scheduled prior to September 27.
  • Schedule new meetings with either the waiting room or a passcode enabled.
  • If you are using Zoom for courses, you may want to allow participants with a UW NetID to bypass the waiting room.
  • If you need to allow participants to bypass the waiting room for some meetings (e.g., lectures) AND wait in the Waiting Room for others (e.g., office hours), here are some options:
    • In between meetings, go to user settings at https://washington.zoom.us/profile/setting to change the waiting room options to meet your needs for the next meeting.
    • Have all participants go to the waiting room in all meetings, but require UW authentication for your larger meetings so that you can comfortably admit everyone without admitting users external to the university
    • Use a passcode instead of the waiting room for meetings where participants should be admitted without a Waiting Room. In this case, we recommend that you require UW authentication to ensure that external participants with the Passcode are not granted access, as Passcodes and meeting links are easily shared.
    • If you have more than one person helping to host meetings (e.g., a course with TAs), you can choose to have one host schedule all the meetings that should admit all participants to the Waiting Room, and another host schedule all the meetings where some participants may bypass the Waiting Room. Each user’s settings for their Waiting Rooms will carry over to all the meetings scheduled under their account, regardless of who launches the meeting.
  • Faculty using Zoom for courses should enable the option to allow only participants with a UW NetID to join their meeting. See the FAQ below to learn how to securely invite guest speakers.
  • Enable the waiting room or a passcode for your Personal Meeting ID.

FAQs

How will my meetings be affected between August 26 and September 27?

If you do not already have the waiting room or a passcode turned on by default for your Zoom account, waiting rooms will be enabled by default in your user settings. This will cause the waiting room to be turned on by default for any new meetings scheduled under your account (by you or someone who schedules meetings for you). Existing meetings will not be changed at this time unless you manually update them to enable a waiting room.

The waiting room option will not be locked for meetings or for user settings. You can disable this feature in your user settings if you wish to use Passcodes by default instead, or choose different security settings individually per meeting by editing the Meeting Options for that meeting.

What if I don’t have a waiting room or passcode enabled by September 27?

If neither is enabled, Zoom will automatically enable a waiting room for your meetings.

If I already have a Waiting room or Passcode enabled, will anything change?

No, your settings will remain the same for your current selection. You can change your security preference at any time.

How will this affect my calendar invitations when scheduling meetings?

If you already have a Waiting room or Passcode enabled in your personal settings, there will be no change to how you schedule meetings.

How will this affect my ongoing meetings I scheduled before September 27?

If the waiting room or passcode was not enabled when you scheduled the meeting, waiting room will be automatically enabled for your ongoing meeting, starting September 27. Enabling the waiting room for new or existing meetings does not affect calendar invitations.

If passcodes are added to ongoing meetings, you will need to resend invites to include the passcode. If passcodes are added to new meetings, the Passcode will automatically be embedded into the meeting link, if you have enabled this feature in your personal settings.

How do I set up the waiting room bypass feature?

You can add a list of approved domains, whose users can bypass the waiting room.

I plan on inviting a guest speaker who doesn’t have a UW NetID to join my meeting. How do I maintain security but also let the guest speaker into the meeting?

If you have the option only authenticated users can join enabled for the meeting, you will need to edit the meeting and disable only authenticated users can join. Make sure to enable the waiting room bypass option so people with a UW NetID can bypass the waiting room. Your guest speaker will enter the waiting room, and you can admit them to the meeting when you are ready.

How do these changes affect Webinars?

Webinars are unaffected by the changes Zoom is releasing on September 27. Passcodes are already enabled by default for Webinars, but Webinar hosts have the ability to disable passcodes for Webinars.

What is the waiting room and how does it work?

The waiting room feature allows the host to control when a participant joins the meeting by placing participants in a waiting room prior to joining the session. It is recommended that you review your waiting room customization options.

For a detailed overview of how to allow people to bypass the waiting room and other waiting room features, please see this Zoom help documentation.

How do I enable a waiting rooms or a passcode?

Log into the Zoom web portal, and go into settings to enable the waiting room or a passcode to make new meetings you schedule default to your preferred settings. Ongoing meetings you schedule before September 27 won’t change until you edit each meeting to enable the waiting room or a passcode.

If choosing to enable passcodes on your account see this detailed support article. IMPORTANT: If you add passcodes to an existing meeting, calendar invites will need to be resent to include the passcode.

If choosing to enable the waiting room on your account see this support article.

If choosing to enable the waiting room at the meeting level, you can either start the meeting and use the in-meeting security controls to enable a waiting room. If waiting rooms have been enabled on your account, edit the individual meeting to add a waiting room.

How will passcodes affect participants joining the meeting via web, desktop or mobile client?

If you have selected passcodes as your security method, a passcode will be embedded into the meeting link automatically, if you have enabled the setting Embed passcode in invite link for one-click join. With a single click, your meeting participants can join the meeting. If someone manually enters the meeting ID, they will also need to manually enter the passcode.

How will passcodes affect participants joining the meeting by phone?

Your security selection for meetings will not affect phone Passcode requirements unless you select Require a Passcode when joining by phone.

How will a waiting room affect participants joining the meeting by phone?

For meetings with a waiting room, participants will dial in as they normally do. They will hear a prompt that they are in the waiting room and the host will have to admit them.

How will waiting room affect the host joining the meeting by phone?

If the meeting has a waiting room enabled and join before host is disabled, then the host will be able to start the meeting and disable the Waiting Room by entering their host key. The host will hear audio prompts indicating that the Waiting Room has been disabled, all attendees will be admitted, and they can lock or unlock the meeting by pressing * 5.

How will passcodes affect participants joining the meeting with Conference Room Connector (CRC)?

For most meeting rooms, if you’ve selected Passcodes, the Passcode is automatically embedded into the meeting information and meeting link (unless this feature is specifically disabled). Participants will see the meeting listed in the CRC and simply click to join. For meeting rooms where one must manually enter the meeting ID, they will need to manually enter the passcode.

How will Waiting Rooms affect participants joining the meeting with a Conference Room Connector (CRC)?

For SIP/H.323 devices managed by Conference Room Connector, if you’ve selected passcodes, the passcode is automatically embedded into the meeting information and one-touch join calendar meeting link (unless this feature is specifically disabled). Participants will see the meeting listed in the CRC and simply click to join.

For unmanaged SIP/H.323 devices as well as instant meetings, users will be prompted to enter the Passcode.

How will passcodes affect participants joining my meeting with Zoom Rooms?

If you’ve selected passcodes, Zoom Rooms and controllers running versions 4.5.0 or higher that have calendar integration and Bypass the Passcode when joining meetings from meeting list enabled can join a meeting from the meeting list, without needing to manually enter the meeting passcode.

If you’ve selected Passcodes and room participants join by entering the meeting ID, they will be asked for a Passcode before entering the meeting and will need to manually enter it.

How will Waiting Rooms affect participants joining my meeting with Zoom Rooms?

If you’ve selected the waiting room as your security method, participants joining the meeting via Zoom Rooms will be placed in the waiting room until you admit them. You can customize who is put in the waiting room in your settings.

Last reviewed August 24, 2020