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Protect Your Zoom Meeting Spaces & Class Sessions

Zoom’s default settings for meetings allow anyone with the link to join a Zoom meeting. This low barrier of entry makes Zoom easy to use, but also comes with a great deal of risk. People (or bots) with access to the link can join your meeting(s) easily and sometimes with lasting repercussions.

Zoom offers a number of security options that you can use to prevent unwelcome participants from joining your meeting(s) or to limit their ability to share inappropriate content.

Several options are listed below.

  • Choose the options that will best address your specific concerns while still creating a convenient meeting space for you and your meeting participants.
  • You can adjust settings while a meeting is in progress or when scheduling a meeting.
  • Some security options are available only through the Zoom web portal at

UMass Amherst Zoom Meeting Settings

When you use UMass Amherst Zoom (, you are using an enterprise version of Zoom, which is different from the commercial version. UMass Amherst's contract with Zoom contains a FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act) privacy clause which allows virtual instruction delivery using this platform. 

UMass Amherst’s default Zoom settings already include the following:

  • “Join Before Host” is disabled - No one can join the session before the host is there.
  • “File Transfer” is disabled - Malicious files cannot be distributed (we recommend using Box or Google Drive to share files).
  • “Co-Host” is enabled - You can assign others to help moderate Zoom sessions.
  • “Allow Removed Participants to Re-join” is disabled - Individuals who have been kicked out of the session cannot slip back in.
  • “Annotation” is disabled - Participants cannot use annotation tools to add information to shared screens.


Control Participation During a Meeting

During a meeting you can prevent participants from sharing their screen, keep participants muted, or remove participants.

Prevent participants from sharing their screen while a meeting is in progress

You can prevent participants from sharing their screen unless you have assigned them the role of Host, Co-Host, or Alternative Host.

  1. At the bottom of the Zoom meeting, click the small arrow to the right of the green Share button.
  2. From the menu, select Advanced Sharing Options.
  3. Under Who can share? select Only Host.
  4. Close out of the Advanced Sharing Options menu.

Control additional participant behaviors

Via the Participants window, you can keep participants muted, enable the waiting room, lock the meeting to additional participants, or remove participants.

  1. At the bottom of the Zoom meeting, click the Participants button to open a list of participants.
  2. At the bottom-right corner of the list of participants, click More to open a menu.
  3. Toggle the options as desired:
    • Uncheck Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves to ensure that only hosts can unmute participants
    • Check Put attendee in waiting room upon entry to require that hosts manually admit new participants rather than having them join the meeting automatically. Learn more about the Zoom Waiting Room feature.
    • Check Lock meeting to prevent any additional participants from joining the meeting after this option is selected.

Remove participants who are behaving inappropriately

Log in to the Zoom portal at On the Settings page, turn off Allow Removed Participant to Rejoin to ensure that if a participant is removed for inappropriate behavior, they cannot rejoin.


Change the Default Security Settings: Disable Chat, Screen Sharing & Require Sign-in

The settings you configure will apply to all future meetings. These options are all available when you got to the web portal at and sign into Zoom. From the left navigation, click Settings

Disable screen sharing

Instructors and other session hosts can disable screen sharing for attendees. Screen sharing is allowed by default to improve the ease of use for remote work and learning, but we highly recommend you turn screen sharing off if it will not be necessary. 

  1. Go to and click Sign In to configure your account. You will be asked for your NetID and password.
  2. On the left side of the page, click Settings.
  3. Under Screen Sharing select Host Only.

While in your Zoom meeting, you can elevate a participant to co-host to enable screen sharing. At the bottom of the screen, click Participants, then next to a participant's name click Make Co-Host. 

Disable chat

  • Do not click links posted in Zoom chat which you didn’t expect or links sent by people you don’t know. 
  • Do not click links that start with “\\” - for example “\\”

If chat is not necessary for your Zoom sessions, it can be disabled from your account settings:

  1. Go to
  2. On the left side of the page, click Settings.
  3. Under In Meeting (Basic) toggle Chat with the switch to the right.

Require sign-in

There are multiple ways you can restrict access to your Zoom meeting: you can set up a password for each of your meetings or you can restrct access to your sessions to members of the campus community. 

  1. Go to
  2. On the left side of the page, click Meetings, then Schedule a Meeting.
  3. On the Schedule Meetings page, under Meeting Options:
  • Next to Meeting Password, select the Require meeting password checkbox to require password authentication when users enter the meeting. Passwords can be up to 10 characters. By default, the meeting invitation will include the password for participants, as well as a Join Meeting link that will enter the password automatically for invited participants. 
  • Next to Meeting Options, select the Only authenticated users can join checkbox to restrict access to members of the UMass Amherst community (they will be prompted for their NetID and password). 

You can also set up a waiting room for your Zoom session


Secure Your Zoom Cloud Recordings

To secure the Zoom cloud recordings you create, navigate to your Zoom recording settings page. These options apply to all the Zoom recordings you create.​

Restrict viewing of recordings to authenticated users

To restrict viewing, enable Only authenticated users can view cloud recordings from the Zoom recording settings page. When this setting is enabled, users must have a UMass Amherst NetID to view the recording.

Set password protection for recordings

To set password protection, enable Require password to access shared cloud recordings from the Zoom recording settings page. When this setting is enabled, a random password will be generated that can be modified by the meeting host. This setting applies only to recordings generated after the setting is turned on.

Individual recordings

To change security settings for individual recordings, navigate to your Zoom recordings page, then select Share.

Many thanks to the University of Washington whose documentation served as the basis for this content