How to use Zoom safely and with integrity
Maintaining the integrity of online meetings
The way we hold meetings has changed. Where we once sat together in a room, we now meet on Zoom or other online platforms while sitting in our homes.
This change opens up many new possibilities, but also has implications for how we maintain the confidentiality and transparency of our meetings. By keeping to the guidelines below we can avoid potential pitfalls.
- When taking part in an online meeting each attendee should sit, as far as is possible, in a private space. No-one in your home or office should be able to listen in to a meeting, either deliberately or inadvertently. Therefore, it is also recommended that headphones are used if possible. The meeting should be notified if there are other people in the same room who cannot be seen onscreen and care should be taken that the meeting is only witnessed by those invited or entitled to be present, unless permission is obtained.
- All those attending are advised to consider what can be seen of their own home by those joining a meeting. For example, you might not want to leave family photographs on display in the background; it is better not to have an open door behind you. It is possible on some platforms to use virtual backgrounds to ensure privacy. It is important to remember that in many platforms you are visible to others even if sometimes you do not appear on your own screen.
- Anyone who has their audio on can hear what is said in an online room, so confidential conversations should only be conducted when those speaking are sure that no-one else is online. Locking the meeting and checking the participants’ list is advised.
- Make sure that all names on attendees’ online profiles display their full names, and are written correctly. For example ask a meeting attendee to change their profile name if it comes up as ‘Jill’s iPad’ or similar.
- Make sure that everyone is aware of anyone who may be present in an online meeting whose presence is not apparent on screen. For instance, certain Zoom settings make this possible so that people can help out ‘behind the scenes’.
Recording a meeting
- Consent must be obtained from all attendees before any audio or video recording of the meeting is made (either on local computer, in the cloud, or on another device).
- This consent needs to be given to the recording being made, and to any planned sharing of that recording. For example, if the meeting is going to be shared on Social Media, a website or via email with a defined group of people, you will need to be explicit about each of the possible ways of sharing.
- If explicit consent was not given at the time of the meeting to a way of sharing that is later thought necessary, consent must be obtained from all attendees afterwards before the recording is shared in that way.
- In the case where a recording has been made by accident without consent (for example where it has been set to record by default in Zoom settings) this recording should be completely deleted as soon as you are made aware that it exists.
- Similarly, consent must also be obtained from all attendees before any screenshots are taken by anyone present at the meeting. Similarly to video and audio recordings, consent must also be given to the way that the screenshot will be shared.
Using Zoom safely
'Zoom bombing' is when unwanted people join your Zoom meeting and then disrupt it - often by sharing graphic pornography.
Follow these simple steps and avoid what can be a traumatic experience.
1. Never put the Zoom joining link, the Meeting ID or the Password on social media or a website
- Instead send these to participants directly by email
- Tell them not to share these details on social media or any website.
- When advertising your service or event, ask people to request the joining link, providing an email address for requests to be sent to.
2: Use the Zoom Waiting Room
- When enabled, anyone joining the meeting will be placed into theZoom ‘waiting room’. You can then choose only to allow people to join from the waiting room if you know who they are.
3: Disable participant screen sharing
- At the start of the meeting the host needs to click the 'up' arrow next to ‘Share Screen’ in the toolbar and then on ‘Advanced Sharing Options. When the Advanced Sharing Option screen opens, change the ‘Who can Share?’ setting to ‘Only Host’. If the meeting requires others to share documents, email these to the host so that they display them.
4: Once everyone is in, lock the meeting
If everyone has joined your meeting and you are not inviting anyone else, you should lock the meeting so that nobody else can join. See https://blog.zoom.us/spotlight-security/
In the unlikely event that troublemakers do gain access, expel them.
In the participants menu, you can hover your cursor over a participant’s name, and several options will appear, including Remove. Click that to remove a participant from the meeting. They are unable to get back in if you then click Lock Meeting. See https://blog.zoom.us/spotlight-security/
Note: Sometimes troublemakers have been known to fake the identities of people already in a meeting to trick the host into letting them in again, so watch out for that