How do I run a safe and secure online session in Zoom?

Help, Zoom

Please follow these guidelines to have a safe online session in Zoom.

Before your session

  • Require authentication to join. When setting up your Zoom sessions, consider turning on the ‘Only authenticated users can join meetings’ option, which is found when going to > Settings. When this feature is enabled, each person that joins your session will be identified by their name and NetLink ID. To avoid cases in which students cannot join, make sure to let students know in advance that they will need to sign in. If inviting a participant from outside the domain to be part of a session, they will also have to authenticate using the credentials from their institution to join. However, they will be placed in the waiting room and will have to be manually admitted into the session. For more details, please visit this page.
  • Share your session link carefully. Your session link is the doorway to your online classroom so be vigilant about how you share it. We recommend creating your Zoom session right in Brightspace so that the information is available only to your students. Do not post it on social media or in public places.
  • Use a meeting password. When you create your session, add a password for entry. Passwords add an additional layer of security to help allow only those you want to attend to gain access to your room.
  • Watch out for back to back sessions. A quick way to create an online room in Zoom is using your Personal Meeting ID. However, if you are using your personal meeting link to run back to back sessions, participants for the second session may arrive early interrupting your first. We recommend scheduling different meeting rooms for each of your courses / meetings.
  • Set online conduct expectations with students. Provide or collaboratively develop a code of conduct for acceptable online etiquette. Also let students know that the University of Victoria is committed to promoting critical academic discourse while providing a respectful and supportive learning environment. All members of the university community are expected to adhere to guidelines for online conduct. To report concerns about online student conduct:


During your session

  • Do not admit guests (or do so carefully)
    Instructors / hosts have the ability to track who joins meetings in a variety of different ways. When setting up your Zoom session, check the box to require sign-in. However If you do not require sign-in, those who are not signed in will automatically join in the “Waiting Room.” Instead of admitting them as guests, send a message asking students to go to to sign in with their SSO before re-joining the session.
  • Keep an eye on guests.
    Click Participants in your meeting toolbar to see who is on the video conference. If unrecognized names are on the list, ask them to confirm their identity by voice or chat. You can also remove a participant by opening the Participants menu (next to the Security icon), hovering your cursor to their name, selecting more and clicking remove.

    Figure 1. Removing a participant from your meeting.

What to do in case of disruptions in Zoom

You could avoid disruptions by not admitting guests and following the “safe and secure” guidelines. However, the security icon on your meeting toolbar gives you an all-in-one place to quickly keep your meetings secure. It includes options to:

  • Lock the Meeting (Don’t allow others to join the session)
  • Hide participants’ profile pictures.
  • Restrict participants’ ability to

To change these settings simply click on the desired setting to enable or disable it. A check mark means the setting is enabled.

As of version 5.5.0, a new feature which allows you to suspend a participant’s activity has been added. This feature will stop all current activities from all participants, including video, audio, and ability to share their screen. It will also prevent participants from joining your meeting. Please check your version and update your Zoom client to the newest release.

Figure 2. Available security options on Zoom.

To avoid disruptions during your meeting, it is important to adjust these settings before participants enter the call.

If you experience disruptions in Zoom and would like further support, please check out these options:

A note about security

UVic Zoom is an enterprise version of this platform. This means platform settings and terms and conditions are very different than those in free versions of the software. One of the great benefits of having our own UVic site license is that we can – and are – configuring defaults and settings to comply with best security and privacy practices.  Implementation of enterprise software systems at UVic involves a rigorous review process undertaken by University Systems, the Office of the General Council, often in consultation with the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation. Our goal is to protect the privacy of those who use the software, identify and mitigate security risks, and ensure regulatory compliance (e.g. FIPPA). Please know great care and diligence are taken to attend to these matters. For more information, listen to UVic’s Chief Information Security Officer’s podcast on Zoom security.

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