There are good reasons to be mindful of safety and privacy when using Zoom, particularly regarding student privacy and inappropriate content. Edsurge has a good primer on some of the concerns for educators using Zoom, including this resource from USC.

This page offers some recommended practices and configuration options to improve the safety of your Zoom meetings.


No Student Zoom Accounts

Students do not need a Zoom account to join your meeting, and in fact students cannot create a Zoom account using their school email address. This prevents students from using their school accounts to host their own Zoom meetings with friends or strangers.

Please do not encourage students to create their own Zoom accounts using personal email accounts, or to use their parents’ Zoom accounts to join your Zoom meeting. Join a Zoom Meeting as a Student for more on how students can join your meeting.

Student Names: When joining your meeting, students will have the chance to enter a name for themselves. Please let your students know that they are expected to use their first and last name. An accurate name will allow you to better screen participants using the Waiting Room feature, described below.

Keep Meeting IDs Private

It’s very important that you keep your Zoom Meeting ID and Link private. Your Meeting ID and Link look like this:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 178 345 484 Password: demopass

Remember, anyone who has this information will be able to join your meeting.

You should only share this information directly with students or parents, such as through email, Aeries Communications, Google Classroom or Seesaw. Never post it on your website or on a public calendar.

Set Up Meeting Passwords

When scheduling your meeting, check the box labelled Require meeting password. By default the password will be all numbers; I recommend changing these to letters, to make the password stronger.

Note: As this password will be included in the Zoom Meeting Link, you must still keep that Link private. This password will only prevent a stranger from joining your meeting by guessing your Meeting ID.

Enable Waiting Room

I strongly recommend using the Waiting Room feature. When Waiting Room is enabled, participants will not join your meeting immediately. Instead they will see a waiting room message, and you will be asked whether to let them join the meeting. This allows you to screen participants before they join your meeting, and keep out participants you don’t recognize.

As of March 31, Waiting Room is enabled by default. This will only apply to new meetings; you will still need to edit existing meetings to enable the waiting room feature, as described below.

When you are scheduling your meeting in the Zoom app, expand the Advanced options at the bottom, always make sure the boxes for Enable Waiting Room and Mute participants on entry are checked.

Please see the Schedule & Start a Meeting page for more details and a video of this process.

You can also edit an existing meeting to enable the waiting room feature, by going to Meetings (1), choosing your meeting (2), then clicking Edit (3). Scroll to the bottom and click Advanced Options to reveal the waiting room setting.

Please see Zoom’s Waiting Room Help Doc for instructions on using this feature.