Zoom Security

Zoom connects you and your teams for meetings and collaboration. It gives you many security options to keep meetings secure and productive.


Where to configure settings

Zoom settings are accessed through the Zoom online portal. They can be configured as a default for all your meetings or individually per meeting.

Default settings for your account


Settings for individual meetings and your personal meeting room



Configure a secure meeting

Set your meeting up for success by reviewing these security considerations. Use this as a guide to understand your options. Support articles are linked for detailed reference.

Control attendees

Configure these options to ensure your meeting is open to all of the people you want and none of the people you don’t.

Set meeting passwords

A meeting password keeps people who have or have guessed your meeting ID from entering your room. By default, passwords will be sent with your meeting invites. More on meeting passwords.

Require authentication

Requiring authentication means that users must be signed in to Zoom to accept meetings. This setting is found in the “Meeting Options” section when scheduling a meeting and is labeled as “Only authenticated users can join meetings” under the Meetings section of your profile settings.

Use Waiting Room

Attendees will be placed in a waiting room and can be added at the host or co-host’s discretion. More on Waiting Rooms.

Protect Content

Enable encryption

Encryption prevents people on your network or wifi from snooping on a meeting. More on Encryption

Note: Most of Harvard’s In-Room teleconferencing equipment will not support encryption.


By default, local recording of a meeting is permitted. You can control this setting at https://harvard.zoom.us/profile/setting?tab=recording and disabling the feature or by restricting it to those granted the permission by a host or co-host.

Control “host”

By default, the first person to join a meeting becomes the host. The host has control of a meeting, so it is important to make sure you or someone you have delegated retains host privileges.

Disable “Join before host”

Attendees will be unable to join until you or a host has joined. More on Join Before Host.

Set an alternative host

You may assign someone else to be an alternative host. They can start a meeting and act as host before you arrive. More on Alternative Hosts.


During the Meeting

Hosts have many options to control a meeting in progress

Manage attendees

Hosts and co-hosts can manage attendees in the following ways.

  • Mute participants
  • Request that a participant unmutes
  • Stop a participant's video
  • Request that a participant starts their video
  • Prevent participants from screen sharing
  • Rename a participant
  • Put a participant on hold if enabled
  • Choose to play an enter or exit chime
  • Lock the meeting to prevent anyone new from joining
  • Place participants in waiting room or admit/remove participants from the waiting room.

More on managing participants in a meeting.

Add a co-host

Controlling a meeting while giving a presentation or talk might be challenging. You can assign a co-host to perform most host duties for you while you lead the meeting. More on Adding a Co-Host


Other useful features

Scheduling Assistance

If you want someone else to schedule meetings on your behalf, you can do that with “Scheduling Assistance”. More on Scheduling Assistance


You may find yourself using the same settings for certain types of meetings, like a staff meeting, a team meeting, or a public meeting. Once you have a meeting set just right, you can save it as a template and use those settings to schedule a meeting in the future. More on Meeting Templates.