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What are the top 10 Zoom Settings to Get Right for IT?

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Since the onset of COVID-19, companies, and classrooms are relying on the support of Zoom more than ever to communicate. In parallel IT departments everywhere have been scrambling. IT must ensure they are managing security, ease of use, and functionality effectively as part of this overnight, work from home, and oftentimes, mandatory transformation. The IT woes and hurdles became even more numerous as the Zoom-bombing phenomenon became an unfortunate trend. How does IT ensure that confidential information is not being leaked by uninvited Zoom video conferencing participants, and important lectures and meetings remain uninterrupted?

Fast forward a couple of months and now Zoom has done a LOT of work to tighten up their security.  Zoom’s increased focus on ensuring its users feel secure while Zooming has translated to a variety of additional settings and features. All of these can be enabled at either the host/client and/or admin level.  All these features provide IT, professionals, everywhere with the level of control and flexibility for which they were clamoring.  However, over the course of their 90-day security blitz Zoom moved heaven and earth and rolled out so many new features and settings it’s hard to know where to start or focus.  We’ve done the dirty work to help you zero in — here’s our top 10 list of Zoom management settings to get right.

The 5 Top Zoom Settings

  1. Waiting Room: If this is not a default setting already, ensure that you activate it. This is hands down one of the best settings to ensure that uninvited attendees do not join your meeting. You can enable Waiting Room as a default setting, or as a meeting template. The Waiting Room also allows you to customize your meeting by providing a Waiting Room title, logo, and description to which you can add information like an agenda or meeting guidelines.
  2. Identify Guest Participants: This feature allows the host and other users on the account to check the participant’s lists. It’s important to see if and when any participants outside of your Zoom account have joined a meeting. This setting can be enabled by an account owner or admin under Account Management > Account Settings > Meeting Settings (Advanced) and enable “identify guest participants in the meeting/webinar option. This is exceptionally helpful when you have very large open internal meetings where recognizing every name can be difficult. This feature allows Zoom to pinpoint exactly who and how many guest participants are present in your meeting.
  3. Require a Passcode to Join: For an added layer of protection, meetings can require passcodes which can act as an account level setting or can be applied to individual meetings. IT can enforce this setting for all users by locking the setting after enabling. Passcodes can be enabled for scheduling new meetings, instant meetings, Personal Meeting IDs, and for participants joining by phone.

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  1. Pre-Configure SSO login domains for Office 365 add-in: Restricting logins for the Zoom Client – IT admins can restrict logins for Zoom depending on the specific email domains or via group policy templates. From the Zoom Help Center, to configure the Windows Zoom client to only allow joining meetings from certain accounts, the following parameter would need to be added to the install command line:  ZConfig=”login_domain=domain”.

In the command prompt window, the login domain will be the email domain for the users.

msiexec /package ZoomInstaller.msi /norestart /lex msi.log ZConfig= “login_domain=domain”

Example: If your organization’s account ID number is “school.com”, then the install command and ZConfig parameter would be: msiexec /package ZoomInstaller.msi /norestart /lex msi.log ZConfig= “login_domain=school.com”

System Admins can also use the Group Policy Administrative Templates to restrict joining to certain accounts.

    • In the navigation panel click Administrative Templates.
    • (Optional) Click Classic Administrative Templates if using the ADM files.
    • Click Zoom Meetings> Zoom General Settings.
    • Double click Set account IDs that the client is restricted to join the meeting hosted by.
    • In the setting window, click Enabled.
    • Enter the account IDs, you want to restrict joining, adding commas between the IDs if you are adding multiple.
    • Click Apply.
  1. Information Barriers: IT administrators in highly regulated companies or organizations with sensitive information will find using information barriers extremely helpful. Information Barriers are designed to help control and scale user communication policies and regulatory requirements. For example, an information barrier can be created to prevent any accidental information sharing between people in Marketing and R&D. IT Administrators looking to up the ante with their Zoom management choices can choose between hard or soft blocks, meaning two employees with an identified information barrier can never meet or chat via Zoom (hard block), or they can meet but in-meeting chat, file transfer, and screen share functionalities are blocked (soft block).

Zoom Settings

The Best of the Rest

  1. Managing User Groups: If you have a multi-departmental and/or regional organization and you want to be able to segment settings and policies per department or region, you can do so with User Group Management. Group Management allows you to turn settings on or off, lock settings on or off, force settings on, or disable features for a group of users in your account. You can even assign group admins to manage the settings for that group. Group management can be found in the Zoom web portal. In the navigation menu, click User Management and then Group Management.
  2. Managing IM groups: Similar to Group Management, IM Management allows IT admins to assign users in their account to groups that display within the contacts directory in the Zoom client and app. These settings can be accessed in IM Management under Account Management in the navigation menu. There are three types of IM groups:
    • Private: Only members can see the group, but the group can be visible in search.
    • Shared: All people can see the group and its members.
    • Restricted: The group and its members cannot be searched and is only visible to the members within that group

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  1. Tiered Settings: For an organization looking for a hierarchical way to manage settings, tiered settings allow IT admins to manage meetings, webinars, and audio conferences at the Account, Group, and User level. This allows for more in-depth control and flexibility where it matters. For existing accounts, go to Migrating to Tiered Settings to view each option. Be aware that if there are conflicting settings for an individual that is a member of multiple groups, the precedence is given to the settings that are locked.
  2. Attendee list: If you want to know who attended your meeting, you can get a report once the meeting is finished. This is particularly helpful if you are holding a mandatory meeting and want to ensure all employees have attended. In the Zoom Account Management under the Reports section, look for usage reports. There you will find all your meetings and can select the report type and date range to generate the report. Please note that to generate an attendee list there are certain restrictions. You would either need to have a Pro, API Partner, Business or Education plan, be the host of the meeting, be in a role with Usage Reports enabled, or be an owner or account administrator.
  3. Tracking Fields: If you would like to take the attendee list further and be able to really provide some usage insight, utilizing tracking fields is for you. For organizations looking to analyze usage by various fields within their organization, tracking fields are a huge benefit. When scheduling, tracking fields contain a label or value that can be selected. The max number of tracking fields per account is 10. To add a tracking field, sign into the Zoom web portal, and under Account Management, click on Scheduling Tracking Fields. You can specify any label you like for the tracking field by entering the values in the input field and save. Now whenever you schedule a meeting, the tracking field will be available in the meeting options.

From an account level, you can report on these tracking fields by clicking on Reports under Account Management and choosing Active Hosts and then provide the start and end dates. This report can be exported as a CSV file. Now you may be able to track how many Leadership meetings were scheduled in the past month, or how many external meetings were scheduled with clients. The possibilities are endless.

What are the Next Steps for Zoom Settings?

If Zoom hadn’t experienced their many security woes in early 2020, would we have such robust security features available? Perhaps not. Are we better off for it? Absolutely.  Zoom management has become increasingly easier for IT professionals with the roll-out of these settings and features. Obviously, our top 10 list is only the tip of the iceberg of Zoom support in this area and may have missed some key settings which would be specifically useful for your organization.  You may want to consider sampling our PowerSuite Start software to receive a FREE best practices report check on whether or not you’re correctly implementing ALL of the right Zoom video conferencing settings. With Zoom’s honest approach and willingness to provide better security, video conferencing solutions, and value to their customers, they have created a path back to Zoom for weary users…and for beleaguered IT.

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