Guidance on Safe use of Zoom

Events 6 April 2020

Andrew Hall who runs has issued the following guidance on using Zoom safely.

Live Meetings with Zoom

One of my favourite programmes was Spooks. Seemingly capable of logging into anything, it was done speedily and without much thought. Hacking Zoom is the new reality. But it doesn’t involve hacking. It just involves knowing slightly more than someone else. Like the cabinet office press releasing screenshots of a Zoom call clearly showing the meeting ID.


Schools Week reports that an online conference of headteachers was ‘zoombombed’ last week and that shocking pornography was unleashed on the viewing leaders. This has been happening a lot.

I think that when we hastily set stuff up, we don’t always think about the potential negative consequences. This is especially true of anything internet-related. If you have never live-streamed, there is a lot to think about. It’s not like Spooks, or picking up a telephone.

Zoom is the market leader and like any market leader will attract more ‘bad actors’ than other products. In March, Zoom added 2.22 million users worldwide; in the whole of 2019, it grew by 2 million. In other words, more people joined over the last month than in the whole of 2019. I suspect many of those had never used a remote platform before.

Safer use of Zoom

From today (5th April 2020), Zoom are forcing users to password protect their meeting room. This is an important first step. Other things to do to protect your Zoom space are: Use a new meeting room each time (ie. don’t use the personal meeting ID)Don’t allow attendees to join before hostMute attendees on joiningTurn screen sharing offSet up a ‘waiting room’Lock your meeting room after you have started Don’t publicise your meeting’s link on social mediaDon’t share the screenshot of everyone, especially when it show the meeting IDTry to have someone who’s job it is to ‘manage the room’ and focus just on doing that.Tell people what the Plan B is (ie. if you do have to abort the meeting where will the meeting move to and how can people rejoin)
Additionally, Avoid sharing personal informationTurn off your video and microphone, unless it’s needed.

Take time to learn about new tech

I’m quite tech-savvy, but it has taken a while for me to get to know the online tech tools, so I can do more work online. It takes trial and error, and rehearsal to get it right. It’s not Spooks!

Above all, remember just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it should be.

Where to find out more about using Zoom and other online technologies

My favourite online tech guy, Steve Dotto from dottotech, has some great videos about setting up and using Zoom.

In this video, Steve works with his wife, a teacher, to look at the main features of Zoom: