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14:28 PM

Safeguarding Your Zoom Meeting/Telehealth Visit

Use of Zoom has skyrocketed in recent weeks as co-workers, friends and families use the video-chat platform to stay in touch. But this increase in use has also led to an increase in instances of what people are calling Zoombombing.

Definitely disruptive and often offensive, Zoombombing occurs when an unauthorized person or people gain access to your Zoom meeting, most likely with malicious intent.

But don’t give up on Zoom just yet. OhioHealth’s Information Security team shared these steps you can take to make your meetings secure.

Keep the Zoom application up to date

When Zoom prompts you to update your software to the latest version, do it! Updates often fix security issues and bugs in performance. In fact, Zoom just released a new version on April 7 to address many security concerns.

Take advantage of Zoom’s new Security option for hosts

You can find this option in the toolbar at the bottom of your meeting. It houses all of Zoom’s existing in-meeting security controls in one place, including some of the options below, such as locking the meeting and enabling a waiting room.

Require a password

Zoom now creates a meeting password for you by default when you schedule a meeting. You change it to something of your choosing in the field next to Require meeting password. Requiring a password is the most effective thing you can do to protect your meeting. Remember to include this password in your invitations.

Don’t require video

When you schedule a Zoom meeting, you are given the option to turn video on for the host and participants. Set both options to Off, if it’s not set that way by default.

Require participants to have a Zoom account

Zoom now requires this by default, but it can be disabled by an administrator or user from their settings page. With this option enabled, all meeting participants must sign in to their Zoom account or create a Zoom account before they can join the meeting.

Don’t let participants join before the host

Zoom calls this the waiting room. When you schedule a meeting, under Advanced Options, you will see the option to Enable join before host. By default, this box is unchecked. Leave it that way. This keeps unwanted visitors from causing trouble before you start the meeting. You can also enable a waiting room during a meeting that has already started using the Security option in the toolbar.

Mute participants on entry

You will also find this option under Advanced Options. You want to check this box to prevent uninvited guests from creating unwanted noise. It will also block background noise from attendees who forget to mute themselves.

Control screen sharing

When you begin your meeting, you can block a Zoombomber from disrupting your meeting with unwanted images by going to the Zoom toolbar at the bottom of your screen, clicking the green up arrow above Share Screen, and selecting Only host under Who can share? Depending on the version of Zoom you're using, you may need to choose Advanced Sharing Options to find this option.

Consider locking the door behind you

There are pros and cons to locking your meeting. On the upside, you can keep uninvited guests from joining your meeting. On the downside, it can prevent invited attendees from being able to sign back in if they have to leave because of connectivity issues. This option is best if you are having a smaller meeting, where you’ll be able to see if someone drops out and quickly unlock the meeting to let them back in. To enable this option, click Manage Participants in the Zoom toolbar at the bottom of your screen, then click the More drop-down menu below your list of participants, and select Lock meeting.  

Consider not allowing aliases

If you are an account administrator or host, you can disable the ability for participants to rename themselves during a meeting.

Plan ahead for large meetings

If you want to hold a large meeting – maybe an open forum, a town hall or family reunion – you should take a few more precautions in addition to those above that may require some preparation ahead of time, including:

  • Use a Zoom-generated meeting ID, rather than your personal ID.
  • Ask participants to register to attend. This may dissuade crashers.
  • Select one or more Alternative Hosts to help you manage the meeting in the event of an issue.
  • Discuss potential issues with your co-hosts and create a plan to respond to technical difficulties or other disruptions.

How OhioHealth is keeping Zoom meetings secure

Many OhioHealth physicians are now using Zoom through OhioHealth MyChart, our electronic health record platform, to conduct video visits with patients from the comfort and safety of home.

OhioHealth does not use the free, basic Zoom service. Instead, we use a version of Zoom created specifically for healthcare that meets our own security requirements.

This is how it’s uniquely secure:

  • Zoom video visits through OhioHealth MyChart are encrypted sessions that are dynamic-password protected.
  • OhioHealth Zoom video visits are only accessible through your individual MyChart account and your direct provider.
  • Zoom does not have access to protected or identifiable health information. This data is encrypted during each visit and is not stored by Zoom.
  • OhioHealth providers and patients can easily terminate sessions in progress at any time.
  • OhioHealth video visits can only be set up and started through OhioHealth MyChart. We do not send links to begin your visit through email. If you receive a video visit link in your personal email that appears to be from OhioHealth, do not open it.