Hello. I’m teaching an online meditation class through Zoom and after reading about some of it security issues am now worried that random hackers are going to join our meditation sessions! Is there a way to set a password so that I can share that with authorized attendees to prevent random people showing up?
With the sudden rise of video conferencing and video chat, it’s not a huge surprise that services like Zoom are finding that their initial security design proves to be inadequate as they also gain the attention of hackers and malicious computer types worldwide. The big issue with Zoom calls is that their number space (e.g. the entire possible range of conference IDs) is small which means that, with the aid of some simple scripts, a hacker can guess meeting IDs and show up uninvited, now known as Zoombombing. No surprise that ends up taking the form of gambling ads, pornography, and other negative activity that you definitely don’t want as part of your meditation session!
Fortunately, it’s actually easy to add a Zoom password to an individual meeting or to a recurring meeting through the Zoom administrative interface. I have a similar situation with my class at University of Denver: I have a weekly video chat with my students and want to add a password to ensure that it’s just us in the virtual classroom and no-one else shows up uninvited. Here’s how I solved the problem…
To start, log in to your Zoom account. On the left side of your account screen you should see a menu very similar to the following:
If you have it set up as a recurring meeting (good for up to 100 people or so) then you’ll want to choose “Meeting”, as shown. If you’re using a Webinar instead (lots more viewers, less participants) chose that instead, the interface should look quite similar.
Once chosen, I see my recurring meeting show up on my Zoom meeting schedule:
Notice along the top the options of Previous Meetings, Personal Meeting Room and Meeting Templates. For my purposes, I want to just edit the meeting that’s going to occur soonest, which in this case is the first one, scheduled for tomorrow evening.
Handy tip: Any time there’s a recurring event, choose the soonest occurrence and generally it’ll apply any changes to all subsequent events automatically. Handy!
I’m going to click on “COMM 4321 Weekly Discussion” as scheduled for tomorrow. This offers me a lot of useful details on the meeting and its frequency:
Most importantly, as highlighted, it shows that it’s currently set to not require a meeting password. That’s potentially risky and so we’ll tweak it. Except there’s no obvious EDIT button on this screen. Unless you scroll down to the very bottom, at which point you’ll find this:
Why that Edit this Meeting button isn’t duplicated at the top of the page I cannot say, but it would be a simple and very useful tweak to their user interface. Anyway, Click on “Edit this Meeting” to proceed…
This is what I was talking about earlier; choose “All” and any changes you make to this meeting will automatically be reflected in subsequent meetings too. Handy for fixing typos in the description too 🙂
I’ll choose “All” and, finally, can get to that Zoom meeting password setting:
Definitely yes. Click on the checkbox adjacent to “Require meeting password” and it’ll immediately show you a suggested numeric password:
222839? Not a horrible password, though it might make more sense for you to enter something related to your meeting, class, workshop or session. Perhaps “zen” or a slightly more complex “zen4u” would be better and easier for students or attendees to remember?
I admit, I was tempted to change the password for my COMM 4321 class to “4321” but… that seems a bit too easy to guess, so I’ve stuck with the random digit sequence shown (well, I actually changed it to something entirely different, but that’s another story).
A click on “Save” to record the changes, and now the summary shows that your meeting does indeed now require a password:
Take that Zoombombers! And that’s all you have to do. Now just make sure you communicate that with all your attendees and you can find your zen place without fear of random strangers dropping in to your meditation sessions.
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