Addressing Some Problematic Zoom Behavior

While many faculty who use Zoom have reported good experiences in their classes, there have a been a few instances of undesirable behavior, most of which can be addressed by changing a few settings.

There are a number of steps you can take that will limit unwanted behavior. They range from preventing unauthorized people from entering your Zoom meeting to limiting what can be done once participants are in the meeting.

Some steps you can take include:

  • only allow authenticated users to join
  • use the waiting room and allow Trinity users to bypass it
  • use a meeting password
  • limiting screen sharing
  • removing the ability for participants to rename themselves
  • limiting the ability of participants to annotate the screen when sharing
  • muting participants on entry and removing their ability to unmute themselves
  • removing unwelcome visitors from the meeting altogether

Only authenticated users can join

Make this the default setting for all meetings by logging into the web interface at and clicking on settings. Then turn on the settings “Only authenticated users can join meetings”. This doesn’t mean people have to be logged into a Trinity Zoom account, any Zoom account will work.

You can turn this on and off for particular meetings as well. When you create a meeting you will find this as an option in the meeting settings as shown below.

Using the waiting room

If you enable the waiting room and choose the setting to only place guests in the waiting room you should have more control over who can join your class. You can choose to put everyone in the waiting room but then you will have to manually admit every student. If you only put guests in the waiting room anyone who is logged in with a Trinity account will get right in while anyone else must be manually added. You can also customize the look of the waiting room screen once you enable this setting.

Use a meeting password

If people are sharing the meeting invitation that will contain the password. But if people are randomly finding your meeting room, having a password set will prevent them from actually joining. Find this option in the Settings section of the web interface and also in the details of each meeting you schedule.

Limiting Screen Sharing (now limited by default)

There have been reports of unusual/disagreeable material being inadvertently shared to the class via Screen Sharing. To prevent this, you are able to restrict the ability of participants to share their screen. You can do this in “Settings” from the web. Log in to your account, find Settings on the left-hand part of the screen, then scroll to “In Meeting.” Find this setting:

Screenshot of Screen Sharing settings in Zoom

Change “Who can share” from All Participants to “Host Only,” and you will be the only one who can share your screen.

It is also possible to change this setting during a meeting by using the Share Screen controls. Click on the little carat to the right of the green Share Screen icon

Screenshot of Share Screen controls in the Zoom app

Select “Advanced Sharing Options,” and you’ll see the ability to toggle back and forth between “host only” and “all participants.”

Preventing participants from changing their name

Also, some faculty have reported interlopers in their class, with a smaller number of faculty reporting students having “fun” with their ability to change their display names in the participant list. To solve both these problems, use the “Manage Participants” window. To open the participants list as a host, click “Manage Participants” to the left of the green screen share button.

Screen shot of Manage Participants button in Zoom

In the window that appears, click on the “More” button at the bottom of the screen, and you’ll see options to allow/disallow participants to unmute themselves and also to rename themselves. While this will prevent participants from renaming themselves in the meeting they can still change their name in their Zoom profile before joining.

Lock the meeting

You can also, if you’re satisfied that everyone who needs to be in a meeting is there, lock the meeting, which prevents new participants from joining the meeting.

Screenshot of participants menu in Zoom

Prevent users from annotating scared screens

By default anyone can write in any shared screen. You can limit this by default via the Settings screen.

If anyone is in the meeting who should not be there, or is being disruptive, you can remove them. Find their name in the participant list, click the “more” button to the right of their name, then click “Remove.”

Screenshot of remove feature in Zoom

By default someone who has been removed cannot rejoin a meeting, though you can change this in settings.

Feel free to contact your instructional technologist or Jason Jones with any questions!

Jason Jones