Posted by Lori Ayre on April 17, 2020

There's been a lot of press on the privacy concerns related to Zoom and this has made a lot of library folks nervous. But the truth is, Zoom is a great tool and it would be a shame not to use it. Especially now. The key is to use it right.  So, below please find tips to using Zoom safely whether you are using the free version or not and whether you are the host or a guest.  These have been collected from several different sources listed at the end. You might want to check them out to get a fuller understanding of how to implement the recommendations. 

I'll continue to update these lists as issues arise: 

When Hosting a Zoom Meeting 

  • Use downloaded, most current version, rather than Web version
  • Password protect meeting (use a Meeting ID plus Password)
  • Don't post a URL with both the Meeting ID and Password embedded in it on a public site
  • Generate a New Meeting ID rather than using your own Personal Meeting ID
  • Use “Lock Meeting” after your participants have arrived
  • Under Manage Participants, use Mute All and turn off Video for all participants
  • Under Share Screen, choose Only Host so only you can share your screen
  • Don't record chat or video (latest security flaws are associated with saved videos)
  • Turn on "Enable waiting room" and "Mute participants on entry"
  • Turn off "Enable join before host" and "Automatically record meeting on local computer"
  • Turn off  "Allow Removed Participant to Rejoin"
  • Turn off Annotation
  • Turn off Private Chat
  • Turn off Virtual Background [I know that this is a feature that a lot of people love, but this can be used to project offensive content]
  • For education or enterprise Zoom accounts, meeting organizers can also enable the "Only authenticated users can join" option

When Participating in a Zoom Meeting

  • Turn off your video and audio by default
  • Stay muted when you are not speaking
  • Under Preferences, choose Virtual Background (if available)
  • Be aware that your chats (public and private) could be saved by your host

Additional Library Best Practices for Engaging with Patrons on Zoom

  • All of the above, plus....
  • Lock meeting after your patron has arrived
  • If you need the patron to screen share, be sure you explain clearly what you are going to do if that you have their permission
  • You have the option to turn off the "Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves" option under the "More" option in the Participants menu
  • A number of the settings found in the Settings > Meeting menu can be accessed through the meeting menu bar if you need to tweak any settings


Becky Noose's Zoom Security Recommendations, Settings List, and Resources from "A Crash Course in Protecting Library Data While Working from Home (a LITA/OIF webinar). Here's the other handouts and the slides from that webinar. Thanks, Becky!

Mozilla Foundation: and

PC Magazine:

Santa Barbara City College:


More Sources recommend by Becky Yoose, Data Privacy Consultant at LDH Consulting Services:


If you want to follow the particulars of the security issues and how they are being addressed, go here: