Getting the best from Zoom

In this article:

- Secure your Zoom meetings
- Allow external users to access meetings and webinars
- Virtual backgrounds
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Meeting etiquette
- Safeguarding
- Training
- Help

Secure your Zoom meetings

Features and settings to help secure and protect your Zoom meetings, before and during your event.

Pre-meeting settings

Turn on your Waiting Room

This feature provides a virtual waiting room for your attendees and allows you to admit individual participants into your meeting at your discretion.

Require a password to join

You can take meeting security even further by requiring a password to join your meetings. This feature can also be applied to your Personal Meeting ID.

Only allow registered users

When scheduling a meeting, you can require attendees to register with their email, name and custom questions.

By default, Zoom also restricts participants to those who are logged into Zoom.

Allow Essex users only

We recommend you only allow people with University of Essex logins to access meetings where possible.

This can be done when scheduling a meeting in Meeting Options, by Enabling ‘Only authenticated user can join’ and then select ‘Essex Only’ from the drop down box.

Zoom essex users only

Don't use your Personal Meeting ID for public meetings

Your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) is the default meeting that launches when you start and ad hoc meeting. Your PMI doesn’t change unless you change it yourself,  which makes it very useful if people need a way to reach you.

But for public meetings, you should always schedule new meetings with randomly generated meeting IDs. That way, only invited attendees will know how to join your meeting. You can also turn off your PMI when starting an instant meeting in your profile settings.

In-meeting settings

Lock the meeting

When you lock a Zoom Meeting after it has started, no new participants can join, even if they have the meeting ID and password (if you have required one).

Control screen sharing

Allowing participants to screen share in a meeting can be a great way to collaborate, but that can also leave you open to unwanted interruptions during larger meetings.

You can easily toggle this feature on and off from the screen sharing menu, as well as the security menu.

We recommend you set screen sharing to Host Only.

Remove participants

When you do remove someone, they can’t rejoin the meeting. But you can toggle your settings to allow removed participants to rejoin, in case you remove the wrong person.


Disable file transfers

In-meeting file transfer allows participants to share files through the in-meeting chat.

Turn this off to keep the chat from getting unwanted content.

Guidance on settings for non-timetabled meetings

Try to use webinars when possible - they are a better format for controlling large groups of students. You can still have Q&A and interaction, it is just easier to manager 100s of participants.

Setting up the Meeting / Webinar

  • Do not tick "Enable join before host" as you will not be able to moderate the meeting from the beginning. Also, if you are recording the meeting at the same time, this prevents receiving dozens of separate recording notifications of participants joining early.
  • Always tick "Only authenticated users can joinAND specify Essex Only". This means participants must login to Zoom and use their Essex account to do it, providing full accountability. Another options is for "Zoom Login" but participants can create a "throwaway" email account that is not traceable.
  • It’s always safer to record the meeting to the cloud. This will record the audio transcript, chat and video feed – so combined with ‘Essex Only’ authenticated users will provide robust accountability measures.

Zoom options

Hosting the meeting

  • Share screen should be limited to Host only – this is done from the arrow next to your “Share Screen” button, where you can change the Share Screen privilege from “Host and Participants” to “Host Only”. This should always be done first, if you’re not planning to have presentations, etc.
  • Do not allow participants to change their names – this is less important if you use authenticated “Essex Only” users, but can be used if you want to. Even if a student changes their name, you can source their Essex email address and original name in a Report after the meeting takes place.
  • Chat restricted to Host only – This can be used if the Chat function becomes a distraction but you still want to be able to take input / questions. You can open the “Chat” panel and click the three dots icon at the bottom of the panel for more options.
  • Mute all participants on entry, with the option not allow to unmute – This can be useful for when you have unintentional background sounds from some participants. You can open the “Participants” panel and click the three dots icon at the bottom of the panel for more options. Even if you mute all with no option to unmute, you can always ask individual students to unmute to present or ask questions.

After the meeting

If you experience any disruption or interruptions that are inappropriate, then you can easily identify the individuals and evidence their actions if the above guidance has been followed:

  • A recording of a meeting or webinar will have a transcript of the audio feed, recording of the video feed and summary of the Chat and Q&A logs too.
  • You can run a report for the participants in your Meeting / Webinar by going to Zoom in a browser, clicking on the “Reports” tab, and then the “Usage” option. Select the meeting in questions and then scroll across so you see the number of participants which is hyperlinked. Clicking on this takes you through to a list of participants which you can export to an Excel document.

Zoom report options

For Webinars

For webinars you can invite external users as a panellist and this will allow them to bypass the Essex users only restriction while maintaining security to stop unwanted people joining the webinar.

  1. Go to
  2. Click into the webinar you would like the external to access.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the invitations section.
  4. You can then click 'edit' to to right of the panellists section to enter their email.

They will then receive a specific link by email that they can use to join with on the day.

For Meetings

 You will need to remove the Essex only restriction and enable a waiting room that catches external accounts allowing you to manually admit them. Anyone logging in with an Essex account will be admitted automatically.

This will give you and your Co-Host a chance to stop any unknown people joining.

  1. Go to
  2. Click into the upcoming meeting you want to update.
  3. Click 'Edit Meeting'
  4. Tick 'Waiting Room' in the security section
  5. Scroll to 'Require authentication to join
  6. Select 'Sign into Zoom'
  7. Click 'Save'
  8. Go to your Personal Settings:
  9. Under 'Waiting Room Options' Click 'Edit Options'
  10. Tick 'Users not in your account'
  11. Click Save

Please note that the last step will apply to all your meetings that have waiting rooms enabled. You will need to revert, the changes made in steps 8 - 11, back if you want Essex users to be held in the waiting room.

Learn more about waiting rooms.


Virtual backgrounds

Using Zoom with video can feel as though you’re inviting someone into your home. That might be fine if you have dedicated office space, but if you’re working in your bedroom, have your children playing in the same room, or you washing hanging up behind you, then you might want to think of ways to manage your privacy.

The Virtual Background feature allows you to display an image or video as your background during a Zoom Meeting. This feature works best with a green screen and uniform lighting, to allow Zoom to detect the difference between you and your background. You can also upload your own images or videos as a virtual background.

Make sure your computer meets the system requirements for Virtual Background. If your computer can’t use Virtual Backgrounds, you’ll need to find other ways to manage your background, such as investing in a background screen, changing your camera angle or moving personal items away from camera.

Keyboard shortcuts

Use these keyboard shortcuts to save time on common tasks in Zoom.

Video meeting etiquette

7 Tips to Ensure a Great Attendee Experience (Zoom Blog)

View our Online Meeting Etiquette Guide (.pdf)


Our duty of care to promote and safeguard the welfare of vulnerable groups also applies to online meetings.

Read the University's safeguarding guidance (.pdf) if you are planning to use Zoom to meet a child, for example a student or participant who is under 18 years old, or an adult at risk.



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