May 2020: Passcode and security settings in Zoom App

We are updating the default passcode settings for all types of Zoom accounts in order to provide additional security and privacy in Zoom meetings and webinars. Those attending meetings and webinars with Zoom require passcodes, including those attending previously scheduled events. The following changes will also be made along with the change in passcodes:

  • In all types of accounts, the Personal Meeting ID will have the Waiting Room feature enabled by default.
  • By default, the default setting for Basic accounts for screen sharing is ‘Host Only’.

All free and basic accounts will be affected by these changes on the 9th of May 2020. There is a strategy being evaluated for Pro accounts, API accounts, Business accounts, Education accounts, and Enterprise accounts. Based on customer feedback, we have decided to delay the take-over until the end of May 2020 and reevaluate this. (It was previously stated that the take-over would take place on May 30th, 2020.) 

Changes to the settings

The passwords for Webinars and Meetings

All meetings will be required to adhere to the following settings as part of the passcode changes. Since this new setting is no longer accessible through the web portal, and will be an ongoing requirement when scheduling, the following settings will be removed.

  • Require a passcode for Personal Meeting ID (PMI)
  • Require a passcode when scheduling new meetings
  • Require a passcode for instant meetings
  • Require passcode for participants joining by phone
  • Require passcodes for Zoom Room meetings

The host can chose to set the passcode or it can be automatically generated by a random number generator. The host can still set the passcode or it can be automatically generated. As a result of these changes, your meeting or webinar will no longer be able to be joined by unwanted participants.

The first thing we recommend is that if your meeting or webinar participants do not have a passcode for the meeting or webinar that you currently have scheduled before this change takes effect, you should delete the existing meeting and schedule a new one and ask them to accept the invitation again.

The user will be prompted to enter the passcode when they manually enter a meeting/webinar ID. Zoom embeds with default the password into links for meetings and webinars, so participants that click on the link when joining will not be prompted with an additional passcode. By turning off the option Embed passcode in-meeting link for one-click join, you have the ability to disable this setting at the group, account, or user level.

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Sharing of screens

Free accounts will have screen sharing set to host only by default, and this will be the case in the future as well. By doing this, we hope to ensure the security and minimize disruption during meetings. The host, however, will be able to change the default behavior from the web portal or will be able to allow participants to screen share from the meeting controls. It is strongly recommended that screen sharing remains to the host only.

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Rooms in the waiting area

Additionally, Zoom has enabled the Waiting Room feature by default for the Personal Meeting Room (PMI). When a participant enters a waiting room, the host can control when they enter the meeting. There are a number of ways you can control who enters your Zoom meeting, and one of the best ways is to use the Waiting Room. It gives you the option to allow individuals to enter or to let everyone enter simultaneously. In order to secure your meetings and prevent unauthorized attendees, one of the main advantages of using this feature is that it prevents links from being shared outside the intended list of participants. Click here to learn more about Waiting Room.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are there any implications for attendees joining my meetings as a result of this?

As a result of this change, participants who join by following a link to a meeting or webinar with a passcode embedded, or if you send a new invitation with the meeting passcode, or the desktop calendar integration, will not be affected by the changes. If the user enters the meeting ID manually, the passcode will also have to be entered manually, as this method does not work for automatic sign-ins.

In my role as the host or alternative host, how can I locate the meeting passcode?

You will find the meeting passcode on your invitation for scheduled meetings. Moreover, the passcode will also be displayed on the event details page itself (at the time of the meeting only the host will be able to see it). When the alternative host is assigned to the meeting, the URL and the invite that are sent to them as part of the meeting join process include the passcode.

As a result, the Zoom Client will display the passcode in the invitation section of participants’ controls when a meeting is being held in an instant.

What is the passcode for the meeting that I was invited to?

It will be in the invitation you will receive from the host when you are invited, and you will find the passcode there. If the host selects to embed the passcode into the join link, the passcode will be embedded in the link as well.

Please contact the host if you are unable to find a passcode in the invite; otherwise, please contact us and we can provide you with an updated invitation with a passcode.

Do I have the option of applying passcodes ahead of time for my existing meetings, before the change occurs?
As a matter of fact, you are able to edit the current schedule for your meetings, and you are able to add passcodes before the change is implemented for existing meetings. In the same way, if you do not have a passcode required, you will also need to do this with your Personal Meeting Room. This will simplify the process of changing your meeting settings for you after you make the change. Please click here to gain more information on how to add a password to meetings and webinars.

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Additionally, you will need to carry out this task for personal audio conferences (PAC) as well, if you are using them. For more information, see how you can add passwords to PAC meetings.

Is it possible for me to apply for passcodes ahead of time for my new meetings before the change takes effect?
You can add a passcode to a meeting or webinar when scheduling a new meeting or webinar. In the event that the meeting is scheduled after the change was made, the passcode set during the scheduling process will still be used. You can find out more information about scheduling meetings here.

What will this mean for my Zoom Rooms?

Zoom rooms (software-based conference room systems) are used by paid accounts with Zoom access. Upon joining the Zoom Room, the Zoom Room will automatically detect the meeting passcode sent with the calendar invite and enter it for you. The passcode will have to be entered manually for participants who join the meeting from rooms with older versions of Zoom Rooms, or who enter their meeting ID manually. When participants enter the meeting ID manually, as well as when they start an instant meeting from the Zoom Room, they will also have to enter a passcode.

Can you tell me how this will affect those who are participating by phone?

With this change, participants that join the meeting via a telephone number will need to enter a numerical passcode before entering the meeting.

The meeting invitation will also include a numeric passcode for those joining a meeting via phone. This passcode will be provided within the dial in information for those joining the meeting using a Personal Meeting ID (PMI) or a Personal Audio Conference (PAC).

The phone passcode is in the dial-in information under the Phone Call tab of the Join Audio option in the meeting controls for users who wish to join scheduled meetings from Zoom software by clicking the join link and choosing to dial in for audio via a phone call. It is a good idea to enter the passcode when asked by the audio prompts, followed by “#”, as soon as they appear on the screen.

The host will need to send the participants the phone passcode if the instant meeting is using your PAC account or PMI. Whether you wish to retrieve the passcode from the “Copy invitation for participants” link in the Personal Audio Conferencing section of your account, or from within the Meetings section of the Personal Meeting Rooms section, we recommend that you click the “Copy invitation for participants” link.

Will the conference room connectors that Cisco and Polycom use for Conference Room Connectors or Zoom

Connectors be affected by this change?

Configuring Zoom Connector for Cisco and Polycom will enable Zoom devices to automatically recognize and enter the meeting passcode that appears in a calendar invite. It should be noted that when participants dial in manually from a H.323 or SIP device, they will need to enter the Zoom meeting passcode into the dial string or enter it manually as soon as they dial in. Passcodes will also be assigned for instant meetings initiated by a Polycom/Cisco room connector using the Polycom/SIP endpoint and using the Polycom/SIP room connection.

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What is the effect of this on my participants when they are screen sharing with me?

If you have a free account, screen sharing is by default setup to only share screen with the host. But you can adjust this setting to share screen with participants or disable it completely. With paid accounts, you will not be able to change the current settings for screen sharing.

Are there any implications to current integrations as a result of this?

Meetings that have been previously scheduled will require a passcode in order for them to be attended, since passcode settings can no longer be disabled within account settings. As long as the host is using the start_url to start the meeting, the attendees will not be able to join using the join_url, without having a passcode. In the following developer blog post, we discuss how this change will affect API, Web SDK, and Chatbot/Marketplace apps and the steps that we recommend you take to ensure that API, Web SDK, and Chatbot/Marketplace apps will function as expected after this change.

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