Securing RingCentral Meetings and Zoom

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, institutions have been increasingly turning to online meetings hosted on platforms like RingCentral Meetings and Zoom.  Unfortunately, people with malicious intent have been targeting these platforms with disruptions including hate speech and disturbing images.  USAHS IT has implemented best practices in the configuration of these systems, but we also want to provide you with basic guidelines and strategies to minimize the threat of these disruptions.


General Guidelines

  • Use a unique RingCentral Meetings or Zoom ID for each meeting. Avoid using your Personal Meeting ID.
  • Do not post meeting links on social media.
  • Do not share links to meetings you are invited to join without the host’s approval. The host can send more invites to the relevant individuals or parties.
  • Make the recommended configuration changes listed below.
  • Assign a password when scheduling a meeting, as per instructions below.
  • Utilize waiting rooms to let participants in as you are ready to receive them


Configuration Changes

These changes to the default settings are recommended for anyone who is hosting RingCentral Meetings and/or Zoom conferences open to the public. Changing these settings will help you keep control of your meeting and focus on your content.

Open your RingCentral Meetings or Zoom account settings page and change the following:

  • Join before host – OFF
  • Mute participants upon entry – ON
  • Private chat – OFF
  • File transfer – OFF
  • Allow host to put attendee on hold – ON
  • Screen sharing – ON with “Host Only”
  • Disable desktop/screen share for users – ON
  • Annotation – OFF
  • Remote control – OFF
  • Allow removed participants to rejoin – OFF
  • Waiting room – ON
  • Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI) when scheduling a meeting - OFF
  • Require a password when scheduling new meetings - ON

Join before host

In order to monitor meeting activity, the meeting host should be present for the entire meeting.  Please leave Allow Join before Host OFF

Recommendation: Turn it off



Mute participants upon entry

Background noise can be disruptive to meeting attendees. Please consider disallowing participants to unmute themselves. In that case participants can use the “Raise hand” feature or the chat room to indicate when they want to speak. You can manually unmute them.

Recommendation: Turn on

Private chat

The chatroom is one of the key ways to get live feedback and participation with your participants. We want to see all the communication that is happening. Disabling private chat will help deter any possible bullying or harassment from occurring during a meeting.

Recommendation: Turn off


File transfer (Zoom only)

The ability to send files to your participants is very handy for you. Not so helpful if the participants are sending inappropriate (even unintentionally) files or images to the group. Put your files on OneDrive and give them download links.

Recommendation: Turn off


Allow host to put attendee on hold

Sometimes a meeting host will need to step in on behalf of a participant to mitigate a disruption. 

Recommendation: Turn on


Screen sharing

Participants can take over the session share and put anything they choose on screen for all in attendance by default.  Lock this down by changing the setting to allow only Hosts the sharing permission. You can always make a participant a co-host if you would like someone else to share their screen.

Recommendation: Turn on “Host Only”


Disable desktop/screen share for users (Zoom Only)

Participants don’t need to see alerts or personal files from you or your co-hosts when you share. This setting will enable them to share an Application (Powerpoint, Browser, Jenzabar, Blackboard, etc.) only. You should consider only sharing applications yourself.

Recommendation: Turn on



Annotation gives you the ability to “draw” over the screen. It also gives that to your participants. This might be helpful in a tutor session or other learning environment, but double check if you need in every meeting. 

Recommendation: Turn off


Remote control

This is a handy support feature used by IT in our Virtual Kiosk. However, most hosts don’t want participants constantly requesting remote control of their desktop during meetings.

Recommendation: Turn off


Waiting room

This is perhaps the most useful feature to help control your meeting or classroom. All participants will enter the waiting room before joining the main session. This allows you to let participants in as you are ready to receive them.

Recommendation: Turn on and customize

Optional – Consider locking your meeting once everyone is in attendance.


Personal meeting ID when scheduling sessions

Your personal meeting ID stays the same, so if you use this for class sessions, anyone with your Personal meeting ID can join you in any of your sessions. Ensure this is toggled OFF in your account settings.

Recommendation: Turn OFF


Require a password when scheduling new meetings

Recommendation: Turn ON

A password will be generated when scheduling a meeting and participants require the password to join the meeting.

The meeting password will be encrypted and included in the join meeting link to allow participants to join with just one click without having to enter the password.

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