Disclaimer: This news item was originally posted on Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020. Its content may no longer be timely or accurate.

ITS Update: Passwords required for all newly-scheduled Zoom meetings effective May 1

Posted: 16:29:48, Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020   Expiration: 16:29:48, Friday, May 8, 2020  

In light of security concerns related to Zoom meeting crashers (a.k.a. Zoom-bombers), UW-Platteville will require passwords for all newly-scheduled meetings effective after Friday night’s maintenance outage on May 1, 2020. This requirement, which was reviewed by AITC, adds the highest level of security with minimal participant impact. Meeting passwords make it more difficult for cybercriminals and pranksters to discover and disrupt your campus meetings.

By default, a 6-digit numeric password will be generated for you automatically.  ITS recommends using this automatically generated password.  If you do decide to change the password, ITS strongly recommends choosing a password that is not easily guessed, e.g. 123456.

What are the impacts of this change?
Scheduling and joining meetings will remain the same as it is now for the vast majority of participants.
  • The password is automatically embedded within the link you provide.
  • Participants who call in or who enter using the Meeting ID will have to enter the password manually.

The password requirement only applies to meetings created after the change is implemented.  It will not be applied retroactively to already-scheduled meetings.
  • If you would like to secure already-scheduled meetings, you will need to cancel them and reschedule.

This password requirement does not affect video recordings. Passwords on video recordings are optional and may be turned on in your meeting settings.

Is there anything else I can do to secure my Zoom meetings?
Make sure that your Zoom client is the most up to date version.

If you are on a University-issued Windows device, this can be done through Software Center. You will find detailed instructions with screenshots are published in the ITS Knowledge Base at https://kb.uwplatt.edu/46508. Mac users should go through Self Service.

If you are using a personal device, auto-updates may be enabled by default. iOS and Android apps will automatically update unless settings have been modified to prevent it. To check for updates to the desktop* client, you can refer to Zoom resource, Where do I download the latest version?

*NOTE: the original message said "Windows client".  The instructions do, in fact, cover Macs and Linux as well.

Other Resources 

If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 608.342.1400 or helpdesk@uwplatt.edu.

For information regarding what Zoom has done and is doing in response to their security flaws please see the following email from their CEO: https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/04/01/a-message-to-our-users/

-- UW Platteville: Deb Meyer

Created: 11:31:45, Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 (by Deb M.)
Updated: 09:40:26, Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 (by Deb M.)