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February 9, 2021

Dear members of the Tufts University community,

Last night, another Tufts meeting on Zoom was interrupted in the most despicable way. To protect the safety of those in the meeting—and to avoid giving the perpetrators the attention they crave—we are not going to share the details other than to say it was abhorrent and unacceptable. We will work with law enforcement to ensure the perpetrators are appropriately charged, and if they are members of our community, they will also be held to account through our disciplinary processes.

While this is never the fault of those who experience such attacks, we sadly live in a society where we must all take steps to fight back and prevent such incidents from happening. While Zoom has been a useful tool during the pandemic, its very nature of allowing open and free discourse regardless of where we may be on the planet has directly led to these horrible incidents. Therefore, we have no choice but to work together to further secure our Zoom meetings, check our settings to include passwords and waiting rooms, and be more circumspect in how we share meeting links, among other steps.

I urge you to follow the steps from TTS below to increase the security of your Zoom meetings.

Sincerely,

Tony Monaco

Steps for Securing Zoom Meetings

  • Be sure you are running the latest version of Zoom. Zoom is releasing new security features at a rapid pace.
  • Don’t use your personal room for meetings other than informal ones. Schedule most meetings through https://tufts.zoom.us. The default settings for personal rooms are less secure than other scheduled Zoom meetings.
  • Check your security settings by logging into https://tufts.zoom.us.
    • Enable the waiting room.
    • Make sure “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin” is disabled.
    • Only allow screen-sharing by the host.
    • Only allow annotation to be done by the person sharing.
    • Turn OFF file sharing via chat.
  • Be familiar with options under the Security button at the bottom of the Zoom window. These options are improving with new releases.
  • Know how to eject participants from meetings (open the “Participants” pane).
  • Be sure you designate a co-host to help monitor and react to behavior.
  • Email edtech@tufts.edu and request a Zoom security consult, particularly for meetings that are publicized beyond the Tufts community and/or that involve potentially sensitive subject matter.

TTS will be creating and posting video tutorials for how to implement the steps above. In the meantime, for more information and instructions on how to perform any of the above tasks, please refer to the online documentation Zoom FAQS.