Western's Bias Response Team offers tips on how to host secure Zoom events

Dear Colleagues, 

We are writing to share important information about how to host secure Zoom meetings, including a new feature implemented by Zoom last week.  

Why:  Over the course of this quarter, the Bias Response Team has been notified of three Zoom meetings that were disrupted by people using hateful language, including anti-Black and anti-gay slurs. We of course deplore this behavior, and are working with our colleagues in Academic Technology and User Services (ATUS) in an effort to preclude further Zoom bombings in our Western community. 

Setting up secure meetings:  When you set up Zoom meetings, you can use the “Only authenticated users can join” setting to prevent people without Western accounts from accessing the meeting. With this setting, it is essential for participants to have already activated their WWU Zoom accounts and to log in via WWU (see: Sign in to Your Zoom Account). Learn more about this and other actions to secure your meetings in Settings to Keep Your Zoom Session Secure, which was updated today and is provided by ATUS and the Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment (CIIA).  

If a Zoom bombing happens:  Under the Zoom security icon, there is now an option to Suspend Participant ActivitiesMeeting hosts and co-hosts can select this option to immediately suspend all participant activities, including audio and video, chat, screen sharing, and breakout rooms, and can then remove the Zoom bomber(s) from the meeting. Any Zoom bombing should be reported to ATUS using this Zoom Support Form or by calling 360-650-3333.  If you encounter a Zoom bombing that involves biased language or actions, please also notify the Bias Response Team (https://www.wwu.edu/sebrt/report-bias-incident). 

More info:  If you have questions about Zoom security, we encourage you to contact our ATUS colleagues Justina Brown (jbrown@wwu.edu), Robert Clark (clarkr21@wwu.edu), or Kevin Dixey (dixeyk@wwu.edu). They are here to be of assistance. 

Thank you:  We are grateful to the faculty, staff, and students who have notified us of Zoom bombings, and to our colleagues in ATUS and CIIA.  

Our best, 

L.K. Langley and the Bias Response Team