FAQs about Zoom security concerns

Is Zoombombing something that could happen to me in a UA Zoom meeting? 

Zoombombing will not happen in a private and properly shared UA Zoom meeting. Interruptions can happen in a video meeting if the meeting link and information is published in a public forum such as Facebook or other media platforms. Posting a Zoom link publicly is analogous to putting a bowl of one’s house keys in a public place, with directions to the house. The easiest method to avoid Zoombombing or having any outside person enter your meeting is to follow these simple security steps.

How can I prevent a Zoombomb from taking place during my class meeting? 
Please read Zoom’s How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event article.

What’s the recommended method for sharing a Zoom meeting link with attendees who are not UA users? For example, a meeting event link to prospective UA students. 
Invite non-UA attendees by using a Google calendar invite with the Zoom link shared through Google Calendar integration. This method will email the participants all the necessary connection information while avoiding public display of the Zoom meeting link.

Is UA Zoom sending my data via Facebook?
UA Zoom is accessed using the standard UA authentication protocol. Zoom did contact the University of Alaska about a potential issue with Zoom’s login via Facebook on iOS devices. The personal information (name, address, email etc.) of UA Zoom users was never sent to Facebook, and the issue within Zoom has since been addressed with a software update. For a full explanation please read Zoom’s Use of Facebook’s SDK in iOS Client.

Are UA users at risk of having their information compromised during Zoom meetings? 
UA IT organizations and Zoom have taken all precautions to protect your personal information. Users should regularly update their Zoom client and watch UA publications for announcements regarding steps they can take to improve their online security. You can also visit our website our Zoom pages for more information and the most up to date status. It’s important to note that we all can take steps to secure information. Make sure you know who you are sharing information with over chat, email, and other digital formats.

Are UA Zoom calls encrypted? 
All calls using the Zoom client on their PC/Mac/mobile device are transport level encrypted.   For a straightforward explanation of encryption within Zoom please read: The Facts Around Zoom and Encryption for Meetings/Webinars.

What information does UA Zoom give to my boss or co-workers?

All information shared from Zoom is controlled by the host of the meeting. Zoom meetings are recorded at the host’s discretion and are stored on the cloud under the host’s recordings. Only the host and admin staff (IT admins) can access the recordings. The UA instance of Zoom notifies every meeting participant via an audio notification when a recording has started, that a meeting is being recorded and will notify anyone joining a Zoom meeting that an ongoing meeting is being recorded. This feature is account-wide and cannot be turned off.

 Note that in addition to recording the meeting, a host has the option to save all chat messages, even private ones, during the meeting. This feature is often used during brainstorming sessions and for minute taking during meetings so that participants can view chats later.

Is Zoom safe for me to use? 
Yes, Zoom is safe for you to use. As with any online platform, there are steps you can take to have a safe and secure meeting. The online environment is always changing and UA IT at all campus sites is in constant communication with our peers, vendors, and other agencies to keep abreast of any new developments that may occur. Your security is very important to us and we take this very seriously. Please read other UA related news sources—Cornerstone, Green & Gold and email lists—for important updates, tips, and suggestions.

As a UA user what alternative platforms are available to me and do I need to use them? Why would I use Google Hangouts Meet instead of Zoom?

UA video conference users have multiple platforms to choose from, depending on the size and scope of their meetings.

Zoom is UA’s most robust video conferencing platform. Zoom is excellent for larger and smaller meetings, live streaming, annotation, and meetings that may need to be recorded. Up to 300 may attend a UA Zoom meeting. Zoom information 

 Google Meet is a convenient option, accessible through Google Apps @ UA Gmail and meet.google.com. This is an excellent platform for smaller, informal meetings. Multiple people can screen share at a time. Meetings can be scheduled through Google Calendar to include a Google Meet. During COVID-19 Google has provided UA with Enterprise Features that include extending participants from 100 to 250, adding live streaming up to 100,000 participants in the domain, and the ability to record meetings directly to Google Drive. Google Meet information

 Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a convenient conferencing solution accessible from within Blackboard that can be used to deliver one-time or ongoing video conferencing sessions and recordings to attendees, be they students, faculty or staff. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra information

Microsoft Teams is a robust collaboration platform, accessible through Office 365 @ UA. It supports audio and video conferencing, text chatting, file storage, and more. Teams can be used for one-to-one, and group chats, large and small meetings, live streaming, annotation, and meetings that may need to be recorded. Meetings can be scheduled with calendar invitations sent out to participants. Up to 250 may attend a Team conference meeting, 10,000 attendees can participate in a Live event/Webinar; additionally, up to 10,000 people can be a member of a Team.  Microsoft Teams information

 Other options check with your local IT service desks to explore options they may offer.

Questions about Zoom? As always, your local service desk is here to help! 

University of Alaska Anchorage
Technical Support Center: (907)786-4646
Toll-Free: (877) 633-3888

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Phone: (907) 450-8300
Toll-free: (800) 478-8226

University of Alaska Southeast
907-796-6400 (Helpdesk)
877-465-6400 (Toll-Free)