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Zoom Enforces Passcodes and Waiting Rooms in Meetings

Article by Simon Heath on Sep 25, 2020

Unwanted intrusion


On 27th September 2020 Zoom will require all meetings to have either a passcode or a waiting room. The reason for this is to increase security and stop uninvited people crashing or “Zoombombing” meetings. Zoom delayed implementing this to consider client feedback and balance security against ease of attending meetings.

What is happening

  • To join a meeting, attendees will have to use a passcode or be admitted from a waiting room. The meeting organiser controls both of these.
  • This change has already been made for free and basic accounts back in May this year.
  • The change will take place on 27th September 2020 for these types of account:
    • Single licenced users
    • Pro accounts with two or more licences
    • Business Accounts with 10-100 licences.
  • Zoom is now calling the string of numbers and characters required to enter a meeting “passcodes”. They are different from your account password, which should never be shared. “Passcodes” need to be communicated to allow entry to meetings.


What might you need to do?

  • If you already use passcodes and waiting rooms, there is nothing to change.
  • If you have organised meetings but not set a requirement for a passcode or a waiting room Zoom will create a waiting room by default. Watch out for the notification the host gets and admit people you recognise. There are options to admit individually or collectively, as they turn up.
  • You can be proactive and check what meetings you have scheduled without a passcode by logging in to your Zoom web portal and go to the Meetings tab. A red warning will appear next to those without a passcode.
  • If you add a passcode to a scheduled meeting without one, you need to resend the invite, so attendees have it.
  • To adjust default settings for passcodes the waiting room log in to your Zoom account via the web portal. From the main menu on the left select “Settings”, select “Meeting” in the right window and the top option will be “Security” with multiple options as you scroll down.

Zoom has multiple layers of users and security. Some of your options may be unavailable if they are set and locked by your Zoom administrator.

Zoom have a Frequently Asked Questions webpage about this change. It links to multiple pages offering advice and instruction on how to best manage the settings for your circumstances.

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