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Protecting Anonymity, Confidentiality, and Keeping Zoom Meetings Secure

With the rush to shift to online meetings, many of us did not take time to investigate what this meant to the foundations of our recovery – namely, anonymity, confidentiality, and safety. Now that online meetings are accessible, we want to pass on best practices for protecting anonymity.

As we have always stated, online groups are not safe. Our stance on this has not changed, but we are doing what we can to give participants options for connecting at this time, and are offering best practices to help keep these groups as safe as is possible if you decide to have CRCR Open Share Groups.

It is always a risk when doing anything online. We can take extra precautions with the settings we enable or disable in zoom and as the host of a meeting. Along with this document, there is also a video found on the CRCR webpage that covers the settings.

However, there can never be a guarantee of complete security. This is why our stance has not changed that online groups are not safe and why these Crisis Response groups will end once restrictions are lifted, and why we are not allowing Crisis Response Step Study groups at this time.

The meetings are publicly accessible if you share zoom invites on public platforms. For this reason, the best practice for MLs as you are scheduling CRCR Open Share Groups is that invites are sent either by the Ministry Leader or Group Leaders directly to participants, and not shared through your local CR social media pages or your CR newsletter. You can increase safety even more by sending the invite and a required password in separate communications, for example email and text.

The default Zoom settings run counter to anonymity, confidentiality, and safety, so check the settings keeping this in mind. Below are some suggested settings for your meeting to use. Please note that most, if not all, of the settings below are not the Zoom default.

In the Zoom Settings section:

Meetings settings:

  • Host video - on
  • Participant video - on
  • Join before host - off
  • Require password when scheduling new meetings - on
  • Embed password in meeting link for one-click join - off
  • Mute participants upon entry - optional
  • Require Encryption for Third Party Endpoints - on
  • Chat - off
  • Private chat - off
  • Auto saving chats - off
  • Allow removed participants to rejoin - off
  • Waiting room - on
  • File Transfer - off
  • Feedback to Zoom -off
  • Display end-of-meeting experience feedback survey -off
  • Co-host - on
  • Allow host to put attendee hold - on
  • Screen Sharing - off
  • Disable desktop/screen share for users - on
  • Remote control - off
  • Breakout room - optional (separate video)
  • Virtual background - off
  • Schedule Privilege -off

Recordings settings:

  • Local recording - off
  • Cloud recording - off
  • Automatic recording - off
  • IP Address Access Control - off
  • Only authenticated users can view cloud recordings - on
  • Require password to access shared cloud recordings - on
  • Recording disclaimer - on
  • Multiple audio notifications of recorded meeting - on

Once in the Zoom Meeting under Manage Participants>More; Lock the meeting after a specified time before sharing begins.