The University's Zoom video-conferencing service used for informal, non-confidential meetings, collaboration with external colleagues, and, where required, for facilitating University research.
With video-conferencing services coming under close scrutiny recently, Information Services has worked closely with Zoom to make available an enterprise version of their service that complies with strict University security and privacy policies. Meeting hosts must still, however, make sure participants adhere to the following guidelines:
Help avoid 'Zoom Bombing' of your meetings
The biggest cause of unwelcome disruption to an online meeting or event is because of sharing the link to join the meeting out on social media platforms. This isn't unique to just Zoom, it applies to any online meeting platform allowing anyone with the join link (an invitation) to access the meeting. You must follow these simple steps to avoid unwelcome disruptions (zoom bombing) to your events
Only allow authenticated users to join your Zoom meetings
You can now enable a feature which only allows authenticated users (users who are logged in to a Zoom account) to join your Zoom meetings.
This means that there will be no anonymous users in your Zoom meetings, and everyone will have to be signed in with an email address.
To find out more, see our "Authentication in Zoom meetings" page
Before joining a meeting
- To protect their personal IP address details, University members are recommended to connect to the Virtual Private Network (VPN) before using Zoom.
- Where possible, meetings should be instigated by a University member rather than an external participant.
- The meeting password MUST be sent separately from the meeting invitation.
- The meeting password MUST NEVER be shared via public social media.
- Set meeting appointments you create (e.g. in an Outlook calendar) to be private.
- Limit who you share the meeting link with.
- Where possible, ensure everyone is using the most up-to-date version of the Zoom desktop or mobile app.
During a meeting
- Use the Waiting Room feature and verify all attendees one-by-one before granting access.
- Recording of meetings to the cloud (the Uni Zoom service) is enabled, but to the local computer is disabled. Meeting hosts should refer to the guidelines about recording meetings
- Participants should not screen-capture during meetings.
- University staff or students should not use personal email addresses when registering for, or using, Zoom.
- No confidential, sensitive or personally-identifiable University information should be discussed or displayed.
Instructions on each of these steps can be found in the guides below.
A DPIA has been completed at the University of Edinburgh for each of the Online and Digital Events services:
University Data Protection policy
You can also review the Universities policy on Data protection:
Recording Online and Digital Events
Please read the following privacy notices on recording online and digital meetings and events:
Please also read through the information and guidelines we provide for recording Online and Digital Events:
Further Privacy Information
You can also review the University's privacy notices, which apply when using the Online and Digital Events services:
If you have concerns about security, data protection or privacy in Zoom, please contact IS Helpline
In 2021 we updated the University of Edinburgh's Zoom sign-in policy. The policy is required to support teaching activity through Learn and Zoom but and importantly to avoid University of Edinburgh email addresses from being used with personal Zoom accounts.
Do I need to take action?
You don't need to take any action if you're using the University's Zoom account.
To check if you're using the University of Edinburgh's Zoom account:
1. Open a web browser to https://ed-ac-uk.zoom.us
2. Choose the option to sign-in.
If you are not prompted by Zoom about using your organisations email address then you're University Zoom account is good to go and you don't need to take any action. If you're prompted by Zoom about using your organisations email address whenever you sign in to Zoom then refer to the information below and follow the steps to resolve this.
If you have a Zoom account through zoom.us that's using your ed.ac.uk sign-in email address:
If you have a Zoom account (free/basic/paid/other) that you access through zoon.us with your ed.ac.uk sign-in email address, then refer to the "Important - Update to Zoom Sign In" page. You might be prompted by Zoom to change the email address the next time you sign in to the other account.
Are you experiencing persistent errors when signing in to your University of Edinburgh Zoom account?
If you experience persistent sign-in errors attempting to sign-in to your University of Edinburgh Zoom account, refer to the "Important - Update to Zoom Sign In" page.
Where can I get help?
For further information, including steps and videos on changing your email address on your other Zoom account, is available on our:
Default features - Enabled / disabled
Our Zoom license allows meetings with up to 300 participants. To have a large audiance event like a webinar with up to 1000 audiance, a special license needs to be purchased. To help protect University data and privacy, features have been enabled or disabled by default in the University's current Zoom release.
Enabled / Disabled default features that cannot be changed:
- Join Before Host - Disabled to ensure the Host is the one to commence meetings and manage participants via the Waiting Room feature. A Co-host can be added to a meeting to allow someone else to let attendees in to the meeting.
- Meeting password required - Enabled to ensure participants are required to enter the meeting password that is generated when you schedule a meeting before joining the meeting.
Enabled / Disabled default features that can be changed:
- Waiting Room - Enabled to ensure Meeting Hosts have control of who is joining. However, this feature can be turned off. Access Zoom (https://ed-ac-uk.zoom.us/signin), then click "Settings", then click the button beside "Waiting Room"
You can view all currently enabled/disabled and locked features of Zoom by accessing Zoom (https://ed-ac-uk.zoom.us/signin) and clicking "Settings".
We now have a central billing procedure in place for purchasing webinar licenses for Zoom. If you wish to purchase a webinar license for Zoom meetings then please email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org, specifying if you want a 500 or 1000 webinar license.
If you need further information on webinar license types, please refer to this Zoom help. Please note that due to high volumes, Zoom have a turn around time for license purchasing of up-to 10 working days, so please purchase well in advance of your planned webinars.
Other add-on licenses
Some add-on services for Zoom are currently unavailable. These require review to establish requirements and plan an appropriate way forward:
- Virtual Room System
- Instant Messaging
- Outlook email integration
- Telephone integration
- Cloud apps integration
- Audio and video meetings for audience sizes larger than 300
The University is currently working on billing options to purchase these add-ons, however, if you require webinars and larger audience sizes now, Blackboard Collaborate is available and free to use, or alternatively our Online and Digital Events Service can help you choose the right tool for your type of event:
- A roadmap for Zoom is being developed as a continual service improvement plan.
- To consolidate existing University accounts with webinar / large meeting access, the University is also currently working on a central billing process.
University meetings and events platforms (in recommended order)
- Microsoft Teams - the University's preferred platform for formal 1-to-1's, group meetings up to 300 participants or 'town hall' events at 0 additional cost, 1000 interactive, with overflow live-streaming to 10,000 view-only attendees with Teams Webinars. Teams Webinars includes a configurable registration web page and do not require any additional licenses, they're ready to use now with your university account. Teams is secure, fully integrated with Office 365, supported on Windows, Mac, Linux, Web and Mobile and external attendees don't need a Microsoft account to attend.
- Blackboard Collaborate - for online teaching and larger group meetings, integrated with Learn.
When to use Zoom?
- Zoom should be used as a final alternative to one of the other preferred meeting platforms listed above.
- When it is the required platform for conducting, for example, University-related research and collaboration.
- When no sensitive, confidential or personally-identifiable University material is being discussed.
- For general, informal, non-teaching audio / video communication.
Why use the University's Zoom service?
- There is no 40-minute time limit on meetings.
- It will support up to 300 participants, with the ability to purchase add-on licenses for large meetings of 500 or 1000 participants
- The University applies extra security measures over and above a basic Zoom account.
- Single Sign-On (SSO) allows you to sign in with Your University Login.
- Allows Information Services to support your account
- Supports up to 100 breakout rooms
If you're unclear about which platform to host your event on, help is available in our Online and Digital Events Service
Important Info About Your Zoom Sign In
Help and Support
Need any help?
Please initially see the Zoom Help and Support section. If you then still need assistance: