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 (zoombombing) to your events
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
Default features - Enabled / disabled
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 email@example.com, 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 20 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.
If you used your @ed.ac.uk email address to sign up for a Zoom account prior to the University's Zoom service being available, you can use the steps below to migrate it to the new service before accessing Zoom via the clients listed below.
If you have not used your University account for Zoom before, you should not follow these steps, as the steps will not be the same.
- If you used any other email address to sign up for Zoom (for example, @institution.ed.ac.uk or a personal email address) then you will have additional steps to complete when migrating your account. These steps are:
- Access your existing account first , before migrating, via https://www.zoom.us/signin, then, in your Profile, click edit beside your email address and change it to your @ed.ac.uk email address.
- If you do not complete this step, you will encounter issues when migrating.
- Navigate to https://ed-ac-uk.zoom.us/signin (don't substitute the dashes for dots)
- You will be redirected to the University login page. Enter your usual University username and password.
- Click the "Confirm your email address" box and an email will be sent to your University address.
- In the email, click the "Switch to the new account" box or paste the link in the email into a browser.
- A new browser window will ask you to acknowledge the account migration.
- Click the "I Acknowledge and Switch" box, and a confirmation should be displayed or emailed to you once complete.
- The confirmation email may mention the email address of the Uni's Zoom service owner. Please ignore this, as this is being addressed with Zoom.
- Your personal @ed.ac.uk Zoom account should now have been migrated over to the University's corporate account.
Webinar / Large Meeting / Room license holders: Please note, the University is currently (as of 22.06.20) working through the billing / admin issues for these licenses, and account holders will be updated in due course.
Known issues when migrating a Zoom account
There is a known issue that can occur with the message "Something went wrong when you tried signing in with SSO" and a code (WEB_aab29b8daa2cf20107f2d88893269f56) displayed.
Potential Solution 1:
- Access your existing account by signing in to https://www.zoom.us/signin, via your web browser
- Then, navigate to your profile page, click "edit" beside your email address and change your email address
- Next, activate your account using that email address and your University password on the University's SSO at: https://ed-ac-uk.zoom.us
Potential Solution 2:
This solution involves terminating your already existing Zoom account as a last resort solution. Do not attempt this solution if your account has access to webinars, large meetings or room licenses. This solution may not be possible if you are a licensed member of someone else's Zoom account. You may have to speak to the owner of the Zoom account first.
- Access your existing account by signing in to https://www.zoom.us/signin, via your web browser
- Then, download any recordings, meeting details or other data that you need
- Next, click "Account Management", then "Account Profile" and finally click "Terminate my account".
- Then, sign in at https://ed-ac-uk.zoom.us to activate your account
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 10,000 audience (town-hall style) events using Teams Live Events. It is 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.
- Skype For Business - for informal, 1-to-1 meetings, where external participants require its use.
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.
- 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.
If you're unclear about which platform to host your event on, help is available in our Online and Digital Events Service
Help and Support
Need any help?
Please initially see the Zoom Help and Support section. If you then still need assistance: