Online collaboration tools are seeing a global surge in popularity. Ensuring security settings are up to date remains an essential consideration.

Considerations when using Microsoft Teams or Zoom                  

Microsoft Teams and Zoom are great communication tools that allow us to all stay connected from home. As these tools have the functionality to collect personal information via recordings, accounts used to set them up, chats and sharing of documents, it is important to highlight a few key considerations.

Setting up meetings

Any meetings that are intended for the purpose of discussing personal information e.g. HR issues should only be carried out via Teams and not in Zoom.

When hosting a Zoom meeting the host should advise participants not to share the link publicly or any passwords to reduce the risk of someone joining the call to cause interruption. Try Googling ZoomBombing to see why!

Joining Meetings

If using your web camera check your surroundings, do you have photos of family in the background you would prefer were not shared with others in your call? Consider blurring your background

Recording Meetings

If you would not normally record meetings or calls then there should be no reason to record one via Zoom or Teams. As soon as the Conservatoire makes a recording of a meeting or call then it must have a lawful basis for doing this and ensure appropriate retention in line with data protection legislation.

Do not use your mobile phone to record meetings or calls.

Teams Chats/Posts

This is a great instant way to have a conversation with one colleague or your whole team.

At all times you should remember that anything you post in Teams could potentially be requested under a Freedom of Information request or data subject access request.

When discussing other individuals via Teams posts this should only be when necessary and should be factual and professional. Consider – if the individual requested a copy, would you be happy with them reading what you have posted in relation to them?

Check where you are posting

Would your question/comment be more appropriate in a private chat or smaller group or directly via e-mail?

Sharing Screens and Documents

The host of a meeting has the option to prevent participants from screen sharing. This should be set as default and only enabled when necessary to share information on screen.

When sharing your desktop, close any documents or emails you do not intend to share before the meeting, this stops you accidently sharing anything by mistake.

Check that any attachments are correct. It is very easy to accidentally upload the wrong file to a conversation.

Keeping Zoom meetings as secure as possible:

Here are a few useful links:

Before you start…


  • auto-saving chats
  • file transfer
  • screen sharing for non-hosts
  • remote control
  • annotations

Click on the Settings link on the upper right (it looks like a gear).
On the right side of the page, turn off: Auto-saving chats, file transfer, screen sharing, and remote control.

 Use per-meeting ID (not your personal ID) Do not use your Personal meeting ID to host public meetings.Generate a new random meeting ID for each meeting

Remind invited attendees not to share the link or call details

 Disable Join Before Host Before starting a meeting, disable Join before host, this keeps users out before the host joins.
 Enable Waiting Room  Before you start your meeting, enable the waiting room for your meeting. You and any co-host will then be able to choose who to allow into the room via the participation list.

During Meetings

Assign another co-host or more to help co-ordinate attendees if it is a large meeting Co-hosts are assigned during a meeting and cannot start a meeting.
Mute all participants Host or co-host can click on the More and Mute All Controls at the bottom of the Participants list to mute all meeting attendees.
Prevent Screen Sharing by non-hosts Click the arrow next to Share Screen and then choose Advanced Sharing Options.
Lock the meeting, once all expected attendees have joined During the meeting, a host or co-host can click on the More and Mute All Controls at the bottom of the Participants List.

When viewing the Participants List, click Lock Meeting (under More) to prevent other participants from joining the meeting in progress.