Zoom Updates

Sunday, September 27, 2020: Automatic waiting rooms for meetings without passcodes

Zoom will be automatically assigning waiting rooms to any meeting that is created without a passcode. Passcodes are on for all meetings by default, but if you have opted out of this in your settings, your attendees will need to be admitted into meetings by a host or co-host beginning on Sunday, September 27, 2020. Attendees will not hear or see anything in the meeting until they are admitted.

Zoom has improved the Waiting Room notifications so the meeting host will now receive a visual and auditory notification that an attendee has entered the Waiting Room. Additional details on this change are available on Zoom's FAQ Meetings Waiting Room and Passcode Requirements page. 

To admit attendees, the host or co-host should click Manage Participants, then click Admit for an individual user or select Admit All at the top of the list. 

Account Types

Basic Account
  • Limited to 40 minute meeting length.
  • Create a free Basic account by signing in to columbiauniversity.zoom.us.
  • Note: You must create a Basic account before requesting an upgraded account or event license.
Pro Account
  • Unlimited meeting length for up to 300 participants.
Purchase with chartstring:

Please submit a ticket to request an upgrade to a Pro account for May 1, 2020–April 30, 2021 license period:

  • Columbia faculty, staff, and researchers with UNIs can upgrade to a Pro account after receiving permission from their department head or manager; CUIT will bill Zoom's $15/year fee to your school or department.
  • Faculty and staff may sponsor a student for a Pro account for $15/year.
Purchase with credit card:

To purchase a Pro account on your own, you can upgrade your account with a credit card ($15 charge). Please ensure you have created a Basic account at http://columbiauniversity.zoom.us/ first.

Shared Account
  • Unlimited meeting length for up to 300 participants.
  • Available for $15/year (May 1, 2020–April 30, 2021 license period).
  • Must be linked to a Columbia-owned group email address. Request a group email address ("mailing list").
  • Once you have a group email address, submit a ticket to request a shared account.

HIPAA-compliant Zoom for non-CUIMC Affiliates

Columbia University has a BAA with Zoom and can provision a HIPAA-compliant Zoom account for you if you are working with sensitive data. These accounts are HIPAA-, PIPEDA-, and PHIPA-compliant.

  • If you do not have a Columbia Zoom account yet, you can create your HIPAA-compliant Zoom account at http://columbiasecure.zoom.us/ 
  • If you already have a Columbia Zoom account, log into http://columbiasecure.zoom.us/ and click Switch to the New Account and follow the steps to confirm the switch via email.
  • IMPORTANT: Once your account is converted to the HIPAA-compliant account, you will lose your previous Zoom cloud recordings and you will NOT be able to go back to the standard account. Download these recordings if you wish to save them.
  • The HIPAA-compliance can apply to Pro, Shared, or Event Licenses.
  • There is no additional cost to the HIPAA-compliant accounts. Standard rates will apply.
  1. The  Require Encryption for 3rd Party Endpoints (H323/SIP) setting will be enabled for all members of your account.
  2. Cloud Recording will be disabled.
  3. Device/user information in logging and reporting will be removed.
  4. Encrypted Chat will be enabled. Please note if chat has been disabled, please submit a request to have it enabled.
  1. Text messages will be encrypted.
  2. Offline messages will only be available after all parties initiate a key exchange.
  3. Screen capture will be disabled.
  4. Sending images will be disabled.

Event Licenses

If you have a one-off event that needs a large room or webinar, CUIT may be able to temporarily provide one on a reservation basis (based on availability).

If you need a license on a permanent basis, please see the webinar pricing details at right. *NOTE* it may take several business days to procure a permanent license from Zoom.

Webinar Pricing

Large Room Pricing

Zoom Training

Live Training

CUIT's Zoom Team leads live trainings and Q&A office hours on a weekly basis. No registration is required, however you must sign in to your Columbia Zoom account with your UNI and password prior to joining.

Click to join weekly Zoom training: Wednesdays at 1pm ET
Click below to join weekly Zoom office hours:

Recorded Training

Train for Zoom on your own time by watching our 52-minute recorded session.

A PDF copy of the Zoom training slides is also available, as well as a list of FAQ.

How do I...

Security and Privacy

Worried about unruly participants intentionally (or unintentionally) disrupting your session, or the privacy of your Zoom meeting? You can protect your virtual space by using some of the Zoom controls at right.

Recommended best practices

  • Generate Meeting ID Automatically – Unique meeting IDs expire 30 days after the meeting has occurred and provides protection if a meeting ID was shared accidentally to a public audience. (Don’t use your Personal Meeting ID)
  • Require Meeting Password – Passwords should not be shared outside of intended participants. This is on by default at Columbia as of April 3, 2020.
  • Enable Waiting Room – Review attendees before admitting them to the meeting. For large classes or conferences, consider assigning this job to a co-host.
  • Mute all – As the host, you can mute all in the participant pane. You can also stop participants from unmuting themselves, and instead ask them to use chat for questions. For large classes or conferences, consider assigning this job to a co-host.
  • Lock Meeting – This will stop all new participants from joining a meeting.
  • Set screen sharing to host only – Under advanced sharing, stop others from sharing in the meeting. As a host, you can still grant individuals the ability to share in the participant pane.
  • Allow participants to chat with host only – Available from the chat pane, you can lock chat to host or public and host.
  • Disable annotation - If you are sharing content, through the More option, disable attendee annotation.
  • Disable whiteboard for participants other than the host
  • How to record and store a meeting in the cloud.
  • Sensitive information should not be recorded, typed into a meeting description, or any other text field that may be stored within Zoom.
  • Always advise attendees that they are being recorded.
  • Record active speaker with shared screen, not Gallery view that displays all part 
  • Spotlight video to lock the active speaker to the presenter and uncheck ‘Display participants’ names in the recording.
  • Note that all cloud recordings are subject to a 30-day retention policy. Please review alternatives for permanent storage.
  • When scheduling your webinar, protect your session from uninvited viewers by requiring registration or a password
    • Registration without automatic acceptance could create backlog for large groups
  • When scheduling your webinar, enable the Q&A module if you want to answer live questions from the attendees
    • Remember to designate co-hosts to monitor the Q&A and approve/dismiss questions
    • Be sure to determine how approved questions will be fed to presenters: either the presenters can monitor the Q&A themselves, or they can designate a co-host to read the questions out loud during the meeting.
    • Once you have started the webinar, consider turning off the option for anonymous questions if you want to know the name of the person asking.
  • Designate speakers as “Panelists” (you can have up to 100)
    • Only panelists will be able to share their screens
    • Send Panelists a direct email invitation via the webinar scheduling settings. This will allow them to join the meeting as a full participant without having to be promoted to a panelist manually. It will also allow them to join a Practice Session, if you enabled this when scheduling your webinar.
  • Once you have started the webinar, set chat to Panelist only
    • This is helpful for large groups as the chat can distract attendees from watching the webinar.
    • Panelists can chat to eachother privately or as a group, allowing them to discuss any issues that may arise.
    • If you will not be taking questions, be sure you do not have Q&A enabled in the webinar scheduling settings. After you open the meeting, you should also set the chat so the attendees cannot use it, and turn off the option that allows attendees to raise their hands.
    • Remember that Hosts and Co-hosts can also unmute one or more attendees at their discretion, but the attendees will not be able to share their video or their screen at any time. To do this at any time, click on their name and select Promote to Panelist
    • Designate a Co-host to be in charge of muting or turning off the video of panelists that forget to do so.
    • Consider doing a webinar practice session before your big event!

    Virtual Backgrounds

    The Office of Communications & Public Affairs have compiled 40+ images from around Columbia to use as your virtual meeting background.

    1. Navigate to the Columbia Photo Library.
    2. Select View Photos and log in with your UNI.
    3. Type Zoom in the search bar.
    4. Download your favorite image.
    5. Open the Zoom app and click your image in the upper-right corner. Select Settings.
    6. Select Virtual Background.
    7. Click the + to select Add Image.
    8. Upload and select your new Columbia virtual background!
    Some great options from the Columbia Photo Library

    Zoom Technical Requirements

    System Requirements

    • An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
    • Speakers and a microphone – built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
    • A webcam or HD webcam - built-in or USB plug-in
    • Or, a HD cam or HD camcorder with video capture card

    Supported Operating Systems

    • macOS X with macOS 10.7 or later
    • Windows 10
    • Windows 8 or 8.1
    • Windows 7
    • Windows Vista with SP1 or later
    • Windows XP with SP3 or later
    • Ubuntu 12.04 or higher
    • Mint 17.1 or higher
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 or higher
    • Oracle Linux 6.4 or higher
    • CentOS 6.4 or higher
    • Fedora 21 or higher
    • OpenSUSE 13.2 or higher
    • ArchLinux (64-bit only)

    Supported Browsers

    • Windows: IE 11+,  Edge 12+, Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+
    • Mac: Safari 7+, Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+
    • Linux: Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+

    Bandwidth Requirements

    The bandwidth used by Zoom will be optimized for the best experience based on the participants’ network. It will automatically adjust for 3G, WiFi or Wired environments.

    Recommended bandwidth for meetings and webinar panelists:

    • For 1:1 video calling:
      • 600kbps (up/down) for high quality video
      • 1.2 Mbps (up/down) for 720p HD video
      • Receiving 1080p HD video requires 1.8 Mbps (up/down)
      • Sending 1080p HD video requires 1.8 Mbps (up/down)
    • For group video calling:
      • 800kbps/1.0Mbps (up/down) for high quality video
      • For gallery view and/or 720p HD video: 1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps (up/down)
      • Receiving 1080p HD video requires 2.5mbps (up/down)
      • Sending 1080p HD video requires 3.0 Mbps (up/down)
    • For screen sharing only (no video thumbnail): 50-75kbps
    • For screen sharing with  video thumbnail: 50-150kbps
    • For audio VoiP: 60-80kbps
    • For Zoom Phone: 60-100kbps

    Recommended bandwidth for webinar attendees:

    • For 1:1 video calling: 600kbps (down) for high quality video and 1.2 Mbps (down) for HD video
    • For screen sharing only (no video thumbnail): 50-75kbps (down)
    • For screen sharing with  video thumbnail: 50-150kbps (down)
    • For audio VoiP: 60-80kbps (down)