Securing Your Remote Teaching

 

Higher education and K-12 have moved to remote instruction. This means new threats from bad actors hoping to take advantage of these possibly new and unfamiliar technologies. To help protect you and your students, we’ve compiled a few general suggestions you can implement now in your remote course. We’ve also included information on the new increased security in Zoom, which now enabled host-only sharing and waiting rooms by default.

Secure Your Zoom Calls

Zoom has recently tightened security by enabling three new features: the Security panel for meeting hosts and Waiting Room and Cloud Recording Passwords for participants.

Now by default in a meeting, only the Host is able to share their screen. You may change this setting at any time in the meeting by clicking "Security" and then clicking "Enable Waiting Room" to remove the check mark. Once the check is removed, the waiting room is no longer active.

If you prefer to return to the previous default setting, you can change this from your Zoom account directly on the Zoom Settings Page adjust your participant screen share.

 

Cloud Recording Password Restriction

Cloud Recordings can now optionally be protected by a randomly-generated password. By default this is disabled, but you may turn on this setting in your Zoom account to add a password to each Zoom recording.

From the Auburn Zoom website choose "Settings" (1) to be taken to the settings page. From the top of the page, click the Recording (2) tab and scroll down on the page until you see the "Require password to access shared cloud recordings" (3) option. Click the button to the right of this option to turn the slider from gray (off) to blue (on), this will ensure your future recordings will be password protected.

 

Waiting Rooms and User Authentication

Meetings created in Zoom will have "waiting room" enabled by default. You can change this setting, highlighted in orange, while scheduling your meeting. You also have the option, highlighted in blue, to allow only authenticated users to join. This will require participants to login using their Auburn credentials, and will prevent any non-Auburn participants from joining. You may change this option in the drop-down menu from "Auburn University" to "Sign in to Zoom" if you would like to allow non-Auburn participants.

During your meeting, to admit participants, choose "Manage Participants"

You can admit individuals, deny admission, or admit all. Verify the individuals and choose "admit" to allow them to join your meeting.

 

Restricting Screen Sharing

By default, Zoom will now restrict meetings to only allow the host to share their screen. If you would like students to present materials, you can adjust this setting during the meeting.

Click "Security" to open the menu, then click "Share Screen", a check mark will appear, and participants will now be able to share their screens.

Muting and Removing Participants

To avoid disruptions during parts of your Zoom call, you can optionally Mute All Participants and prevent them from unmuting their microphones. This will prevent accidental disruptions until the participants are unmuted.

If an individual is being disruptive, has accidentally left a microphone open, or is otherwise creating issues with the call, you can optionally mute that person. Muting will silence their microphone - or take it a step further for disruptive students by using "move to waiting room" or "remove" to drop them from the call entirely. More information is available at the Manage Participants Guide

Locking the Meeting

Once a Zoom meeting has launched, and your students have joined, you can prevent disruptions to the meeting by locking the session. Please note this will prevent any new participants from joining, even if they have the meeting password.

To lock the meeting, click "Security", then click "Lock the Meeting" - a check mark will appear indicating the meeting is now locked.

Protect Your Computer

We have always needed to ensure that our computers are secured, but now this has become even more important. Key ways to secure your computers and the information we need to protect (e.g., student records) include multi-factor authentication using DUO, updating our computers and software applications to protect against hackers, and remaining alert of suspicious emails and other digital communications.

Double Check Duo

You will want to make sure you have your Duo authentication enabled and set to your current phone number or mobile device. You can find out more about updating your Duo settings at duo.auburn.edu.  

Make Sure You Have Anti-Virus Software

Make sure your computer is running an up-to-date anti-virus software. For your work computer, you will want to contact your department IT provider, they will ensure that your machine has all required university security software. For home computers, a to verify your anti-virus software.  

Update Your Web Browser

Update your web browser to the latest version. Updating your browser ensures you are protected against new exploits and security vulnerabilities. We recommend using Firefox or Chrome for best compatibility and security.

Check for System Updates

Beware of Phishing and Cybersecurity Threats

Review the Phishing Awareness guidelines from OIT. Be on the lookout for emails from non-Auburn addresses, suspicious requests, and fake password reset emails. More helpful tips on protecting your computer online are available at the the OIT Cybersecurity Page.

Integrate Panopto with Canvas

Panopto

If you are using Panopto with Canvas, we recommend enabling the Panopto integration and using the class folder to upload your videos. By integrating Panopto with Canvas and putting your videos into a course folder, you will put your video content behind the Canvas login. If you would like your students to turn in work using Panopto, you can create a Class Folder for student uploads.

Use Remote Proctoring for Exams

Proctoring Exams

With courses moving to remote instruction, how can we offer our exams remotely while still ensuring a fair and secure testing environment? An option is to make use of remote proctoring. During the remote instruction period, the cost of two platforms, HonorLock and ProctorU, is being covered by the university. Any instructor can utilize HonorLock and ProctorU proctoring to ensure exam security.

 

Connect to the VPN

If you will need to connect remotely to your on-campus computer, or access certain applications in Banner, you may need to securely connect to the Auburn network using the VPN.

Help for getting started and installing the Cisco VPN client is available at the OIT VPN help page. Your department IT, as well as the IT Service Desk, are available if you need any assistance.

Last modified: April 28, 2020