Recommendations for Participating in Zoom Meetings

Here you will find recommendations for successfully participating in a meeting hosted by the video conference software Zoom. These recommendations make sure that as little personal data as possible are disclosed when you use Zoom.

Please observe the following basic instructions and please update your own settings accordingly when you use Zoom. Irrespective of the instructions specified here, the Zoom terms of use and the data protection policy apply.

Information on how to have video conferences which are as secure as possible can be found under Secure video conferences.


  • Using the guest participant feature

    To join a Zoom meeting, it is not required that you register with Zoom or have your own Zoom account. Just use the guest participant feature.

  • Using anonymous user names

    Instead of your real name, use your initials or a pseudonym. Ideally, your pseudonym makes it impossible to identify your real name.

    Generally, you are not obliged to indicate your real name.

    However, this does not apply to courses, since actively participating in courses is the basis for the students’ performance and evaluation (e.g. in seminars). In this case, identifying students is necessary for evaluating their performance and you have to use your real name.

  • Deactivate your microphone and camera by default

    Activate your microphone and camera only when needed. You are generally not obliged to activate your microphone or camera.

    However, this does not apply to courses, since actively participating in courses is the basis for the students’ performance and evaluation (e.g. in seminars). Transmitting video and sound is indispensable for actively participating in the course.

    Recommended camera settings

    No other persons present
    While your video is activated, and generally during a meeting, no other persons should be present.

    Check your surroundings
    Before you activate your camera, please check your video and remove any items which should not be seen. Pay particular attention to confidential documents.

    Using virtual backgrounds
    When transmitting your video, you can chose a virtual background which is displayed instead of your real background. There are minimal system requirements for using virtual backgrounds. If these requirements are not met, the feature is not available. Information on this and further information on the virtual background can be found on the Zoom website.

  • Check the contents you share

    Always keep an eye on the information you are displaying when sharing your screen with other participants. They should only be able to see the information and applications needed for the respective meeting.

  • Join scheduled meetings only

    If you enter a random Zoom room, it is possible that you join a meeting by mistake. If you do, you might be removed from the meeting and consequently banned from this room. Bans have to be lifted by the University IT. Please contact the IT support.

  • Leave the meeting

    Not all programs end video conferences automatically for everyone. You should therefore make sure to leave the meeting yourself once it has ended. Otherwise, other people might enter the meeting without you noticing and watch you or eavesdrop on your conversations.

  • Cover your webcam

    Whenever you are not using your webcam, you should cover it with a suitable cover or post-it note. That way you can prevent unwanted recordings and unintended flows of information.

  • Disable Zoom autostart

    If you have installed Zoom on your computer, please adjust the settings in Zoom so that the program does not auto-start when you start the operating system.

    Zoom directly provides information on the settings.

  • Update the software

    Regularly update the software which is used for the Zoom meeting. This includes the browser and the Zoom application itself as well as the operation system and corresponding applications such as virus scanners.

  • Be careful about what you write

    The chat history is not being saved and the text cannot be copied from the chat history. However, these precautions do not prevent a screenshot. We therefore recommend that you are careful about what you write.