Zoom is a popular, although controversial, tool that can be used to host limited video conferences for free.

Credits: Nora Prinz

Using Zoom bears a significant risk for the security of personal data, hacker attacks and data theft. Furthermore, Zoom uses data from users to train AI.

It is therefore important to take security measures to use Zoom as safely as possible. The following document provides a detailed  Guidance on the use of Zoom in the university context

What is it for?
Zoom is a commercial video conference provider from the US that allows users to start or participate in free video conferences for a limited time (max. 40 minutes / session). Up to 100 people per session can participate in the free version. 


  • Due to data protection risks, Zoom should only be used for courses in which no sensitive one-to-one conversations are held or personal and sensitive data (such as names or grades) are exchanged.
  • Besides Zoom, BURG members can also use BURG Meet (Jitsi) and Google Meet.

For whom?
Zoom is a freely available tool, but without BURG access.

How does it work?

First, an account must be created via the Zoom website. It is possible to participate and create video conferences via a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Safari), an app or a desktop client. Further help on installing and holding video conferences can be found within the official documentation. The free version requires starting a new session every 40 minutes. The use of headphones is recommended to avoid audio feedback.

Tips for reducing data and security risks:

  • Regularly update the software
  • Only record with the participants' explicit permission
  • Only save recordings locally
  • Use end-to-end encryption
  • Hide the background in the video
  • Deactivate Alexa, Siri, etc.
  • Activate the waiting room function
  • Create strong passwords
  • Never publish Meeting ID

A detailed handout can be found here ( status: 22 June 2023)


Further Information

Tips from the university of Cambridge