8 Tips for Enabling Safe and Effective Online Meetings with Teams

With all of us spending hours of our days working online on teams meetings, it is ever more important to be mindful of how to work online safely and securely.

Whether you are trying to host a 200-person or a one-on-one with your team lead, Microsoft Teams allows you to prioritize both an efficient and secure online meeting that enables you to collaborate with confidence in your virtual meetings.

1. Create a team with increased security

If any of the content stored or discussed within the team may be considered business sensitive, such as financial details or classified project information, it’s best practice to apply increased protections to that team to ensure content security.

This can be accomplished by creating a new team and applying an IT-created sensitivity label.

When applying a sensitivity label to your team, it automatically applies the configured protection to the team.

How can I increase security on a team’s channel?

When creating a new team, on the sensitivity and privacy pane select the dropdown under Sensitivity to select an IT-created sensitivity label to apply to the team.

As a reminder, it’s always best to check with your organization or IT department on how sensitive business information should be stored.

2. Create a private channel

Sometimes you need to share sensitive information within a team to specified team members only, such as project details or strategic planning, which doesn’t require holistic team protection.

Rather than creating a new team, you can create a private channel within an existing team that is only accessible to designated members.

This is a great way to provide a security layer to protect sensitive business information without creating a new team.

How do I create a private channel in Teams?

To create a private channel, go to the team and choose more options (…), and select Add channel.

After providing a name and description, under Privacy select the dropdown arrow to specify the channel is Private – Accessible only to a specific group of people within the team.

Once created, you can add additional private channel owners and up to 250 members.

As a reminder, it’s always best to check with your organization or IT department on how sensitive business information should be stored.

Create a Private Channel on Microsoft Teams

3. Microsoft Teams Meeting Options

When applying a sensitivity label to your team, it automatically applies the configured protection to the team.

Queue the awkward silence as you are frantically trying to work out three different things:

giving your team members presenter permissions,

double-checking your attendance list, and

searching for the “Start recording” button.

Rather than reactively adjusting your settings in meetings, you can use Meeting options to start off on the right foot!

How can I customize meeting options in a teams meeting?

To customize your meeting, access Meeting options by going to your Teams “Calendar” and selecting the meeting.

At the top right of the page, click on “Meeting options” and a pop-up window with all the options will appear.

You can also access this in your Outlook calendar by finding “Meeting Options” under the “Meeting” tab.

You can also find these in-meeting controls by opening up “More actions” (the ellipses) next to the attendee you want to manage and selecting the action needed.

A quick note: some Meeting option defaults are set by your IT department.

How can I customize meeting options in a teams meeting?

4. Control who can join your Microsoft Teams meetings directly and present

Meeting organizers can change participant settings for a specific meeting through the Meeting options web page.

In Teams, go to your Calendar, select a meeting, and then select Meeting options.

From here you can determine settings like who needs to be admitted to the meeting and who can bypass the lobby to join it directly.

Additionally, you can decide which participants are able to join with the presenter role to present our content and who should join as standard attendees.

Another helpful control for large meetings is the ability to prevent attendees from unmuting themselves – this is particularly useful when the meeting will be led by specific participants while the rest of the audience will be listening in.

Note that your organization controls the default participant settings.

How can I add a co-organiser to a teams meeting?

To determine who will have access to presenter permissions, 

Click on “More actions” next to the attendee 

Select the option to “Make a presenter”.

Soon will also be the option to designate someone as a meeting “co-organizer”.

 

A co-organizer will have almost all of the capabilities of the organizer, including adjusting meeting options.

This role is especially useful for your larger meetings such as a company all-hands.

Microsoft Teams - in Meeting Options - Make a presenter

5. Enable/disable mic and camera use for your attendees

We’ve introduced meeting options to help you set up your meeting for success, but sometimes there are things you just cannot anticipate.

For example, you scheduled a team meeting during lunch hours and notice chewing noises in the background – someone’s microphone is accidentally unmuted.

Rather than wait as they scramble to find the mute button, you and other presenters can easily mute the participant, all participants, and now even manually disable their camera and/or microphone.

This is especially useful if you want to completely avoid distractions coming from someone’s audio or video throughout your entire meeting.

Another disruption might occur when someone you are not expecting is in your meeting, has overstayed their invitation, or is being distracted – you and other presenters can now remove the attendee.

Enable/disable mic and camera use for your attendees

6. Manage your meeting with a co-organiser

Presenting and controlling a meeting can be a tedious task, as you need to deliver your presentation and control user experience.

There are times when you might be too busy presenting to look for the right button to mute someone, or maybe you have a meeting with 100 attendees and need more help than expected moderating the meeting lobby.

In the event you have too much on your plate to search for the right settings, you can quickly promote a meeting attendee, such as a trusted assistant, to a presenter role to support you.

They will be able to admit attendees or mute unusual noises while you confidently lead your meeting.

How can I add a co-organiser to a teams meeting?

To determine who will have access to presenter permissions, click on “More actions” next to the attendee and select the option to “Make a presenter”.

Soon will also be the option to designate someone as a meeting “co-organizer”.

 

A co-organizer will have almost all of the capabilities of the organizer, including adjusting meeting options.

This role is especially useful for your larger meetings such as a company all-hands.

How can I add a co-organiser to a teams meeting?

7. Disable guest-join access from meeting series or chat

For those weekly team meetings, there may be times when you invite a guest to speak but do not want that one-time participant to have access to the rest of the meeting series.

Especially during leadership reviews, if external guests are brought in to present, you want the contents of that meeting and chat kept internal afterward.

How can I remove one-time participants from a meeting series or chat?

You can prevent one-time participants from accessing future meetings and chat by removing them from your Teams calendar or Outlook calendar participants list.

Double-click the meeting you are trying to manage and remove the participant from the list by clicking the “X” next to their name.

Once removed, they will still be able to access all meeting information and chat history from when they were included in the meeting but will not see anything new.

In the case that you added the one-time participant to a recurring meeting, you should go into the meeting invite to check that the attendee has been removed from the series.

This is important to check for in case your meeting or meeting series was forwarded without approval.

Remove one presenter on Microsoft Teams

8. Wrap up your Microsoft Teams meeting by ending it for everyone

Finally, your meeting is over but you notice a few people are still hanging around in the call.

They could have a question for you, or they might not have noticed the meeting has ended.

In the latter case, instead of waiting for them to leave, you can wrap up the meeting for everyone by ending the meeting for all, the same way Zoom does.

This is a great way to ensure that for larger presentations – such as briefings or lectures – students and other attendees don’t hang around in the meeting room after it has ended.

How do I end the meeting for all attendees?

To end the meeting for all attendees,

Simply click on the drop-down arrow next to the “Leave” button and

Select “End meeting”.

Once confirmed, the meeting will end for everyone in attendance right away.

How do I end the meeting for all attendees?