Video conferencing has changed so much in the last few months. Before lockdown laws came into effect, video calling was readily available, yet right now, many of us are now beginning to experience it as our main form of communication. The popularity has somewhat sky rocketed, showing us all how important staying connected is during this time. So whether you want to have conference calls, meet up with family members or take part in your sixth online quiz this week, it's important to know what's available when it comes to video conferencing.
Zoom continues to be one of the most popular platforms, being available on laptops, tablets and mobiles, allowing you to virtually meet up with other people through video or audio calling.
As we’ve done before, the 5 in 5 check-ups are there to ensure you know how to stay safe when using Zoom as well as making sure you are aware of some of its many features.
Users must be at least 16 years old to have a Zoom account.
You can set up a free account on Zoom but will be limited to 40 minutes when you host meetings for 3 or more attendees.
- Free users can join video calls of up to 100 attendees.
- You can opt to take up a paid subscription when setting up your account.
- Make sure your log in details have a strong password.
- You will need a unique Meeting ID and Password when you set up a meeting in order for guests to join. Alternatively, you can share a unique URL link with your attendees.
- Be careful about how you share the link to your meeting and be careful not to invite unwanted guests. This will help prevent ‘Zoombombing’ (unwelcome or unknown participants attempting to access your meeting and potentially sharing harmful content).
- The ‘Waiting Room’ feature is a good method of monitoring who is trying to access your meeting. If someone doesn’t look familiar, don’t let them join the meeting.
- When sharing your screen with other participants, be sure that you are happy for the content to be shared and make sure it is appropriate.
- You do not need a Zoom account to join a meeting.
- Make sure you have access to the Meeting ID and Password if you wish to attend a meeting that your host has invited you to.
- Be aware that the host has the ability to report participants if necessary.
- Depending on how the meeting has been set up, you can join in the conversation freely or alternatively, can 'raise your hand' if you would like an opportunity to speak. There are also emojis that you can use to react to the meeting.
- There is an option to share your screen with the other participants, which allows everyone to see what is on your own computer screen. You can limit this to just the host having the share screen option if necessary.
- The camera option can be taken off if you would prefer to just listen to the meeting and not show yourself.
- You can mute your own microphone and if you are a host, you have the option to mute all participants.
- You can change your backgrounds to fun alternatives - let people think you’re in space!
- There is a chat function which allows users to send a message to the entire group in the meeting. Alternatively, you can direct message another user in private.
- The meeting host can report a participant during a meeting by selecting the participant, include any written details and add any attachments. It will then get sent to the Zoom Trust and Safety team to evaluate any misuse of the platform and block a user if necessary.
- You can request access and deletion of personal data from your account.
- The Zoom policy includes opt-in and opt-out choices.
- Make sure to always update the Zoom app. Security settings and features will be updated so it's important to always stay on top of the latest version.
- Always remember: you can leave the call at any time if you feel uncomfortable or no longer wish to participate.
- Please be aware that several types of personal information types can be collected including:
Information commonly used to identify you, such as your name, user name, physical address, email address, phone numbers, and other similar identifiers.
Information about your job, such as your title and employer.
Credit/debit card or other payment information.
Facebook profile information (when you use facebook to log-in to our products or to create an account for our products.
General information about your product and service preferences.
Information about your device, network, and internet connection, such as your ip address(es), mac address, other device id (udid), device type, operating system type and version, and client version.
Zoom has been a fantastic method of staying communicated throughout this uncertain time. If you are one the millions of people using it's services then make sure you know exactly how to use the platform and more importantly, know how to stay safe when using it.
If you would like more information on Zoom or other popular Video Conferencing platforms, you can read our full breakdown of some of the most common ones being used today.