Apr 2, 2020

Official Zoom Logo

The Coronavirus developments across March 2020 were rapid for the UK. Many businesses were forced to adapt to working from home (IF they were able to do so) and stop unnecessary travel, all in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. With the number of people working remotely significantly higher now and social distancing measures being put in place across the UK, it has meant that all non-essential face-to-face interaction has become a massive no-no.

As explored in our previous blog, “‘Social Distancing’ has meant that the “human” element of marketing has been temporarily ‘disabled’” and many people are turning to online platforms (like Zoom) to bridge the gap between their network and the business. Humans thrive off body language, tone of voice and overall communication and we use our senses to understand and absorb information. That is why video calls have become more and more popular and one of the most popular platforms is Zoom. Have you tried it before?

We’re moving to deliver our training sessions online and will also be offering Zoom training (coming soon!) However, as we’re all just getting used to working in harmony at home (kind-of), there are a few unsavoury individuals who are out to cause havoc.

What is Zoombombing?

Zoom - Meeting - Zoombombing Prevention

Zoom has a big thumbs-up from us. But we’ve recently come across some horror stories where some individuals have abused the platform. These particular individuals (also know as trolls) are reported to be looking for “open” or “public” Zoom links that enable anyone to join a meeting and they have either taken over the screen, used their background to show inappropriate content or abused the chat function. This is what is known as Zoombombing.

According to a recent article by SKY News there is “a growing number of incidents in which trolls have used Zoom’s screen-sharing feature to hijack meetings which didn’t have appropriate security standards to prevent unknown users from joining the call.”

How to keep your Zoom call safe

We’ve written up some best practises below to ensure you don’t have any surprise guests during your video calls:

  1. Zoom - Meeting - Zoombombing PreventionALWAYS make your meetings PRIVATE. You can set a password and share it with people who you know are genuinely interested. This means that even if people get hold of your meeting link, they still need to enter the correct password to enter the meeting. There’s also a “waiting room” option where you can be in charge of who is allowed into the meeting (through an approval process)
  2. Don’t share your meeting link on public platforms (eg. don’t post a Zoom link on your social media accounts ). This is like broadcasting to the world that you’re having a meeting and may catch the attention of an unwanted audience. If anything, take advantage of creating a registration process. That way, you can collect email addresses and have contact with each attendee before the meeting and verify them before sending them the Zoom meeting link and password.
  3. Stay in control. The “Host” is at the top of the hierarchy and can ultimately control who does what within a meeting. You can mute people, you can activate or deactivate the chat feature and you can remove people from the meeting. However, you must make sure that you have the correct settings selected BEFORE you start the meeting to ensure total control. This also includes settings so that the Host is the only one able to screen-share.
  4. Keep your software up to date. This is always good practise to ensure your applications and programmes are working at their best and to stay safe.

You can set up a Zoom account and download the software for free, then upgrade the account depending on whether you require (or want) the additional features. For example, in order to deliver webinars via Zoom you must purchase a Zoom license as well as the webinar subscription.

2 quotes come to mind: “Once you see something, you can’t un-see it” and “prevention is better than the cure”.

Zoom - Meeting - Zoombombing Prevention

As with many social media and digital platforms (which are usually ‘free’ to sign up for) the free version of Zoom is great for learning the ropes and for low-level usage. However, in many cases the free versions come with basic features. Always, check things out for yourself to ensure you’re happy with a platform before you sign up and use it. Remember to check the Privacy Settings are to your preference and THINK before you type that social media post. It’s always better to be safe, than sorry!

Don’t let the small percentage of negative news stop you from going digital though. There are so many more positives to digital marketing and using social media than negatives like this. Now is the time to step up the online marketing and NOT shy away from it. Social media is now your shop window and the bridge connecting (and introducing) you to your contact, potential customers and network online. Social media is now your best friend. Are you using it effectively? Chat to us if you’d like support with your social media strategy, content or even help with getting started. Drop us an email to info@socialprogress.co.uk and one of our team will be happy to help.

If you’d like to check out Zoom for yourself, take a look on their website here: www.zoom.us Do tell us if you have a Zoom success story to share!

* Images used to illustrate this blog are sourced from the official Zoom.us media kit