April 28, 2020
“Let’s have a Zoom chat!” …is something I have been hearing a lot lately. Classes, meetings, and generally all social interaction has moved entirely onto the platform and others like it. But what if you’re not already “Zoom savvy”? That’s ok! Zoom works hard to be user-friendly for those attending or organizing Zoom calls.
Zoom (Very) Basics for Users:
If you aren’t sure what it is, Zoom is a video conferencing service. Using it allows you to use your device (computer, phone, tablet, etc.) to hold virtual meetings with others over the internet.
If you have been invited to a Zoom meeting, you have a few different options for joining:
- You can use an internet browser-based version of Zoom by going to join.zoom.us and entering the meeting code that should have been included in your meeting invitation, or you can click the Zoom link in the email that was likely sent to you.
- You can also download the Zoom software, which is free. If you download the software, you can click “Join Meeting,” and enter the meeting code (clicking the link in the invitation email will also start the Zoom software).
- If you are joining from a tablet or phone, you can download the Zoom app. If you tap “Join Meeting” and enter the meeting ID, you can enter easily. If you access the email invitation and tap the invite link, your device will likely launch the app or ask how you would like to open the link (usually your browser or the app).
Once you have joined a meeting, you are free to meet and chat! You can choose to have your camera on or off (if you have one) by clicking the video camera icon. You can also mute and unmute yourself by clicking the microphone icon. If you would like to type a message to the group, click the icon that looks like a speech box, and you should be able to type and send to the whole group or select attendees!
Zoom (Very) Basic for Organizers:
The easiest way to set up a Zoom meeting is to create an account and download the Zoom software to your computer or the Zoom app to your mobile device.
- If you use the computer version to host your meeting, click “Host a Meeting” in the top right corner (by your profile picture), and choose your settings. You can invite participants from the Zoom meeting screen (Click “Invite”).
- If you are planning a future meeting (you don’t want to meet right now), make sure you are on the “Meetings” tab (on the left edge), and then click “Schedule a New Meeting.” From there, you can choose your settings and how participants can join and interact.
- If you are using the Zoom mobile app, open the app, and login or create an account. Once you are logged in, from the main page, tap “New Meeting,” select your settings, and tap “Start a Meeting.” From there, you can invite participants.
- If you want to schedule a future meeting, instead of “New Meeting,” tap “Schedule.” You can select your settings, time, date, etc., and send out meeting invitations directly from your phone.
You can also add contacts to make scheduling/inviting easier!
- From the mobile app’s main screen, tap “Contacts” (in the bottom center of the screen), and then the + icon in the top right corner. You can add contacts from a variety of sources.
- From your computer, you can sync the contacts and calendar from one of your accounts (Microsoft Exchange, Google, or Microsoft 365). Generally, though, if you are creating an event using the computer version, it will generate a generic invite that you can send out on your own.
Yes, Zoom did make the news recently for some less than ideal security issues! However, many of those can be avoided by taking a few careful steps when hosting meetings: be sure to require meeting IDs/passwords, keep the meeting ID/password private (share only with those you would like to attend), set strong passwords, etc.
If you are joining a meeting, you can keep yourself safe by setting strong passwords if you are logging in to Zoom (and don’t share it) and not sharing personal/sensitive information while on a Zoom call/chat.
If you’re looking for more information about Zoom security and tips to help you stay safe, check out these articles:
If you would like more help learning Zoom, there are many resources out there for you!
- You can watch/participate in an entire series of short classes called “Learning Zoom” through Lynda.com, one of MCPL’s online resources.
- If you’re just looking for a few tips for video conferencing, you can check out our recent Facebook Live event on this topic or these articles:
- Or, if you are just generally looking for more help getting started, hosting an event, and much more, you can use Zoom’s robust support website. They have numerous FAQ help articles, getting started guides, and even some video tutorials.
Soon you’ll be “Zoom-ing” like a pro!
Consumer Technology Specialist
Read Similar Blogs: