Zooming in on privacy and future features
As the pandemic forced the world to huddle behind closed doors, the use of Zoom exploded to help keep us connected: teachers with pupils, employers with employees, businesses with clients, and the endless iterations of connections we were used to, as part of our normal way of doing things.
In Zoom – covering the basics, we’ve had a look at how Zoom became an indispensable part of our lives in a very short time and we gave you some great tips on how to use the tool most effectively. Whether it was something simple, such as fixing the lighting for your Zoom sessions or using the tools to run a great meeting, we are sure you would’ve come away with at least one useful tip.
Now that you’ve got hosting and participating in a successful meeting under your belt, we can have a look at some of the other aspects of the app that can help you continue business in these wacky times.
You’ll notice that many of the privacy tricks are also general tips you should keep in mind when you are hosting any of your Zoom events. This is a clear indication that security and safety should be considered an integral part of everyday, common sense behaviour when we venture in the virtual worlds.
Some of the ways you can keep your Zoom events as safe, secure and private as you need them to be will be discussed below, and we’ll give you a snippet on some exciting developments that will have you zooming even more productively.
Why Zoom needn’t spell doom for private conversation
In the early stages of the pandemic, Zoom had a couple of security hiccups, which lead to some schools in America temporarily banning Zoom meetings. There were some encryption problems, people who ‘bombed’ Zoom meetings and a lack of clarity about exactly how the company could use your personal data.
It is little wonder there were issues if you consider that just this year, the company has added 2.2 million new monthly users, outstripping the entire 2019 new user base of 1.19 million.
That’s a big leap for any company and it is understandable that they had a bit of a struggle to keep up with all the demands of its clients.
Zoom has, however, stepped up to the plate and not only updated entrenched security, but also developed several ways to ensure your meeting is safe and conversation flows without the worry of safety issues.
As Jack Morse explained in his article ‘Zoom finally rolls out end-to-end encryption but you have to enable it’, you can make sure that only intended call recipients can see and hear you call. Law enforcement, hackers and not even Zoom itself will be able to access your sessions. This is a comforting thought in an era where privacy is becoming an increasingly sought-after commodity.
Even with the improved encryption technology, you’d do well to consider these great tips:
- No password, no meeting. Perhaps the simplest and most obvious measure, but a password between attendees is the safest guarantee of a meeting that won’t be hijacked.
- Use a randomly generated meeting ID rather than your personal meeting ID.
- Allow only authenticated, signed-in users to join your event.
- Don’t allow people to join a meeting before you’ve arrived.
- Lock it down! We’re used to lockdowns now, but these can also be enforced for meetings. Head over to the ‘Manage Participants tab, click ‘More’ and lock your meeting as soon as every expected participant has arrived.
- Don’t wait to use waiting rooms. This feature lets the host screen participants before they enter a meeting. An easy measure to see who is about to join your conversation.
- Be very selective about who you allow to share their screens. We discuss this in how to run an effective Zoom meeting, but it is a very handy safety tool as well.
- Join meetings through your web browser to add an extra layer of security.
- Make sure you always have the latest security updates downloaded.
Have a look at the following Howfinity video on YouTube to create the safest possible Zoom meeting. It might be a good idea to share this with your fellow Zoomer to make sure everyone is on the same page.
It is encouraging that Zoom focuses on fixing flaws as soon as they are identified. This means the software is in a state of constant evolution to make it the most secure conferencing tool available, as Kim Zetter tweeted earlier this year.
What the future Zoom looks like
James Vincent explains in his article that Zoom has not been resting on its laurels when it comes to making the app bigger and better. He discusses two features that you’ll soon be able to use to great effect: the one is called OnZoom and the other is Zapps.
OnZoom is a host platform for online events that allows you to schedule and promote your event and sell tickets to 1,000 attendees. What a brilliant idea!
There is also a category called Top User Picks, so you can see what events were popular among the OnZoom users, who will be able to mark events as favourites, share them and even rate them. Another great tool to use as a way to get word of your business out there.
But, as OnZoom opens the door to the worldwide client base even further, it will stand you in good stead to keep the safety, security and privacy tips we discussed above..
Zapps, described by some as an app store in your meeting, is a way to integrate business apps like Asana in your Zoom call.
Just think how wonderful it will be if you don’t have to switch to another window during a meeting to access something you’ve stored in Dropbox that you now need to share with the rest of the team.
You decide which apps will improve engagement and productivity during your meetings.
Do you need to take a quick poll about which marketing pitch the board preferred? Simply use Slido Zoom.
Do you need to share status updates on recent projects? Pull up the Asana Zoom App.
We predict that Zoom is here to stay – even after the pandemic. There are just so many advantages to the app that it will most probably continue to be a part of our lives. It is a great tool that can be used to great effect, now and into the future. Please get in touch with Ultimate Edge today so we can start planning your virtual