Zoom 101: How to host or join a videochat

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Zoom 101: How to host or join a videochat
WATCH ABOVE: Video chats are a great way to stay connected but finding your way around a new platform can sometimes present challenges. Community reporter Morgan Black walks through the steps of using Zoom, which has become quite popular during the pandemic. – Apr 28, 2020

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, millions of people started to use videoconferencing to connect. But, the change happened extremely quickly—and that means some people may be feeling left behind.

Here’s how to get started on Zoom, one of the most popular video chatting resources.

Making an account

To host a group of friends or family, you have to make an account. Type in your email address, and wait for Zoom to send you a confirmation email. Click “activate account”. That link will take you to a spot where you can enter your name and a secure password. You can skip the prompt to “invite colleagues”.

Screenshot of a Zoom signup page. Morgan Black/Global News

Hosting a Zoom call

Once you’ve set up your account, Zoom will take you to its home screen. It may look a little different if you’re on your phone, tablet or computer but you’re looking for the same word: meetings.

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Once you’ve clicked “meetings,” you can name your meeting so your friends can easily find it and set the date and time for it to start.

Screenshot of a Zoom sign up page. Morgan Black/Global News

You also need to go to the “video” section and hit “on” for host and participants. Once you hit “schedule,” you can email or text the link Zoom provides you to people you want to invite.

Screenshot of a Zoom meeting set up. Morgan Black/Global News

Joining a Zoom call

If someone else is setting up a call, click the link sent to your phone or email and you will join the call.

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Ending a Zoom call

Once you’re done with your Zoom call, click the red button that reads: “End Meeting.”

Best practices

While there has been recent chatter about security, technology expert David Papp said Zoom has worked to resolve its security issues.

“[The security issues] have been patched up,” said Papp. “I feel quite confident. I’ve been using Zoom for over three years. It’s probably one of the best videoconferencing tools out there.”

WATCH BELOW: We check in with tech expert Marc Saltzman to find out how to stay safe and secure for your next meeting or virtual get together.

Click to play video: 'Staying safe and secure on Zoom'
Staying safe and secure on Zoom

Papp recommends beginning a Zoom session with a password, a feature that’s now automatic.

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Zoom also works anywhere around the world.

“It is an amazing technology, I have been in Zoom calls with multiple different time zones at once.”

As you get more comfortable with the technology, you can start to get more creative.

“You can have dinner together…you can play some games together. There are games you can share through Zoom so that you’re looking at a common screen. Have some fun with this,” said Papp. “See what it feels like and if you’re not sure…try it with somebody you feel safe with like a friend or a family member.”

Other video conference options include Jitsi, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime and Google Hangouts.

“Use the technology that makes sense for you.”

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