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Zoom is a video chat conference software that offer rooms and workspaces for remote/online meeting and conferences.

The free “full-featured Basic Plan” can host unlimited meetings with up to 100 people. There is however a catch, for meeting with 3 or more people attending, Zoom operates an automatic disconnection every 40 minutes. It is Zoom way to urge users to switch to a Pro payed account to avoid the “glitch”. After the automatic disconnection participants can re-join the same Zoom Rooms.

Due to the way is developed and video is coded Zoom result very stable since it “handle most of the data-streaming and is less depended that other tools from the connection quality of its end-users. This and its “full-featured Basic Plan” had made Zoom one of the most popular platform used across the world for remote work jumped to +2milion users since the start of 2020


Zoom rooms default:[ID number]

To use Zoom as with any online service, you need to register your own account.

When you are a registered user you get a Personal Zoom Room with an ID number which is fixed and do not change. Anyone with your Room Number can reach out to you and your meeting.

Some good practices for privacy and safety

To protect your meetings from “Zoombombing” trolls and other intrusion review and choose what works for you. (Tips and recommendation comes from: EFF, Mozilla and an update from Zoom on how its services works )

  • Be mindful and for your Zoom account use a new strong password or passphrase and store it securely

  • Keep always the last updated version

  • Some to-do after registering your account: review and customize Zoom Account Settings

    • Keep your Chat Auto-Saving Off (Meeting Basic)

    • Keep “Attention Tracking” Off (Meeting Advanced)

    • Use a virtual background (Preferences) if you want to keep your home work spaces private

    • Keep your Personal ID Private

  • Hosting a meeting - If you plan to host a public meeting and share Zoom IDs consider taking the following steps to prevent trolls and harassers invading the space and disturb/harm participant

    • Keep the Meeting ID Private, send it directly or trough trusted groups

    • Set a meeting password when schedule new meetings (Settings)

      • New public meeting

      • New Instant meeting (there is a random password function)

      • Personal Meeting ID (PMI) so that if someone unwanted find your ID cannot enter your personal space

    • Avoid copying the meeting link into a Facebook page, Twitter or other sharing platforms to send to your participants or the functionality “Copy Invitation” because link might include your meeting password. Inspect the url

    • Paid account can use Waiting Rooms to Approve Participants (Meeting Advanced)

    • Lock Screen Sharing and give permission only to the host (Meeting Basic)

    • When the call start, use your host power for good

      • Lock your meeting room when all you expected are in. (Bottom of Zoom window)

      • Keep video and microphone off by default when joining a meeting

      • Host can utilize “mute all” feature

  • Zoom calls do not use end-to-end-encrypted but transport encryption or Transport Layer Security (TLS) ans any other web server. It means the connection between your app and Zoom’s server is encrypted, but Zoom could, if it wanted, access the data. Zoom says that it does not directly access, mine or sell user data up to you to trust or not to trust them with your data.

    • Recording a meeting – When the host chooses to record a Zoom meeting locally, chats sent both publicly and privately with the host are saved.

    • Video and Chat privacy – Inform participants and ask for permission if you intend to save the chat or record the video. If participants are not comfortable organize minute taking for recording relevant decisions/takes away from the meeting

Alternative to Zoom

Source: Anarcat and Systemli

  • Jitsi Meet – a free platform for video conferencing and can be started directly from web browser (Firefox and Chrome/Chromium) and as mobile app for Android and iOS. For Chrome / Chromium there is a plug-in. It works with up to 10-15 participants. When used for the 1st time ask for access to Microphone and Camera. Accessible at: base

  • Other Jitsi Meet instances hosted by Civic Tech groups: