Using Zoom for video conference meetings

How to avoid pitfalls when using video conferences like Zoom

Since we’ve been working from home as a result of the current situation with Covid-19, staff at Hackney CVS have embraced using video conferencing to hold meetings and events.

We have mostly been using Zoom for video conference meetings, but you might have used other platforms, and our members report using online conferencing including:

  • Google Hangouts
  • Facetime
  • Houseparty
  • Microsoft Teams.

Each of these platforms will have their advantages and disadvantages, and if you’ve not used Zoom but have access to Microsoft’s Office 365 you might want to read Superhighways’ information on using Microsoft Teams.

What is Zoom?
Zoom is perhaps the most talked-about video communications tool. We’ve found it to be a relatively easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, and has been great for team and partnership meetings. It’s versatile and staff have used it on mobile devices, smartphones and desktop computers.

Ensuring your Zoom meetings are safe and secure
One local charity found that they had unwanted guests on a Zoom event they had advertised publicly, and others have discovered unwanted individuals ‘Zoombombing’ open video conference meetings. So it’s worth taking precautions to ensure that your sessions go according to plan.

Steps you should consider taking are:

  • Not sharing the meeting ID on public platforms and social media
  • Adding a meeting password
  • Setting screen sharing to ‘host only’
  • Disabling ‘join before host’
  • Disabling ‘file transfer’
  • Disabling ‘allow removed participants to rejoin’.

It is also worth vetting registrants of your Zoom sessions. For example, ensuring that only individuals using an email address that’s the same as the one stored on your central database.

Having said all of this, we’ve enjoyed using Zoom for video conferencing and staying in touch. Below are some notes and links to help you get started on Zoom.

Signing in to Zoom

  1. Visit: and click on Sign in
  2. Use the “email” and “password” that you have created

If you do not have a current account, please click on Sign Up Free to create a new account.

Joining a Meeting
Each meeting has a unique number called a meeting ID that will be required to join a Zoom meeting. To join a meeting:

  • Sign in to Zoom then click Join
  • Enter the meeting ID number and your display name
  • Select if you would like to connect audio and/or video and click Join.
  • Beforehand, you can also join a test meeting to familiarize yourself with Zoom.

Further details
Watch this Zoom video on Youtube

Thinking of hosting a Zoom video meeting?
If you do not have the Zoom app installed, go to and select “Host a Meeting” to start the installation. If you do have the App installed:

  1. Open your Zoom app on your desktop and click Sign In
  2. Log in using the email and password that you have created
  3. Click the downward arrow and select Start with video, then click New Meeting to start an instant meeting
  4. Share the meeting ID and password with others for them to join.

Further details