ZOOM SECURITY AND OUR GROUP CONSCIENCE
Zoom requires meetings to have a password and/or a waiting room. Some meetings require participants to register with Facebook or Google, or require an email requesting a password. While we respect their autonomy we do not list these meetings as they are not anonymous. Nor do we list meetings which are private i.e. where there is a secret password which is not available on our site. The conscience of AA-London.com is to list meetings which are open to all and which can be accessed anonymously.
Each meeting is autonomous, and the settings your group chooses will depend on the conscience of the group. Set out below are the different options for meeting security, and how to implement and maintain them.
- Enable waiting room - chat to strangers in the waiting room: invite them to start video
- Turn off screen sharing
- Mute all - allow only co-hosts to unmute participants
- Zoom has a 10 minute video that is worthwhile viewing for Hosts and Co-hosts
By following these suggested steps, only those who are invited to share by the secretary can speak.
Recruit one or two co-hosts: having ‘co-hosts’ to help shoulder the responsibility of keeping the meeting safe has proven to be useful in many online meetings already. A ‘co-host’ is set once the meeting has started, by the ‘Host’ (who is the person logged on the subscription). Once set, co-hosts have the same in-meeting controls as the Host. To set a co-host, find the participant in the Participants list, click on ‘More’, and click on ‘Make Co-Host.’ (Before you do this, you must ensure the setting that allows this is switched on in the account - click here for guidance).
Running a meeting without a host: you can run a meeting when your host, the person with the Zoom account, cannot attend:
- Enable Join before host
- Share Host Key (a six digit pin) with co-secretary/GSR/stand-in
- Host Key is listed in the Host's Profile
Co-secretary/GSR/stand-in (on a laptop)
- Join the meeting
- Click on Participants
- Click Claim Host at the bottom of the participants list
- Input the Host Key: a 6 digit pin
Co-secretary/GSR/stand-in (on a 'phone or tablet)
- Join the meeting
- Click ...
- Select Claim Host Role
- Input the Host Key: a 6 digit pin
Enabling Waiting Room: your group conscience may decide that you want to put people in a virtual waiting room before allowing them to join. Some meetings have decided that the safety of the group as a whole comes first and have implemented this setting. To enable it you must first switch it on in Meeting Settings within the account by logging in on a browser as the subscription holder. Here's a guide on how to do this. Once a meeting has started, to enable the waiting room within the in-meeting controls, go to the bottom of the Participants List, and click on the three dots to the right. Tick ‘Enable Waiting Room’. Each time an attendee tries to join, it will show a notification to the Host and any co-hosts, and people can be admitted via this. You can also do this by clicking on the Security badge at the bottom of your screen.
Locking a Meeting: some meetings are choosing to lock their meetings after they have begun, or after 15 minutes, to prevent latecomers or zoombombers from joining. To enable this setting, go to the bottom of the Participants List, and click on the three dots to the right. Tick ‘Lock Meeting’. You can also do this by clicking on the Security badge at the bottom of your screen.
Secretary, Tech Host and Security have proven to be three useful service positions for many online meetings. The secretary reads the script and keeps the meeting in order; the Tech Host is back up to the Secretary (useful not just for security reasons, but also in case the Secretary’s internet connection becomes unstable or drops out) and can also share the technical responsibilities with the Secretary in whichever manner each individual meeting wishes to split the tasks (see below for more). Security scours the Participants throughout the meeting for any inappropriate behaviour that would be considered zoombombing, and is responsible for removing participants. Who the various tasks below fall to, will be up to the Host and any co-hosts, and how they divide the tasks up between those service positions
Removing a Participant for Zoombombing: to remove a participant, find them in the Participants list, click on More, and click on Remove. It may be sensible for groups to conduct a conscience to decide on exactly what behaviour constitutes zoombombing; this is to ensure the newcomer or struggling alcoholic is not excluded or thrown out accidentally. Once a participant has been removed, they cannot join again using the same email address/user login
.Disabling the Chat Box: some meetings are choosing to disable the chat box completely, some are choosing to set it so that participants can only message the Host. While the chat box is disabled, the Host and any co-hosts can still post, and it will be visible to all meeting attendees - but participants cannot reply. To do this, open the Chat window, and click on the three dots to the right of the ‘To:’ box. Choose the setting that your group agrees on. (Note: when set to Host Only, some meetings have still experienced harassment and abuse to the Host). You can also do this by clicking on the Security badge at the bottom of your screen, which has many of the following settings under it too
Disabled Unmute for Participants: some meetings are choosing to Mute All (control at the bottom of the Participants list) at the start of the meeting, and also removing their ability to unmute themselves. The ‘Raise Hand’ button in the Participants list can be used by attendees when they want to share (see the below ‘Raise Hand Facility’ section for examples of when this will happen, and how to manage it), but this requires a clear explanation by the Tech Host or Secretary so all attendees know how to use it - remember, many members are not familiar with technology and require clear instructions. To implement this setting, go to the bottom of the Participants List, and click on the three dots to the right. Untick ‘Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves’. You can also do this by clicking on the Security badge at the bottom of your screen.
Disable Rename for Participants: some meetings have experienced zoombombers changing their screen name to something offensive. To remove their ability to do this, go to the bottom of the Participants List, and click on the three dots to the right. Untick ‘Allow Participants to Rename Themselves’. You can also do this by clicking on the Security badge at the bottom of your screen (Note: some groups have deemed this to be antithetical to the principles of anonymity (Tradition 12), as many attendees do not realise their full name is visible to all till they are in the meeting, and may want to rename themselves).
Raise Hand Facility: if your meeting does choose to implement the last three settings, then people are greatly limited in how they can zoombomb the meeting, so tend to leave quite fast. However, it also means that genuine participants are unable to unmute themselves or post in the chat box, to say hello if they’re new, celebrate a birthday, or share when the meeting is opened up for sharing. Therefore...
The ‘Raise Hand’ button in the Participants list has proven to be a valuable tool for many online meetings. This can be used for welcoming newcomers, celebrating birthdays, and managing sharing time. See below sections on these functions. The Tech Host or Secretary should have the Manage Participants list open on the right hand side of their screen for easy management and so that they can quickly see when someone raises their hand - remember that this is the only way for participants to draw attention to themselves, short of waving at the screen and hoping someone sees them. To these ends, it is strongly recommended that Tech Host, Secretary and Security join the meeting on a laptop, as it is much trickier to manage the list from a mobile. (Note: do not use the browser version; download the official app from Zoom).
People who raise their hand appear in the list in order of when they raised it. Directly from this list, the Tech Host or Secretary can Unmute, Mute, and Lower Hand of each participant. Doing this via the Participants List is a much faster and easier way of finding individuals than scouring the Gallery view.
Welcoming Newcomers & Celebrating Birthdays: an invitation is made by the Secretary for anyone new/anyone celebrating a birthday to click on the Raise Hand button. From this list the Tech Host or Secretary can Unmute, Mute, and Lower Hand of each participant.
Managing Sharing Time: when the meeting is opened up for sharing, an invitation is made by the Secretary for people to come back by clicking on the Raise Hand button. From this list the Tech Host or Secretary can Unmute, Mute, and Lower Hand of each participants
Announcements / Other Service Positions: your meeting may have Newcomer Reps, Sponsorship Reps, Literature Secretary, Fellowship Coordinator, GSR, and/or Treasurer, plus more. You can also use the Participants List for this, by locating each member and unmuting them so they can speak. For Literature, your meeting may want to post details of audio versions of the Big Book or 12x12, or the GSO online shop. For this, the Chat box will need to be enabled again so the Literature Secretary can post. For a list of handy online literature links, click here. Some meetings are leaving announcements till the end, as zoombombers tend to leave long before the end of the meeting; therefore, opening up Chat for announcements at this point carries a lower risk than opening it up at the start.
Breakout Rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting into separate sessions. The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time.
Dial in numbers for Zoom: 0131 460 1196, 0203 481 5237, 0203 481 5240, 0208 080 6591, 0208 080 6592, 0330 088 5830
Concatenating passwords: to create a link to your meeting with the password encrypted and concatenated i.e. a single link to your meeting containing the password:
- Start your meeting
- Click on ‘Invite':
- Select an email service:
- An email will open displaying a link with the password encrypted and concatenated: e.g.https://zoom.us/j/195793581?pwd=K1c5S2d2aEFXQ2pBPUYvSTgyRE43UT09