Zoom Pro FAQ

FAQs to help you get the most from your Girlguiding Zoom Pro account

We worked with Zoom to give our units 8,000 free Zoom Pro accounts

To make sure these accounts work for your unit meetings, we've customised some settings. Here we answer some of the questions we've had about how the Zoom Pro accounts work.

The Pro accounts have been kindly extended by Zoom by a further six months to support online guiding. Your Zoom Pro account will now expire on 24 November 2021. After this time your account will revert to a basic account.

Frequently asked questions

What settings are in place to protect me against zoombombing and to make sure only the people I want are in my meeting?

To protect your meetings, your account is set up to automatically put people in a waiting room when they join the meeting. This allows you, as the host, to let them in individually. This means that you can stop anyone you don't recognise from joining the meeting. 

For added safety, each meeting will have its own unique passcode.

If an uninvited person does accidentally join your meeting, you, as meeting host, can remove them. Anyone removed from the meeting will not be able to re-enter.  

I don’t want to be the host of my meetings all the time. Why can’t I let someone else be the host or be able to claim host?

To ensure that everyone goes into the waiting room we needed to turn off the ability for you - as host – to let people join a meeting before you and use the host key to claim the host role of a meeting.

Zoom does allow alternative hosts,  but you need a second licensed user to be able to give them permission to run a meeting on your behalf. As each unit only has one Pro licence, the alternative host function isn't available in our accounts.  

To share the hosting role, see our advice on co-hosting below.

Why can’t I turn ‘chat’ off?

We've limited the ways you - as meeting host - can change chat setting. This is because we need to reduce the chance for participants and hosts to be in situations where they are messaging 1-to-1.

As the host, people in the meeting can still send you private chats. If this does happen you should take the conversation back into the shared, visible chat. If that's not appropriate, then you should deal with the issue in another format.

What is co-hosting?

While the main contact for each unit has been given an account, we know that as a unit leadership team you'll want to share hosting duties. Once in a meeting you can make another participant your co-host – they have the same in-meeting controls as a host. You can have as many co-hosts as you want, and as host you will always has the ability to take hosting back.

Find out more about adding a co-host.

Why can’t I save our meeting chat?

In Zoom it's not possible to control what participants type, and chats can't be edited or deleted. We don't allow chats to be saved to make sure no personal or inappropriate informaton is shared and saved. 

Why can I save a whiteboard?  

Whiteboards are a fun way to get everyone involved in a virtual session. It's unlikely that comments on whiteboards will include any personal data, so we've made it possible to save them. If any personal information is shared on the whiteboard then you need to edit the screen before saving.

Can I record my meetings?

A recording is a form of personal data that needs its own policies around consent, retention and how the saved file is then managed and stored. Due to the young members in unit meetings, recording a sessions also poses a safeguarding risk if these recordings were to be shared with the wrong individual. So we've disabled meeting recordings.

Can I turn off the video for a meeting?

We think it’s nice for everyone to see each others face when they join a meeting so we’ve set participant and host videos to be ‘on’ by default. However, we know that some people struggle with their bandwidth, so when you create your meetings you can turn this off in your account settings.

You'll still need to see who is joining the meeting, so we suggest you ask for the camera to be on for the virtual ‘drop off’. Each person can turn their camera off themselves once in the meeting.

Girls being able to screenshare and add reactions while in a meeting is sometimes distracting. What can I do about that?

We know you love screensharing and being able to comment and annotate your screens as a unit.

While the default account settings are turned on to allow host and participants to screenshare, annotate and share whiteboards, none of these controls are locked, meaning you can amend the settings to reflect your specific unit meeting requirements.

And if your unit gets particularly emoji happy, you can turn that setting off in your account, too. However, the settings will then apply to all your meetings.

How can I import my contacts into Zoom?

With your account you won't be able to add your personal contacts to Zoom. However once you've created a meeting, you'll be able to add it to your calendar using the ‘add to’ functionality found in each individual invite

Other members of my household use my laptop/mobile – what other security measures are there to protect my account?

Zoom offers two-factor authentication that you can turn on for your account.

This extra layer of security helps keep your account safe by providing you a way to authenticate yourself as the owner of the account, and by reducing the risk of identity theft by people guessing passwords.

Why can’t I see the full waiting room list?

Open the participants list, then hover over the line at the bottom until the double arrow appears. You can then drag to extend the field to make it bigger so you can see everyone.

Once you’ve started a meeting, any time a new person enters the waiting room you will hear a piano note.

Does Zoom have help for people with access needs?

We want to help you make your meetings as inclusive as possible. Zoom has a number of accessibility features - you can customise the font size of chats, users can access Zoom through keyboard-only controls and it can be used by those who use screen readers. It also supports closed captions.

Content shared through screensharing is not accessible, so we suggest you share relevant notes or files with people before your meeting, so that it's still accessible to screen reader users.

If you need to be able to interpret one language into another in real time during a meeting, then in your account settings you can turn on the ‘Language Interpretation’ functionality.

Find out more about enabling closed captioning.

Read more on Zoom’s accessibility statement.

What are the different interactions available in a meeting?

Reactions are a great way for participants to quickly share emoji feedback without interrupting your meeting. Each reaction lasts for 5 seconds and then disappears from the screen. People can also use the non-verbal feedback feature, for example, during a group discussion you might want them to use the hand raise function to help stop everyone speaking at once.

If you want to find out what participants think about a certain issue, then the polling feature allows you to create single or multiple choice questions that you can launch during your meeting.

Annotation tools are also available in meetings for people to add information on shared screens, or when you’ve got a whiteboard going. This includes participants being able to add text, draw shapes and select things on the screen.

Read more about polling. 

Using annotation tools.

Why can’t I add my own virtual background?

We made a decision to turn off the ability for leaders to upload their own Zoom backgrounds to limit the risk of potential breaches and as an additional safeguard. We have instead provided some Girlguiding-themed backgrounds that can be used - and found - alongside the background and filters that come as standard from Zoom.

Because the girls are not provided Zoom accounts through us we can't turn off their ability to upload their own Zoom backgrounds. However, we have provided the Girlguiding-themed backgrounds on this page that we would encourage them to download and use.

Girlguiding virtual backgrounds

Bring a real guiding feel to your virtual meetings with our selection of themed background images. Add a campsite view, a Big Gig backdrop or create the illusion of calling from inside your tent!

Download the background pack

Quick links for further help from Zoom

Zoom has a wealth of help pages, which we encourage you to look through. Some articles to get you started;