The following information is a starting place to set up an online meeting for your group by using a free or a very low-cost conferencing service.
To begin, it is suggested that the group conscience designate a service position to start the account, organize the distribution of the information (dial-in number and code), and then host the online meeting.
Suggestions for Hosting Virtual Meetings:
NOTE: Beginning July 19, 2020, all Zoom meetings must have a passcode OR the waiting room enabled
- Zoom has changed the name ‘password’ to ‘passcode’
- Beginning July 19, your Zoom meeting will be required to have either a passcode or waiting room enabled
- If your meeting has a passcode now, nothing will change
- If your meeting does not have a passcode, Zoom will set one for you beginning July 19
- If your meeting does not have a passcode — and you DON’T WANT ONE — simply enable the waiting room and you can turn off the passcode requirement
- Zoom July Changes FAQ: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360045009111
Meeting Best Practices
- Please review the Zoom Security Guide below — follow best practices
- In addition to a meeting secretary and chair, it’s best to have a designated member co-host, monitoring the waiting room and Zoom participants
- Here is an example meeting script (pdf) if you want to off and running:
- Please log in 15 minutes early to start the meeting room and offer technical assistance.
- Due to lag in conference calls, it’s probably best to have one person lead the opening/closing prayers, keeping people muted. Otherwise, a hilarious discord will ensue. (Same goes for intros for new people).
- Here is a digital Newcomer’s Packet (pdf) that can be made available to newcomers for Free.
Zoom Security Guide
ZOOM SECURITY GUIDE – HOW TO PREVENT AND MINIMIZE DISRUPTIONS TO YOUR MEETING.
(v9.2.1 – 7-December-2020)
The guide below was created by a fellow member Thom R (firstname.lastname@example.org). This is a shortened version of the guide with the key bullet points and directions. A link to the guide as a whole is found at the bottom of this page.
DESIGNED FOR PLAIN LANGUAGE CLARITY FOR THE NON-TECHIES AMONG US WHO WANT THEIR ZOOM MEETINGS TO BE AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE FROM DISRUPTIONS (ALSO KNOWN AS “ZOOM BOMBING”).
Note: “Zoom Bombing” is a slang term that describes a meeting being invaded by disruptive people who are taking advantage of lax or default Zoom security settings and flooding the meetings with obscene and annoying rhetoric.
- Try not to take these attacks personally, please. To those in recovery programs, know that these disruptors are not targeting your recovery meetings specifically. They are attacking the Zoom platform itself– the accounts that do not have their security properly configured.
- Let’s define the problem first. The entire problem is rooted in the fact that a brand new Zoom account is set by default with the security and sharing settings mostly wide open. All features that can be used for an attack are pretty much turned on by default, instead of being turned off as they should be.
THE ZOOM CONFIGURATION GUIDE
Just follow these suggestions and you will not be able to be flooded with disruptions anymore. You still may have annoying users from time to time just like in a physical meeting, but they will be much easier to deal with, you’ll see. We’re going to greatly reduce the ways that they can attack your Zoom meeting. We’re going to configure your Zoom account the way it should have been to start with.
- Log in to your Zoom account with a desktop web browser,
- Choose your personal settings on the left,
- Follow along with the guide,
- Find the matching settings that I describe and then
- Change that item to the suggested setting– if it is different.
IMPORTANT TO READ BEFORE YOU START: ADMINS, HOSTS AND CO-HOSTS SHOULD NOT BE ON A MOBILE DEVICE WHEN RUNNING A MEETING. USE A FULL PC OR FAIRLY DECENT LAPTOP.
AND NOW, THE INSTRUCTIONS. JUST FOLLOW ALONG IN THE ZOOM ACCOUNT SETTINGS (everything is in order now, but this guide does skip over settings that don’t matter to security so just keep looking for the next one in the list to “sync back up” with the guide as you go through it):
* In the MEETING sub tab in account settings, change the following:
(SCHEDULE MEETING subsection)
- –enable/TURN ON — HOST VIDEO AND PARTICIPANTS VIDEO
- –disable/TURN OFF– the JOIN BEFORE HOST setting
- –disable/TURN OFF– USE PERSONAL MEETING ID (PMI) when scheduling a meeting
- –disable/TURN OFF– USE PERSONAL MEETING ID (PMI) when starting an instant meeting
- –-enable/TURN ON– MUTE PARTICIPANTS ON ENTRY (This prevents people from coming in and being immediately disruptive
(IN MEETING – BASIC subsection)
- –enable/TURN ON– REQUIRE ENCRYPTION FOR THIRD PARTY ENDPOINTS
- –disable/TURN OFF– FILE TRANSFER so that there can be NO WAY for pictures, videos or anything else to be uploaded ever to your meeting, either in chat or via screen sharing
- –disable/TURN OFF– FEEDBACK TO ZOOM
- –enable/TURN ON– the CO-HOST feature
- –disable/TURN OFF– SCREEN SHARING
- –enable/TURN ON– DISABLE DESKTOP SCREEN SHARE FOR USERS
- –disable/TURN OFF– ANNOTATION, WHITEBOARD and (all three)
- –disable/TURN OFF– ALLOW REMOVED PARTICIPANTS TO REJOIN
(IN MEETING – ADVANCED subsection)
- –disable/TURN OFF– VIRTUAL BACKGROUND
- –DO NOT DISABLE/TURN ON AND LEAVE ON– the WAITING ROOM feature
- –disable/TURN OFF– LOCAL RECORDING
- –-disable/TURN OFF– CLOUD RECORDING
- –disable/TURN OFF– AUTOMATIC RECORDING
- –disable/TURN OFF– 3rd PARTY AUDIO
- –enable/TURN ON– MASK PHONE NUMBER IN PARTICIPANT LIST
DURING A MEETING HOST/Co-HOST CONTROL RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. NEW (08-April) SAFETY BUTTON (located in meeting on the control bar) GUIDE:
- LOCK MEETING: sometimes OFF / sometimes ON
- ENABLE WAITING ROOM: ALWAYS ON
BOTTOM SECTION “Allow Participants To”:
- SHARE SCREEN: ALWAYS OFF
- CHAT: HOST ONLY
- RENAME THEMSELVES: ALWAYS OFF
2. It’s VERY IMPORTANT that only the host and/or co-hosts control the muting or unmuting of people while a meeting is in session.
3. BE HAPPY THAT WAITING ROOM IS NOW TURNED ON FOR EVERYONE! IT IS THE KEY TO FINDING THE DISRUPTERS BEFORE YOUR USERS DO.
4. DO NOT LET PEOPLE RENAME themselves
Please consider contributing to the Greater Seattle Intergroup for the 7th Tradition if you find these meetings helpful. Intergroup is here for everyone.
Setting up PayPal for your Group’s 7th Tradition — No basket? No problem.
Hosting Remote AA Meetings with Deaf Participants
One silver lining in all of this chaos is that there are more opportunities for Deaf AAs to join meetings with ASL interpreters. However, there are some special considerations for including Deaf participants in meetings. Here are some tips:
For Meeting Hosts:
- During your opening announcement: Ask Deaf participants to identify themselves as Deaf in their display name, if they are willing. Ask all people to keep an eye on Deaf participants wishing to share. Invite people to post in the chat or verbally announce it. (Note: Zoom identifies speakers by voice activation, not sign language.)
- Keep the ASL interpreter spotlighted the entire meeting, except when a Deaf AA wants to share. (Right-click on their picture, select Spotlight.) This will make the interpreter the “speaker” and put them in a large view on everyone’s screens.
- When a Deaf person wants to share, Spotlight the Deaf AA’s video for all to see. This will make their video big and visible to everyone on the call, including the interpreter and other Deaf AA’s. (extremely helpful!) When they’re done, switch the Spotlight back to the interpreter.
- Think of this process as the equivalent to ‘unmuting’ the meeting for the Deaf AAs, allowing them to easily listen and participate without having to fiddle with the tech constantly.
- Remind all participants that they can switch to the “gallery view” by clicking in the top right corner of the screen. Remind folks periodically through the first part of the meeting, as several will have joined late and missed the first announcement.
For Deaf participants:
- Please log on 15 minutes early to meet the interpreter and let the host know that you are Deaf: there are often 30 to 40 people logged on and it’s challenging to find your face.
- If you wish to share, keep waving, until the host sees you. When your name is called by the host, wait to start your share until you know the interpreter can see you.
- Please wear dark clothing so others can see you, and put DEAF or ASL by your name.
- Download the Zoom app prior to the call.
- Please use a headset.
- Log on 15 minutes early.
- If there are multiple Deaf people in a meeting, it can be hard to find all their videos. We have asked meeting hosts to ‘spotlight’ the interpreter for the entire meeting, switching to Deaf AA’s when they want to share. Be patient. This process takes time for the person doing the spotlighting.
- Let the Deaf person know when you can see them and that you’re ready to interpret. (They may think you can see them, because they’re only looking at you.)
- Keep yourself muted if a Deaf person is not sharing. Please familiarize yourself with toggling mute before the meeting starts.