Now that your work life revolves around screens even more than usual, it’s time to become a Zoom power user. Instead of fumbling around with your mouse to control the video conferencing software, pick up a few keyboard shortcuts. If you need to organize your screen to reduce the clutter during calls or check your default setting, this roundup of tips can help.

Also, given all the bad security news about the popular app, we’ve also included two tips to increase the security of your video calls. Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said that usage has jumped from 10 million people in December to 200 million in March. To address this surge of users and security concerns, Zoom announced a 90-day feature freeze this week. The company will also release a transparency report outlining requests for user data from law enforcement and governments. Yuan will start holding a weekly webinar on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. PT to discuss these updates.

Use unique meeting IDs

Use a per-meeting ID which is exclusive to a single meeting instead of your Personal Meeting ID. Zoom’s support page offers a video walk-through on how to create a random meeting ID.

Turn on the Waiting room feature

The Waiting Room option will let you see who wants to join the meeting before letting them in. A bad actor can sometimes bypass this control, but it helps to put another hurdle in their path. To enable the Waiting Room feature, go to Account Management | Account Settings. Click on Meeting, then click Waiting Room to enable the setting.

Disable Join Before Host

This setting should be off by default, but check to be sure. Then disable screen sharing for nonhosts, and the remote control function. Finally, disable all file transferring, annotations, and the autosave feature for chats.

Once the meeting begins and everyone is in, lock the meeting to outsiders and assign at least two meeting co-hosts. The co-hosts will be able to help control the situation in case anyone bypasses your efforts and gets into the meeting.

SEE: How to share content in Zoom from your mobile device (TechRepublic)

Mute your audio and turn off your camera by default

To gain a few extra moments before joining a meeting, set your audio and video fees off by default. To do it, go to Settings | Audio | Mute Microphone When Joining A Meeting, and then Settings | Video | Turn Off My Video When Joining A Meeting.

Mute and unmute with the space bar

Instead of navigating to the microphone icon, press and hold the spacebar to mute and unmute your mic right from your keyboard.

React with emojis

Even on mute, you can let the hosts know your thoughts. Send a thumbs up or a clapping emoji to offer feedback without interrupting the meeting (by default, those reactions have a yellow skin tone, but you can customize that on the Zoom desktop app).

To react during a meeting, click the Reactions tab at the bottom of the meeting screen (it’s in the same panel as mute audio and video, to the right) and choose the one you want. Emoji will disappear after five seconds.

If the meeting organizer enables the nonverbal feedback feature, participants can place an icon such as a raised hand next to their name to communicate. Every participant will be able to see each other’s feedback.

Turn on gallery view

If you want to see everyone in the meeting at once instead of just the person who is speaking, click the tab that says Gallery View in the top-right corner. If the meeting has 49 or fewer attendees, you’ll see all of their screens displayed on one page. If there are more, you’ll have the option to move between multiple pages. Change it back by clicking Speaker View in that same top-right corner.

Master the keyboard shortcuts

Zoom has a ton of helpful keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate the app on your desktop without using your mouse. Find commands to join a meeting, start or stop recording, enter full screen and share your screen. You’ll find Zoom’s full list of hot keys and keyboard shortcuts here.

Hide your video

The Video tab in Settings has numerous options for configuring video in meetings that will change the way Zoom handles all videos in a meeting, both yours and others.
During a meeting, to hide your video from your own screen to make room for other participants, just right-click on your video and choose Hide Myself. To bring your own video back, right-click on any other user and select Show Myself. This won’t disable your video from showing up for others,only from displaying on your own screen.

Hide non-video participants

To streamline the number of participants, you can hide people who don’t have their cameras on. Go to Settings | Video | Meetings, and check Hide Non-Video Participants. Now you’ll only be distracted by your co-workers’ pets and children who show up on screen.

Share your screen

Share your screen for a Zoom meeting (or to watch a movie or play a game) with other participants by clicking the Share Screen icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the meeting screen. You’ll have the option to share your entire desktop or just one window. Click the red Stop Share button at the top of the screen to turn this off.

Share documents in a Zoom meeting

While in a Zoom meeting, look for the Chat button on the bottom bar. Click on it, and the screen should shift to add a chat window to the right side of your screen. Look at the bottom-right of the chat window for the File button. Click on it, and you’ll be able to add a file from a cloud service like Google Drive or Dropbox, or share a locally-stored file.

Once you navigate to the file you wish to share, click on it, follow the onscreen prompts to share it, and the document should appear in the chat window like any other typed message. Other attendees can click the link to download the file or open it in a browser window.

These steps were written using the macOS desktop version of Zoom with a free user account, though Windows users should still be able to follow these same processes.

Share content from your mobile device

While in a Zoom meeting, you’ll see the Share Content button in the middle of the bottom of the screen. If the menu isn’t visible, tap anywhere on the screen to show it. Tapping on the Share Content button brings up a menu where you can choose what to share with other users.
To end a share, look for the Stop Share button at the center of the bottom bar. Tap it and you’ll be right back to the regular meeting screen.

Record the meeting locally

Both free and paid Zoom subscribers can record their meeting to their laptop or computer using the desktop app (you can’t record on mobile at the moment, unless you have a paid account). The recordings can be uploaded to Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube, or Vimeo.

To enable local recording, go to Settings | Recording, and toggle it on. When you’re hosting a Zoom meeting, click the Record icon on the bottom toolbar.

SEE: How to record a Zoom meeting (TechRepublic)

Record a meeting to the cloud

If you have one of Zoom’s paid plans (starting at $15/month), you can save a recording directly to the cloud or to your computer. Tap the Record button on the bottom toolbar, and you’ll have the option to make it either local or in the cloud. This works on desktop or mobile.

Host a group meeting longer than 40 minutes

On Zoom’s free basic tier, group meetings can only last up to 40 minutes (though one-on-one meetings are unlimited in time). To get unlimited group time, upgrade to a paid account.

Host more than 100 people

If you have a group of more than 100 people to host for work or school, you have to upgrade to a paid professional account. If you really feel the need to counteract the isolation of social distancing, upgrade to the highest tier (Enterprise Plus) to host up to 1,000 participants.

Image: CNET