By Daniel Amador
I am sure you have heard about the communications software called Zoom. Ever since this Covid-19 pandemic began, people all over the world have started using it. It was mainly meant for conferences and meetings, but people also use it for random parties, birthday parties, classes for school, and even weddings!
The funny thing is, many people had never even heard of Zoom until this pandemic. Why is that? Who created Zoom? How did Zoom get so popular so fast? Why is it just mainly Zoom and not other softwares like Skype? Are there any problems with it? For the answers to these questions, you will have to continue reading.
The creator of Zoom is a man named Eric Yuan. Zoom was founded, surprisingly, 9 years ago, in 2011. Its headquarters are in San José, California.
How did Zoom get so popular so fast? When I did a bit of research about it, I couldn’t find any official answers, But I have some theories as to why that may be the case: Zoom is unlike almost all other communications softwares.
1. It is practically limitless how many people can be on one call at the same time, and there are even different ways to see all the people on the call, for example, there is gallery view, where you can see everyone in little boxes without scrolling down unless there are a lot of people, and speaker view, where a big box of the current speaker is displayed, and a few smaller boxes of other people on the side.
2. On Zoom you can do something called “screen share” that allows people to see your screen if you want to show them a video or if you want to search something up. You can also do “whiteboard” and it will allow you to draw things that everyone else can see.
3. There are also virtual backgrounds that you can get from your photos or that are already there, you can rename yourself so people know who you are or aren’t, and there is even a chat!
4. It is pretty easily accessible, and it is free (mostly).
Are there any problems with it? Yes. One of the problems is that it is sometimes static-y and kind of hard to hear music. But those are just small problems, here are the big problems:
Zoom was sharing and selling users’ info (without users’ permission) with Facebook, and there has now been a lawsuit filed against Zoom for these accusations (more about this one https://www.distractify.com/p/zoom-hacked-lawsuit).
Zoombombing is one of the worst problems of them all. Other people can actually hack into your call and chat and interrupt it and wreak havoc, by either sharing random or bad images, using bad language or just making a lot of noise and feedback. And since Zoom is so easy to access, it is also not too hard for experienced hackers to hack into your web camera!
Now, I am not saying all this to try and scare you out of using Zoom, infact, I might suggest it since it can be very useful. I am just telling you to be very careful when using Zoom as it is a previously unknown software that is now exploding in popularity. It’s important that you know the risks of using software like this, as it is just as important to keep yourself safe online as it is outside. Especially now as people everywhere are relying on technology to keep in touch and keep busy.