If you will be celebrating a Passover Seder this evening (or tomorrow evening) via Zoom or another video conference service, please consider these four precautions:
1. Do not cover your computer
Many Seder celebrants have indicated that they will cover their computers, rather than turn the devices off and on as needed. Covering a computer that is on, and thereby restricting airflow, can lead to the device overheating – which can both potentially damage the device as well as create a hazard.
2. Be wary of where you plug in your computer
Many people conducting seders via Zoom will be placing computers in locations in which they have never previously placed such devices (e.g., in their dining rooms). Be wary of where you plug your computer in, and where the power cable runs; people can trip over unexpected wires. Preventing falls is especially important for the many seniors who are celebrating from afar with their children and grandchildren.
3. Remember that you are “on air”
Television stations often have an “on air” light outside of studios that warns everyone approaching entrances that cameras are rolling and that video and audio is being broadcast from inside the studio. If you use Zoom and leave it on before/during/after your seder, remember that everything that you say and do can be heard and seen. It may be wise to hang up a sign near your dining room reminding everyone that they are “on air.”
4. Protect your Zoom sessions
As Zoom and other video call technologies increasingly become a staple of COVID-19 stay-at-home life, zoomboming – the practice of mischievous people joining other people’s sessions without permission, and, sometimes, of their displaying inappropriate content to participants – has become a significant issue. Furthermore, in recent days, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of anti-Semitic zoombomb incidents directed against Jewish organizations. As such, be sure to familiarize yourself with the simple, yet important, steps that you need to take in order to ensure that your Zoom Seder remains secure.
Happy Passover to all who are celebrating!