COVID-19 ICT Survival Guide For Beginners

Covid19 ICT Survival Guide For Beginners


This guide will help you to understand how to set up WhatsApp, Skype and Zoom to create online and video chats, join meetings and  stay in touch with your family and friends online.



What is WhatsApp?

It is a free app created to allow free communication via text/call around the globe. It uses the internet to send and receive messages, audio, video and photos and can be used on iPhones, Android phones, Apple Mac Computers and Windows Computers. WhatsApp would use your 4G or Wi-Fi connection to be able to send and receive messages and photographs

Is It Safe?

WhatsApp now uses an Encryption method to send and receive everything on it which means that only you and the person you send data to see what is being sent.

So, in order to ensure a safe use of the applications make sure to either set your device to automatically update applications or manually make sure to keep the app updated. This allows the latest security features to be installed on your device and keep you safer.

What are the benefits of using WhatsApp?

How to Install WhatsApp On Your Device?

On your device, enter the application that allows you to download other applications, depending on the device used you may see one of the following apps; App Store, Play Store, Microsoft Store.
You will initially find WhatsApp among the first 20 apps in the ‘‘most popular’ app list. However, the
Search bar makes the process easier by allowing to type ‘WhatsApp’ so it will pop right at the top.

  • Play store: Tap the green coloured button “Install”
  • App store: Tap “Get,” then “Install” next to the app WhatsApp Messenger by WhatsApp Inc
  • Microsoft store: Tap “Get” then it shall start downloading automatically or if it doesn’t then press “Install”

Once the download is complete you can launch the app by clicking ‘Open’ or the newly installed application icon will appear on your home screen/desktop and you can launch it from there with a single touch (for smart devices) or double click (for desktops).

Register and Verify your Phone Number

First, you will have to accept the WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Tap “Agree & Continue.” Next, Enter your contact number. After entering your phone number, WhatsApp will link to your phone number and your account set up complete.

Before you can begin to efficiently use the app, it shall ask you certain permissions, like the following:

Access to contacts:

WhatsApp will firstrequest access to your contacts. If you grant this access, WhatsApp will have a full list of your contacts’ phone numbers who are also WhatsApp users. Non-users shall not appear in this list. If you do not grant this access, you can manually add each of your contacts for chat messages, however you cannot make a new call without granting WhatsApp access to your phone’s contacts.

Access to Media/Gallery:

If you would like to send photos, videos or other files, WhatsApp will request access to these files as well. Tap “Continue,” then tap “Allow” for each if you wish to grant these permissions.

Access to enable Notifications:

When you receive messages, the application will notify you with a message and message sound (if you enable it). Before sending you notification, the app will request access to do so. Tap “OK” to be notified when you receive new messages. These can be further altered in the WhatsApp’s settings. For example, you have a choice of having sound on/off, on vibrate/mute  when a message notification appears.

How to Talk & Send Photo/Video to a Contact on WhatsApp

iPhone users

  • With WhatsApp open, you will see the screen below. Click on the button at the top right to find someone new in your contacts to start messaging them.
  • This opens your phone book; simply press the name of the contact you wish to (They must themselves have WhatsApp installed).
  •  Click on the name of the person you want to send a WhatsApp and you will see a screen like on the first picture on the left (the background may not be the same).To Begin talking, you can simply type in the chat box at the bottom of the screen.
  • To call the person, you can hit the little phone icon button on the top right of the screen.
  • To Send a photo or video to a contact, hit the small paper clip icon located inside the white chat box at the bottom right of the screen. This will give you a few options such as taking a photo to send, sending a photo that is on your phone, sharing your location or sending a document.
  • Add people to your groups. Example in order to share a picture with all family members people create a group, name it ‘Family’ and add all their family members to it.

You can now enjoy this free and easy to use communication to reach your relatives and friends at your convenience. We hope this section covered everything require setting up WhatsApp.



What is Skype?


Skype is a ‘telecommunications’ application available via the Internet on computers, tablets, mobile devices and smart watches. It allows one to send texts and make voice/video calls to people all over the world, all for free. Video calls allow two communicating users to see and hear each other via an in-built webcam, speaker/microphone on laptops/tablets/smartphones. For personal computers, webcams are bought and connected separately along with headphones with in-built microphone that are used for hearing and conversing.

What are the benefits of using Skype?

Call Quality

Skype uses the most recent technology to ensure that the quality of your voice and video calls are to the highest of standards.


Skype is a free application to download and use. Skype-to-Skype calls are offered for free with features like conference call (a group chat one can add and see/talk to more people in one call), and screen sharing. Calls to mobile and landline numbers via skype are also possible but are charged usually for a much lower rate than network providers. It also has monthly packages that allow a set amount of calls, like but cheaper than other network providers that offer ‘minutes’ with several kinds of mobile plans.


 Skype covers all the basics that a tool such as WhatsApp provides. Distinguishing features of Skype are that all callers have a Caller ID or a Skype Name registered in the Skype directory. It also provides voicemail feature and call forwarding which are also free.

Installing and Launching the Skype app on Windows Computers

Guide Credit: Digital Unite

On all Windows computers Skype is an in-built Microsoft application but you can have access to it through your Microsoft Store if the app is not available on your device.

Step 1: Launching the app

To launch Skype for Windows 10 – select the ‘Start menu’. This is located on the bottom left of your screen. You can also scroll down the A-Z list and find Skype through there or search for Skype using the Cortana search bar.

If you have a microphone enabled on your computer, you can use Cortana by giving it a vocal command. Click on the Cortana search box, select the microphone icon and tell Cortana to “launch Skype”. The shortcut for this is Windows + Q on your keyboard and this allows you to speak directly to Cortana.

For easier access you can Pin Skype to Start or Pin the app to your taskbar.

  • To pin to start: Right click on the app and select Pin to start.
  • To pin Skype to your taskbar: Press and hold (or right-click) and app, then select More > Pin to taskbar.

Step 2: Initialising Skype for the first time

When you start using Skype for the first time, you will receive a prompt to consent the app to allow access to your microphone and camera click on Allow. Clicking on Block will prevent you from video- calling and making voice calls which is why we recommend that you click ‘Allow’ to gain the full benefits of using Skype. If you are already using Skype, you can merge your Microsoft account to your existing Skype account. Alternatively, if you are new to Skype you will have the option to join. To join you will need a valid email address.

Step 3: Completing the set-up

When you launch the Skype app you will also have the option to Connect to your address book and verify your mobile phone number. To verify your number, you will need a mobile number. You can complete this when you launch the Skype app or choose to complete it later

Step 4: Logging out the Skype app

To log out click on your profile picture. A window will pop-up and from here scroll down and select Sign out.

Installing and Using Skype on Android/iOS Smartphones/Tablets

Step 1: Downloading Skype from the Google Play store/Apple Store

To start using Skype on your Android you will need to download it from the Google Play Store and on iOS devices from Apple Store.
Search for ‘Skype’ then click on ‘Install’.

Step 2: Open the Skype app on your Android mobile device

Once you have downloaded Skype onto your device you can now start using it. You can either click on
’Open’ from the app store or access the shortcut on your home screen.

Step 3: Signing into the Skype app

To start making calls to family and friends you need to sign into your Skype account. Click on ‘Sign in here’ and enter your username and password.
Alternatively, if you haven’t set up a Skype account yet, click on ‘Create account’. To create a Skype account, you will need a valid email address to register your new account.

Step 4: Start using the Skype app

When you sign into your Skype account you will see a pop-up notification that asks whether you want to allow the app to make and manage phone calls. For this step, click on ‘Allow’. This will allow you to use Skype to make Skype to phone calls. You will now see the Skype home screen appear! For the next step we are going to try finding a friend and making a Skype-to-Skype call.

Step 5: Making a skype-to-skype call to a friend or family member

Now that you have the Skype app open, we are going to try and make a call to someone you know. Click on the address book: this is second icon on the Skype home screen. You will then see three options – ‘Invite friends’, ‘Find people’, and ‘Find bots.

Bots are artificially intelligent programs that can do many useful things like search for news, summarize webpages, play games, and more. You can start chatting with a bot just like you chat with friends – simply click on the bot and start typing

To find friends click on ‘Find people’.

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To search for someone you know on Skype, you can search for their Skype name in the Skype directory. There may be other accounts with similar names too. Scroll down the list and find the right Skype account. When you have found the right one, click on ‘Add to contacts. You can add as many friends and family members as you like through Skype.

To call a contact on your Skype list and make a Skype-to- Skype call simply click on their username and then click on the call button.

You’ll also have the option to add a contact to your favourites, which is a handy shortcut for getting in touch with friends or relatives you talk with most.

To switch to video call while you are on a Skype-to-Skype call simply click on the camera icon. You can turn this off at any point of the call.

Coronavirus Guide
Coronavirus Guide

Step 6: Buying Skype credit to make Skype-to-landline calls

Now that you know how to make Skype-to-Skype calls it’s time to try Skype-to-Phone calls. You might want to do this if you have relatives or family members living abroad or if you want to save money on your mobile phone calls.

To make Skype-to-landline calls on Skype using your android phone you will need Skype credit. To add Skype credit to your account, click on the Skype credit link.

If you have no Skype credit and you are trying to make a Skype-to- landline call, Skype will send you a pop-up to top-up your account. You can either get a monthly Skype subscription or you can top-up using one-off payments.

If you make frequent international calls, we recommend that you set up a monthly Skype subscription. You will need a debit card for this part of the guide.

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Choose the amount of Skype credit you would like to add and click on ‘Continue’.

If you are familiar with filling in forms this part will be easy. If you aren’t all you need to do is click on the white boxes and start filling in your billing details registered to your debit card.

Purchase your credit and you are done! We are now ready for the next step.

Coronavirus Guide
Coronavirus Guide

Step 7: Call home with Skype

Now that you have bought some Skype credit you can start calling landline numbers or mobile phones. To start, click on the phone icon

Coronavirus Guide
Coronavirus Guide

Then, dial the number you wish to call (don’t forget to enter your country code). Once you have done this, click on the call button, and hang up when you are done with your call.

If you want to add a landline number to your contact list that is also easy to do. This is useful if you have a family member you call frequently. Simply, click on ‘Add number’ then enter the landline number you wish to add to your list.

Coronavirus Guide
Coronavirus Guide

Step 8: Getting your own Skype number

You can purchase your own Skype number for a small fee which is useful for anyone to call you on who isn’t already on Skype. They will be able to call this number from their mobile or landline or even their Skype account.

Step 9: Using Skype IM to message friends and family

You can send messages to your Skype contacts to do this click on a contact’s name and type a message to them. Switch to your native keyboard, insert an emoticon or Moji, send files, photos, take a new photo, record a video message, or share your location. Choose if you want to send messages via Skype or as an SMS text message.

Step 10: Protecting your privacy on Skype for Android

There are a few advanced settings which can be found in the Android Skype app. To stop spam IM’s, go into your settings and click on ‘Allow IM’s from’. Then select contacts only. Below that you might want to set your settings to allow calls from only contacts too.

To keep your age and gender private from Microsoft’s targeted ads system, make sure you clear the checkbox against Allow Microsoft targeted ads.

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Guide Credit: Business Insider/Marissa Perino

Along with Google Hangouts, Zoom is quickly becoming a frontrunner for  remote  video  conferences during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Zoom is proving to be especially helpful for high school and college-level courses as it allows for up to 100 participants with a free account subscription.

Here’s a quick guide to the app’s essential features.

How to use Zoom on your computer

Launching Zoom from a web browser

Open the browser of your choice on your Mac or PC and head to the Zoom website to create and manage an account. Click on “My Account” after logging in to bring you to your account

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You can schedule, join, or host a meeting at the top of the screen. Click on any of these three options and follow the prompts to set up or join a video call online. To join a call, you’ll need the Meeting ID or name.

On the left-hand side, you’ll find a variety of options, including the first and perhaps most important: Profile. This is where you can change your profile picture, edit your email or password, and make other changes in this settings section. You’ll also find the option to sign out of Zoom on all of your devices at the bottom of this

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Below your profile tab, you’ll find a summary of your meetings. You can start or delete upcoming meetings or review previous meetings at the top.

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Other tabs on the left-hand side include webinars, recordings, and your settings. The webinar feature can only be enabled if you pay for an account, and recordings will direct you to enable the feature for you and your meeting

Launching Zoom from the desktop app

If you downloaded the desktop app, you’ll find a more streamlined version of these options upon opening. The app is organized into four main tabs at the top of the screen: Home, Chat, Meetings, and Contacts.

The “Home” tab gives you the option to start a new meeting, join a current call, schedule a future event, or share your screen. If you have any upcoming meetings for the day, you’ll also find them in a checklist on the right-hand side. You can also click your profile in the top-right hand corner at any time. This will open a dropdown menu to make quick changes, such as switching your availability or profile photo.

Coronavirus Guide

You can also access settings from that menu from any page, or by clicking the gear icon in the right- hand corner of the “Home” tab. This will open the complete Settings menu. Browse through the tabs on the left-hand side to make changes. In “General” you can also find “View More Settings” at the bottom, which will open your profile online for complete access to your Zoom

Coronavirus Guide

The “Chat” tab keeps track of any conversations you have between contacts. You can star or favourite conversations for easy access or browse through your recent ones. You’ll also find “Contact Requests” if anyone has requested to join your directory. Additionally, any shared files between contacts will appear in the “Files”

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The “Meetings” tab shows a summary of any upcoming meetings, organized by date. You can also toggle between upcoming and recorded meetings at the top or click the plus sign to schedule a new one. Click on any pre-existing meeting to view options to start it early, copy the invitation, edit, or delete it. You can also click to show the meeting invitation sent to any

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Lastly, the “Contacts” tab keeps track of the colleagues and classmates you add to the platform. View contact information by browsing through the left-hand categories: starred, external, and cloud contacts. You can also click to view any channels, which are groups of contacts to help organize your activities. Click the plus sign to add a new contact or


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How to use Zoom on your mobile device

The mobile version of the app on iPhone, iPad, and Android offers a simplified version of the online Zoom platform, and the main tabs are found at the bottom: Meet & Chat, Meetings, Contacts, and Settings. (The setup is slightly different due to limited space.)

“Meet & Chat” combines the desktop “Home” and “Chat” tabs. The main options are found at the top: New Meeting, Join, Schedule, and Share Screen. Below, you’ll see recent call and chat history, along with any outstanding Contact Requests. Tap to view the chat with any contact or to accept a request. You can also tap the star icon in the top-left corner to view your favourites or the pencil icon in the top-right corner to draft a new

Coronavirus Guide
Coronavirus Guide

“Meetings” shows a line-up of upcoming You can also start a call, send an invitation, or edit a current event at the top of the page. Tap to begin any one of these options and follow the prompts provided. Your “Personal Meeting ID” is your unique code to start an individual meeting. Tap on an upcoming meeting to view its details or delete it entirely. Tap on a meeting and you’ll also find the option to add invitees and send invitations to these contacts via email or text message.

“Contacts” looks extremely like the desktop version and lists your starred favourites, as well as any others in your company directory. Search for contacts at the top of the page. Tap the plus symbol in the top-right corner to open a pop-up menu to add a contact, create a new channel, or join a public one. You can also toggle between contacts and channels at the top.

  • Contacts are individual people while channels are groups of these contacts.
Coronavirus Guide
Coronavirus Guide

Finally access “Settings” to make any changes to your account. Your Zoom settings are organized by Meetings, Contacts, Chat, and General. You can also add Siri Shortcuts. To make changes to your profile, tap your name at the top of the screen, where you can change your profile photo, display name, or update your password. This is also where you can sign out of the Zoom app

Thank You

This manual, compiling guides for different communication applications, is designed to help any beginner digital user to be able to hold online video/teleconferences independently and to easily reach friends and family. This not an exhaustive guide, as many more communication applications are available to the public, however it should give you enough of an understanding to be able to create and/or attend online calls. This guide would not be possible without the work of previous members of Won Connect CIC and the content of other organisations. Therefore, we would like to thank Mamta Sofat, Digital Unite and Business Insider. Please feel free to contact us for any further queries regarding this article or personal training, we would be delighted to help.


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