This is one major internet security issue that you need to know about. At the end of January, forty-five different organizations asked Skype to come clean about the real deal with Skype privacy. Is it private or not? Is it possible that governments and organizations could be monitoring your Skype conversations?
Last year, Skype cooperated with U.S Law Enforcement officials to make chats visible to police, and many journalists have reported that their Skype calls have been intercepted. With approximately 600 million people using Skype worldwide, that’s quite a bit of eavesdropping. So why is Microsoft so reluctant to issue anything but vague privacy guides for Skype?
What is private and what isn’t on Skype?
BullGuard took a good look ats and have deciphered the following:
- Skype-to-Skype calls between two callers is private. Skype is not able to access the video or the audio as the call does not go through their data centres and providing both users have Skype software, the calls are encrypted
- Group calls (3+) do go through the Skype data centre, so these are at risk for interception
- Text messages are stored in the Skype data centre for 30 days, also a potential to no longer remain private
- Skype calls to a mobile or landline phone pass are also at risk
In order to help keep your privacy on Skype, there are a few things you can do. The current basic privacy settings make it easier for users to search out new contacts, in other words, people you don’t know are easily able to connect with you, leaving you vulnerable to spamming and phishing. BullGuard recommends revisiting your Skype privacy settings to help you keep a low profile. As always, think twice about the information you provide, things such as your birthday and location are details better kept private in order to avoid putting yourself at risk for identity theft. It’s important to remember, if you don’t want certain details to be publicly available, don’t include them in your profile, feel free to leave sections blank.
- To update your settings on a PC:
Open Skype and click Tools>Options>privacy
- To update your settings on a Mac:
Skype offers a fantastic service, enabling people worldwide to communicate, in many instances for free, but the Skype privacy settings should be a major concern for all Skype users.
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