Is your Skype account secure?
Skype recently announced the introduction of end-to-end encryption service for users, first available as a preview for Skype Insiders.
The feature, called Private Conversations, can be accessed by choosing “New Private Conversation” in the Compose Menu. It uses Signal Protocol to ensure information in a chat cannot be accessed by anyone but those directly communicating, and can be used for text exchanges, audio calls, and file sending. Even for Skype Insiders, however, Private Conversations is not currently available for video chat.
Whether you’re one of the lucky users who already has access to the feature, or a user waiting for the full rollout, the introduction of end-to-end encryption for Skype brings up the question of overall security protocols for the platform.
To help in the ongoing quest to secure your online presence, we’ve compiled some other ways you can increase your Skype security below.
Create A Unique Password
The first step for increasing security for any platform is to create a unique password, and Skype is no different. While it’s easier to remember one login for all your sites, this leaves you particularly vulnerable to hackers. If they figure out your password for one account, they can then get into all of them. Choose a password specific to your Skype account to add an easy layer of extra protection.
Update Your Software
Keep your Skype secure by always using the latest, most advanced version. The platform lets you know when updates are available, or you can check for them yourself. On a Mac, go to “Skype” and click “Check for Updates.” On a PC, go to “Help” and click “Check for updates.”
Check Your Privacy Settings
Skype offers a variety of privacy settings you can manage to increase account security. To view options, head to “Skype,” then “Preferences,” then “Privacy.”
From there, you can control who can view your profile picture, who you allow incoming calls from, who you permit video and screen sharing from, and who you allow to send you instant messages.
Manage Your Chat History
In the same privacy tab, you can adjust chat history settings to make sure records of your old conversations aren’t left vulnerable. You can select how long you’d like chats to be saved (with options ranging from Never to Forever with time periods in between), or you can choose to delete chat histories.
Be Mindful Of Profile Info
Your public Skype profile can be seen by anyone. Though you may usually only interact with people you know on the platform, you should limit any information you share on your profile. You also have the option to leave your profile blank — a surefire way not to expose any information you wouldn’t like the world to know.
While an extremely popular platform, Skype is not invincible against privacy invasions. The site has experienced security issues in the past, and has not yet rolled out its end-to-end encryption option for all users. Until it does — and even afterwards — be diligent in taking other steps to secure your account so you can connect to others without leaving you or your information vulnerable.