Technology has had a positive impact on the society. Likewise, fatalistic effects have discerned. First, the inauguration of social media platforms like, Facebook, Skype, and Twitter flourished. Second, all these social platforms have eased communication. Third, keeping these accounts safe and secure prevents users from privacy issues – now, this third one is the biggest issue of the cyber world today.To begin with, as we all know, Skype has been around for years now. As a matter of fact, it is the most accredited platform in VolP calling and video conference. Even though it has morphed into a verb, there are some Skype privacy issues.
No doubt, scammers are now targeting Skype to be a bed of roses. In the shape of adverts sent to Skype users via instant messaging, mostly. Even so, there are measures Skype users need to take into account. In any case, all these measures will help constrain Skype security issues. Let’s get started without wasting time then!
Scrutinize Log Files Created By Skype
A good offence is the best defence when it comes to Skype security risks. Ultimately, it’s not easy for Skype users to suspect unusual things to their accounts. It’s only when they see themselves, but there are two software Skype users can use. Nirsoft (http://www.nirsoft.net/) and SkypeLogView (http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/skype_log_view.html) created by Skype. These two programs provide the details of activity of Skype users. From calls to IM conversations and also file transfer is done from one Skype account to another.
Moreover, Skype users can copy selected items from export or log onto XML, TXT, CSV and HTML. Also, no installation or extra DLL files get involved using SkypLogView. SkypLogView software is the best for Skype users in troubleshooting their Skype accounts.
Encrypt Your Skype Chats
Not only profile privacy settings are the way of keeping Skype account secure, encrypting chats matters too. Skype users can deploy CryptoChat 4 (http://www.cryptochat4.com/skype/default.aspx). This Skype software is beneficial to users; especially if Skype users are working on private projects.
CryptoChat encrypts all your Skype dialogue with 1024 bit asymmetric RSA keys. It’s for super privacy on Skype! To use this Skype security software, you just need to install it. You then need to select contacts to encrypt. This app impedes hackers compelling their way into your conversation history. Furthermore, it protects users IM conversation. Also, if there is a snooper on user contacts – it will edge them.
Erase Skype Call History
One simple way for Skype users to enhance Skype video security is deleting their call history. So, this seems a taxing task to users who use Skype on daily a basis. Reason being Skype privacy tab erases IM conversations.
For this reason, Skype users can now delete Skype call history log and recent call with one click. Thanks to Privacy Controls 2.0 software. (http://privacycontrols2.com/). Besides, Privacy Control 2.0 deletes file transfer history, voicemail account and stored data received through Skype.
Above all, Privacy Controls runs in the background. It deletes user’s history with scheduled scans. As a result, users will not have to worry about deleting their Skype history. This software does not spare P2P application. Examples of P2P apps include; One, Kazaa and Limeware. Two, IM apps; Yahoo, Google Talk, Messanger, and Windows Live. Three, media players; DivX and Quicktime, VLC, desktop search utilities, internet browsers.
Finally, unwanted history items from Flash and Adobe Acrobat gets deleted by it. Privacy Control is a freeware although users need to register to get a free license key.
Alter Your Skype Privacy Settings
Simple tricks like setting your Skype friends to be contacting you can do a lot of good alone. It will help you keep your accounts safe from snoopers, and alike. Also, Skype users can change their calls, videos and IM settings. For example, you can set your IM environment to everyone or contacts only.
Furthermore, place calls and videos to those in your contact list only. It’s a simple Skype privacy settings technique! It will help you prevent unwanted calls and video chats. Meanwhile, you can still access them through IM conversation. Finally, you should also remove cookies history.
There are several devices in the market; no doubt different people are using different devices to access Skype. There are Skype users on Windows phones, others on Android devices. Also, there are those using Skype on desktops. If you are one of them, it’s critical you know Skype security risks associated with your device mainly. Having said that, let’s take a look at each of the device.
Mobile Phone Skype Users
Skype has made things much easier being available on cell phones, no doubt on that. If you use Skype on your mobile, ensure your handset is well secured. Also, activate all the inbuilt security PIN features – to prevent the handset from anyone who steal it (or in case you lost phone) to access your account.
Skype on Windows Phone is a little different compared to the other cell versions. At the same time, most mobile apps are more or less same as desktops apps. The difference between Windows Phone, iOS, and Android is that the functionality. Windows phone is limited regarding privacy options included.
Thus, iOS and Android users can manage contacts in their list of contacts. But, with Windows phone, users can block contacts opening a conversational window. Alongside an Android and iOS mobile, I use Windows phone too but sooner or later, I’ll dish out. If not, I’ll throw it in my electronic archive and wish never to see it again.
When it comes to Skype privacy settings on Windows phone, you’ll agree with me this phone sucks big time. You cannot specify how Skype friends can contact you. For instance, users can’t set calls and instant messages to come from characters they have as contacts.
The only Skype privacy settings honour for Window phone users is you can block people. To get this done, users need to open message window and click on relevant contact. Open menu and select Block Contact. What annoys more, you need to confirm. But there is no option to report or send a message to Skype that the contact is spam.
If you use Skype on Windows phone, your profile privacy settings better need to get done on a desktop computer – at least in my opinion.
Best Skype Privacy Setting for iPhone and iPad
There is no doubt that privacy setting of Apple iOS devices is less complicated compared to Windows Phones, and is better too. iOS users aren’t able to block a contact, though. Skype security features of iOS devices is a wasteland.
For users to manage their Skype video calling privacy, they need to sign into their Skype accounts. Either on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. It’s unbelievable that the platform is capable of replacing a desktop computer, but it doesn’t have a full configured Skype app.
Skype Privacy Setting on Android
Among all the phones, Android devices are the best to use for secure Skype experience – as simple as that. Skype security settings for Android users are adjustable to a great extent, and below I’ll highlight some settings for you to alter to have maximum Skype security on Android:
Click on menu> Settings> from there you can set to receive calls from or allow IMS from to contacts only. By doing you’ll be able to keep your Skype things private. Moreover, this is the section that has Allow Microsoft targeted ads checkbox; you can erase/uncheck it if you don’t want to see it.
Skype contacts management can get done in two ways. First, either in the people (contacts) screen. Second, from the screen that displays the conversation you have had. It’s here that users can block, discard or remove a contact.
Skype users need to know there is no way they can manage Skype chat history on their phones, as that is in the mobile version. They can discard it though, by going to Settings>Application manager>Skype>clear data. Keep in mind this process will delete Skype data from your phone. So, you will need to sign in again.
Desktop Skype Users
Skype users using Linux, OS X, Mac and Windows can access Skype from their desktops – more on that below:
Using Skype on Windows 8 Securely
The window desktop version is the most extensive Skype version used. But over several years, it has changed. The latest version has several features for users to manage their accounts. All things considered, it means users can tweak their settings.
To customise Skype settings on Windows 8 for better security users need to start with Skype client. Open Skype>Privacy. Users can decide on who should contact them. Also, they can regulate calls and instant messages – by activating members in their contact list.
To restrict instant messages, find Allow IMs from in the settings. Then choose members in my contact list.
Skype video privacy is manageable, too. For users who are using an old version, they can manage voice calls. By expanding Show Advanced options feature. Also, block Microsoft targeted ad network, check the box against Allow Microsoft targeted ads. It includes the use of Skype profile and gender.
Furthermore, the Desktop client enables Skype users to disable the entire chat history. So, if you had a chat with other members and you shared some private links, worry no more. In summary, open Skype>privacy>keep history. Use the drop down menu and set to no history then click clear history.
Content management is a secure Skype function, in many ways. It helps users remain safe and secure. It helps members to block and unblock contact in a straightforward manner. To prevent a contact from contacting you, right-click his/her username in Skype app. Select block this person from the menu. Confirm remove from the contact list. Finally, confirm with Block button.
Users can make good use of Report Abuse feature for misbehaving contacts. Windows 8 users can easily unblock contact. By; Open Skype>Privacy>Blocked Contacts> select the contact then Unblock.
Windows 8 and 8.1 Modern Interface
There are those using the modern Skype interface version, too. In the same way, users take Skype privacy issues severe with other versions. So, does this version as well.
Skype users on this operating system can manage their privacy by; Settings>Options>Privacy. There are two options when users reach here including those members you want to call you and who can send you instant messages. Meanwhile, users can assure their Skype security on Windows 8 and 8.1 modern interface. How? By setting both options to only my contacts. It’s not secure for users whose phone numbers get attached to Skype to allow anyone to call them.
In the present digital world, Skype spam is on an extensive scale. To prevent your account being vulnerable to scam texts, set instant messaging to only people you know and have on Skype list can contact you.
For users who want to set video and screen sharing the above options labelled video are applicable. But for users who want to set incoming video and screen sharing, switch to set Ask. So, then you will have the option to accept or reject video calls or screen sharing.
For incoming calls, you need to scroll on the same screen to Answer incoming calls and set to No. At the same time, adjust the Turn on video to No. In conclusion, users can manage the chat history in modern interface Skype version with ease. Click Settings>Options>Clear all conversation history and make the history you have.
Mac OS X has its security very own features for its users. They are bit different, but at the same time, are not too difficult from the Window tools. Users can find the privacy panel by opening Skype menu and selecting preferences – the app should be running of course.
First, Mac has a Show my picture feature. It enables users to set their profile picture to get shown to the contacts or not. Second, users can decide whom they can have a Skype-to-Skype call. The allow calls from feature aid users to set that privacy. Since Skype security issues is a major concern to many Skype users, they can block spam calls with just a little work on Mac.
It’s possible for users to configure their contacts. In that, you can setup your Skype number to Receive calls to my number. Only allowed public calls and members will be able to call you, anyone outside your contact list will result in you receiving a notification of a spam caller.
On Mac OSx, video calling, and screen sharing can be restricted as well. You can use the Allow video and screen sharing found in settings. The most secure option for users is to select nobody or contacts. As a result, you won’t receive video from strangers.
Finally, you can determine whom you can receive the messages from. You simply apply the Allow messages from just like any other Skype security settings. It is important that Mac users check their contacts on a regular basis. In summary, they should do this to weed spam contacts.
Chat history for Mac OS X users is kept in Skype’s cloud for 30 days. If you would like to keep your chat history for long, you can adjust settings. Select Skype>preferences>privacy>save chat history. There you can select never, one month, three months or forever.
Skype Privacy Settings Linux
Users can safeguard their Linux Skype accounts – by only allowing members in their contacts list to communicate with them. It can get adjusted from the Allows calls from and chats. Only approved members can interact with you then.
Users can block Microsoft targeted ads using the same procedure as above. To keep a chat history for longer, activate in the Keep chat history option in Skype. For your information, by default the app retains the chat for 30days.
Manage Skype security setting on Linux is simple; it’s not lengthy like Windows. The procedure is less like that of Mac as you can see just above.
Quick Recap to Sum up the Guide on Skype Security
As a Skype user, you might have secured your account from spammers and unwanted calls, given that you followed all the instructions I provided above – correctly. But the fact remains, all these systems aren’t 100%. Users are contemplating if Skype is safe for sexting. Or anything between, they should think of their security. You might want to try some Skype alternatives, at least as an experience for other quality VOIP programs available.
Someone somewhere might be busy figuring out about software that will record your conversation over Skype. Sad news, such applications are available. Worst of all, for free! But if there is nothing to hide, no worry. Finally, with these tips, you should be able to keep your account safe, and nothing is to lose in trying Skype alternatives too.
Top/Featured Image: By C_osett / Flickr