Skype Now Offers End-to-End Encryption
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Skype users can now choose to make their voice calls and text chats end-to-end encrypted. This is Microsoft catching up with other messaging apps, including Messenger, Telegram, and WhatsApp, which have offered end-to-end encryption Why WhatsApp's End-to-End Encryption Is a Big Deal Why WhatsApp's End-to-End Encryption Is a Big Deal WhatsApp recently announced that they would be enabling end-to-end encryption in their service. But what does this mean for you? Here's what you need to know about WhatsApp encryption. Read More for a while.

End-to-end encryption means that your chats are encrypted from one end to the other, ensuring eavesdroppers can’t intercept your messages or listen into your conversation. It has taken a while for Skype to offer the feature, but it’s better late than never.

Microsoft Launches Private Skype Conversations

Microsoft began testing end-to-end encrypted Skype chats in January, and the feature is now available to all users. You can use Skype’s Private Conversations on Skype for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. But you will need to opt in as it isn’t the default.

There are some restrictions beyond the need to opt in. You can only maintain one Private Conversation at a time, which is rather limiting. And while you can switch that conversation to another device you’ll only see the messages sent on that device.

How to Start a Private Conversation in Skype

To start a Private Conversation in Skype, either go to the Compose menu or the profile of the person you want to contact. Then select “New Private Conversation”. The recipient will receive an invite to launch a Private Conversation, and will need to accept to proceed.

Once the invitation has been accepted, all voice calls, messages, and files will be encrypted from end-to-end, meaning only you and the person you’re chatting with can see them. However, messages aren’t automatically deleted when you end a Private Conversation.

Offering End-to-End Encryption as Default

It has taken Microsoft far too long to add end-to-end encryption, and even now it’s subject to some stifling restrictions. However, we suspect this is just the first step, and Microsoft will add end-to-end encryption to Skype as the default before too long.

In the meantime it might be worth checking out these open source messaging apps more secure than Skype. Or, if you want to learn more about encryption as a whole, read our primer detailing how encryption works How Does Encryption Work, and Is It Really Safe? How Does Encryption Work, and Is It Really Safe? Read More and whether it’s really all that safe.

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  1. ReadandShare
    August 22, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Skype is owned by Microsoft. For "government sensitive" communication, using Skype's end-to-end encryption is like mailing a postcard inside an envelop. Safer, but only just.