Skype Provides Security through Privacy Setting and Personal Profile Options - dummies

Skype Provides Security through Privacy Setting and Personal Profile Options

By Loren Abdulezer, Susan Abdulezer, Howard Dammond, Niklas Zennstrom

Skype gives you two mechanisms for protecting your privacy: your privacy setting, which allows you to decide who can directly call or converse with you and your Skype profile. Your profile contains information that you allow anyone on Skype to see. Your Skype profile can be jam-packed with info, or it may contain barely anything — your choice.

Skype’s default setting allows anyone to initiate a call or IM with you. You need to be aware that if you simply click OK, you may be authorizing him to know both your full Skype identity particulars (except your e-mail address) and your online status in real time.

At any time you can right-click any name in your contact list and choose to block this person from contacting you or to remove him or her from your contact list.

To control your privacy options in general, click Tools→Options→ Privacy. On the Privacy Settings screen, you can allow calls from anyone or only from people in your contact list. You can do the same with IM messages. You can also block your online status from being shown on the Web. And you can control how your video is handled.

Even if you set your privacy settings so that only people on your contact list can contact you or see when you are online, you can still receive “Hello from” requests from new visitors.

You get to decide how much personal information you want to share with the world via your Skype profile.


From a privacy perspective, keep these considerations in mind:

  • Even if you don’t want to reveal much information, you’ll probably find that listing your preferred language and country is useful. Adding identifying information such as a country can be helpful to someone who searches for your name and finds several people with the same first and last name as yours. Additional information can help to narrow the list.

  • Many people are unaware that the number of Skype contacts a person has is listed unless they deselect this option. You may not want the world to know that you have only three contacts, especially if you portray yourself as being experienced in VoIP and Skype.

  • You should have your e-mail address in your profile so that you can take advantage of features such as calling phones, an online Skype number, and voicemail. Also, if you ever forget your password, you’ll need your e-mail account to reset your password.