Microsoft Partners Signal to Give Skype End-to-End Encryption

Microsoft Partners Signal to Give Skype End-to-End Encryption

Select New Private Conversation to launch the feature.

The addition of end-to-end encryption will allow Skype users to ensure that their audio calls, text messages, and files remain as secure as possible. Also, in this category are Facebook, WhatsApp, Google and Telegram.

Signal messages and calls are end-to-end encrypted and "painstakingly engineered to keep your communication safe", the company said. For now, Private Conversations with end-to-end encryption is available only to Skype Insider testers using Skype 8.13.76.8 for iOS, Android, Linux, Mac and Windows Desktop.

Once the contact accepts the invite, a Skype Private Conversation will become active on the device used to invite the particular contact. Private Conversations can only be between you and one other contact.

This is a good start for Skype but what I do hope to see is that they make all messages and audio calls encrypted by default rather than being opt-in. Signal says Signal Protocol's strong encryption properties secure the private exchange in the new feature. To start a Private Conversation, you tap or click the "+" icon, then select the self-descriptive New Private Conversation option and select the contact.

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Separately, there was a flap earlier this week about hackers and spies being able to slip into Signal-protected WhatsApp group chats by compromising WhatsApp servers.

The concern here for me is the fact that the feature is an opt-in one-you will have to enable it to have your conversation encrypted.

What this means for you: If you're truly concerned about privacy, you'd probably be better off sticking with more of an established secure-communications app like Signal until the the Skype beta receives a once-over from the EFF and other organizations. Apple iMessages are also end-to-end encrypted.

Microsoft owned Skype is still to have a complete roll out of end-to-end encryption. Take note that the feature is device-specific. This is an additional layer of security for conversations and is only available for one-on-one chats.

Skype is rolling out a new feature soon.

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