In January, Microsoft began testing end-to-end encryption for Skype conversations. This feature has finally been activated for customers, MSPoweruser said last week.
The Private Calls feature is available to users on Windows desktops, Android, iOS, Mac, and Linux. When Microsoft began introducing the tester feature in January, the company said the encryption would work for audio calls and text, as well as for transferring image, audio and video files using the Open Whisper Systems signal protocol.
Note, however, that you can only have one private conversation on a device at a time.
To start a private conversation on Skype:
- Start a new chat on the mobile device by tapping the New Chat button and then Conversation. On the desktop, you can do this by clicking the new Chat + button and then selecting New Private Conversation.
- Next, select the contact you want to start the conversation with. You will receive an invitation that is valid for seven days. It expires if they are not accepted by then, and then you have to send a new one.
- After your friend accepts the invitation, the private conversation will be available from the device from which they accepted your request. If one of you wants to talk to another device, you must accept an invitation from this device.
- You can switch between a Skype conversation and a private conversation by clicking on the "Skype" or "Private" tab above.
- You can also start a private conversation with someone you already speak to by choosing New Private Entertainment from their profile.
If you want to start a private call:
- Start a new private conversation or select an existing one.
- Click the Private tab at the top of the conversation.
- Select the Private Call button.
To delete a private conversation:
- Click the chat header.
- Go to Chat Settings
- Select Delete Private Conversation
- Click Delete in this window. This removes messages in this conversation from your device.
To stop a private conversation:
- Click the chat header.
- Go to the chat settings.
- Select Stop private conversation.
- In this window, click Stop Conversation. If you would like to start another private conversation with this person, send them another invitation.
Private calls are restricted. You can not edit a message or forward a file. Private conversation previews are also not displayed in your chats list or notifications for additional privacy.
Skype has previously offered 256-bit AES encryption, but end-to-end encryption is more secure because only the people involved in the conversation can read the messages.
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