Skype adds Private Conversations with end-to-end encryption

Skype Private Conversations end-to-end encryption arrives for Insiders

During the preview, you will only be able to start private conversations with other Skype Insiders also running the latest version, and these interactions are limited to one-to-one conversations. They can only send emoticons, files, and audio messages from the chat window. Each private conversation's content will be hidden in both the chat list and from notifications for better privacy. Interestingly, this feature is now unsupported on the UWP version of Skype, though Microsoft has mentioned that support for the UWP client can be expected soon. "After the recipient accepts your invite, all calls and messages in that conversation will be encrypted end-to-end until you choose to end it", explained Ellen Kilbourne, manager of the Skype Insider Program.

Once your contact has accepted your invitation, you may now start your Private Conversation. You can not pick up a Private Conversation from a different device; you will have to repeat the process from the very beginning.

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There are of course also several purpose-built messaging apps with end-to-end encryption on the market already including Signal, Telegram, and Wickr.

Despite its 300 million monthly active users and its large "prosumer" base, Skype remains one of the few modern messaging apps that doesn't encrypt your communications. This is not supported in groups. This is an additional layer of security for conversations and is only available for one-on-one chats.

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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. Take note that the feature is device-specific.

End-to-end encryption is the need of the hour as security flaws in otherwise secure systems get exposed on a regular basis.

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The feature will initiate encrypted private chats only with other users on the Insider build, according to a report by The Verge. Having to do this every time on Skype would be more of headache than feature.

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