Finally, On January 11th, Microsoft announced that Skype will be using End to End encryption now for better security. Skype will do this by partnering with ‘Signal’, an open source messaging app that uses a strong encryption system for its users. What does this mean for us?
No more eavesdropping
After Windows 10 got released, Microsoft had been repeatedly bashed for collecting user data from the Windows itself and from the Skype. Even though there are many tutorials on how to turn those telemetry off, Skype remained one notorious thing. With these recent changes, we can use Skype without worrying.
Zero knowledge conversation
End to End encryption implies that the sender will have a public key and the receiver will use that to decrypt the message, which essentially means that Skype, or Microsoft will have no knowledge of what you send or receive. The Skype and Microsoft server will act as an ignorant messenger between you and the one you are communicating with.
Feel free to share personal contents
With this encryption, now you can send personal contents like pictures without worrying about getting hacked (even though man-in-the-middle attack is possible, it’s highly unlikely), whatever you send will be indecipherable to anyone but you and the one you are having the conversation with.
But the new Skype encryption is currently on the insider preview and for beta testers only. If you want to try out, sign up to be a beta tester and see for yourself. Just tap on the ‘+’ icon and select ‘new private conversation’ and that’s it!
There are caveats to it, of course, like video calls and groups chats are not yet supported, and you cannot sync your private conversations across devices currently.
With a lot of messaging apps having the end to end encryption now-a-days, like the giant Whatsapp, and the kind of features they offer, it will be a tough market for Skype as it is late to the encryption party anyway.