Skype was in use before video chat features were commonplace on cell phones. The former leading video call platform has added features to keep up with the rising competition. A new feature called Meet Now allows users to quickly join a call by clicking a link on the web. In addition, Skype lets users blur their background for extra privacy, use language translation, and call regular phone numbers. The video chat app is owned by Microsoft, which means Skype integrates with Microsoft team services.
Has there ever been a breach or data leak?
Date of last breach
Microsoft admitted that between December 5th and 31st of 2019 that an internal customer support database was left public. This left approximately 250 million Customer Service records exposed, and often included customer email addresses, IP addresses, and locations.
Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?
Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?
Does it have parental controls?
Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?
Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?
Does it require you to create a strong password?
Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?
How Can It Snoop?
Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?
Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?
Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?
Does it require an email address to use?
Does it require a phone number to use?
Does it require an address (home or office) to use?
Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?
Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?
Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?
Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?
What Could Go Wrong?
Skype had some privacy concerns in the past. Most recently, Microsoft was allowing its contract workers in China to listen on Skype calls with no security measures in place. Obviously, Microsoft has changed these practices, but it is a good reminder that even companies with decent security practices can handle private data and conversations sloppily. Since Skype has also been around grown in popularity for years, it has become a prime target for malware and phishing attacks. Users should set up a two-factor authentication on Skype.
How Does It Share Your Data?
- Since Microsoft has acquired Skype, the security and privacy measures have shored up and continued to improve.
- Bug bounty program for security vulnerabilities and security updates monthly.
- Since Skype is popular, it has collected a fair amount of data and open to attacks from hackers. So be aware of that.
- Skype collects your data and uses it to target you with advertising within Microsoft web properties.
- Microsoft has been known to be sloppy with personal information.
Microsoft has been known to collect a lot of personal data from its users and handle it poorly. It was also the target of cyberattack in December 2019 that left its Customer Support database, and a large amount of user information, public for several weeks. Microsoft products should be used with extreme caution.