Microsoft has announced that end-to-end encrypted conversations are coming to Skype. While there's no timeline available for when the feature will be enabled for everyone, Skype Insider testers can already try the feature out with the latest preview update on iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, and Windows desktop. Alas, the UWP version of Skype, distributed on the Microsoft Store, is left out for now.
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. You will have to take extra steps to ensure you're in a private conversation, however. Microsoft explains:
Give it a try by selecting "New Private Conversation" from the compose menu or from the recipient's profile. 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. You can only participate in a private conversation from a single device at a time. You can switch the conversation to any of your devices, but the messages you send and receive will be tied to the device you're using at the time.
Encryption is already offered to some extent on several other messaging platforms, including Signal and WhatsApp, so it's good to see Skype is finally jumping on board. Skype's implementation, Microsoft says, takes advantage of the industry standard Signal Protocol by Open Whisper Systems.
For the preview, you'll only be able to start private conversations with other Skype Insiders who are on the latest preview version of the app. If you are a Skype Insider, you should be able to try the feature out now with Skype version 22.214.171.124 for iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, and Windows Desktop.
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