Science

Microsoft rolls out end-to-end encryption for Skype Insider conversations

Microsoft rolls out end-to-end encryption for Skype Insider conversations

To start a Private Conversation, Skype users simply tap the + icon, select New Private Conversation, and choose a contact.

Microsoft has announced that it will be previewing end-to-end encrypted conversations for Skype Insiders.

Private Conversations will encrypt Skype audio calls and text messages. The new feature, announced via a blog post, is called Private Conversations, and is available for Skype Insiders now.Skype was already using 256-bit AES encryption, as reported by Mary Jo Foley on our sister site ZDNet.

Chose the contact you want to share a Private Conversation with.

The feature is now available in preview for Skype Insiders.

Microsoft has partnered with encrypted messaging app Signal to encrypt messages on Skype. Once the conversation or message chain begins, it will remain end-to-end encrypted until it is ended, the post said. Seeing as it is in beta today, this may become a reality but Microsoft has yet to acknowledge if they will go down this path. In order to use the feature, a user has to select the "New Private Conversation" option from the compose menu or from the recipient's profile.

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Whisper's Signal app was originally considered to be one of the more reliable apps to communicate privately between two devices, receiving full marks on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's first scorecard for secure messaging apps.

Skype had the potential to be what WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are now.

One of the best features of WhatsApp has been its end-to-end encryption since day one. You can only participate in a private conversation from a single device at a time. This is an additional layer of security for conversations and is only available for one-on-one chats. It only works with one-to-one chats at this stage - so video calls and group chats remain unencrypted.

A Private Conversation will have a lock icon next to your contact's name.

At this point, it's unclear as to what plans Skype has to roll out Private Conversations to the general public, but you can join the Skype Insider program here. Having to do this every time on Skype would be more of headache than feature.

Private Conversations are specific to a device.