Skype privacy settings on iOS: Medium level

Learn how to change your privacy settings on Skype using iOS. These steps adjust your privacy and security settings to Medium level protection.
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How to keep your account from getting hacked

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Set a strong password

What for: So you do not get hacked.

If you are using a short and simple password, cybercriminals can guess it and steal your account. A long and complex password is more secure. Use a strong password that:

  • Is at least 8 characters long,
  • Contains lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters ($, @, etc.),
  • Is not an actual word or easy-to-guess phrase,
  • Is not the same as your passwords for any other accounts,
  • Does not consist of information that strangers could easily find out (your name, date of birth, pet's name, and so forth — or those of your friends or relatives).

In iOS, the Skype password can only be changed on the sign-in screen:

  1. Tap your profile picture;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Tap Sign out;
  4. On the sign-in screen, enter your username;
  5. Tap Problem signing in?
  6. Enter the e-mail address to receive a reset link for your password;
  7. Open the e-mail received from Skype, tap the link and change the password to a stronger one.

Note: Your Microsoft account is used to sign in to Skype, so its password will also be changed.

Enable two-factor authentication

What for: So you’re even less likely to get hacked.

Two-factor authentication protects your account even if hackers know your username and password. You will have to enter a one-time code whenever you sign in to your Skype account. The code can be received by text message or e-mail, or generated by an app.

You sign in to Skype with your Microsoft account credentials, so enable two-factor authentication for this account:

  1. In your browser, open your Microsoft account page at https://account.microsoft.com/;
  2. Go to the Security section in the upper part of the screen;
  3. Select More security options;
  4. Tap Set up two-step verification;
  5. Read the information about two-step verification and tap Next;
  6. You will be prompted to download Microsoft Authenticator or to set up a different app for receiving authentication codes.

To use Microsoft Authenticator:

  1. Tap Get it now;
  2. The download page opens. Tap Get the app and choose a convenient source for your download: App Store or a link in a text message.

To use a different app, such as Google Authenticator, tap set up a different Authenticator app and follow the instructions.


You can also receive codes for two-factor authentication by text message or e-mail. To do so, on the page prompting you to install Microsoft Authenticator:

  1. Tap Cancel;
  2. You will be prompted to create a separate password for the Outlook app on your smartphone. This will improve the security of your account (useful if you want to receive the codes by e-mail through mobile Outlook). To create a password, tap the link for your mobile device's operating system and follow the instructions;
  3. Tap Next;
  4. If you use other Microsoft services and products, such as an Xbox 360 account or the desktop Outlook app, carefully read the on-screen instructions for creating a temporary password for these accounts. Note: After enabling two-factor authentication, you will not be able to use these services until you create a temporary password for them. You can create or change a temporary password in the More security options section of your Microsoft account at https://account.live.com/proofs/manage/additional;
  5. Tap Done to turn on two-factor authentication. You do not need to enter your phone number or e-mail address: Number and e-mail from your account will be used, and you can choose between a text message and an e-mail each time you sign in.

After this, the system will prompt you for a security code whenever you sign in to Skype or other accounts linked to your Microsoft account.


How to hide your data from prying eyes

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Delete personal information from your Skype profile

What for: So that strangers do not know too much about you.

Personal information in your profile may be visible to unwanted users or even fraudsters who can use it for phishing scams. To delete private information from your account:

  1. Tap your profile picture;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the Account & Profile section;
  4. Select Your profile;
  5. If you previously indicated your real name but no longer want other users to see it, edit the Name field;
  6. Delete information from the following fields:
  7. About me
  8. Gender
  9. Birthday
  10. City
  11. State/region
  12. Country/region
  13. Mobile phone
  14. Home phone
  15. Office phone;
  16. Delete all e-mail addresses except your primary one;
  17. Tap Save Changes.

Downside: Your friends will have a harder time finding you in Skype.

Stop sharing your location data with Bing

What for: To keep Microsoft from knowing where you go.

Skype may send information about your location to Bing for more relevant search results. This feature is disabled by default, but we still recommend checking the settings:

  1. Tap your profile picture;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the General section;
  4. Turn off the Share location with Bing option.

Do not allow anyone to listen to voice snippets from your conversations

What for: To keep Microsoft and its partners from listening to your conversations.

The automatic translation feature lets you communicate with other users even if you do not know their language. To improve this service, Skype collects fragments (snippets) of your conversations and analyzes them automatically using machine learning algorithms. However, to increase the accuracy of recognition and translations, you can allow employees of Skype and its partners to listen to these snippets.

According to its developers, all data is encrypted and depersonalized, and the employees who work with this data have to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

This feature is disabled by default, but we still recommend checking the settings:

  1. Tap your profile picture;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the General section;
  4. Select Translation settings and disable this feature.

Remove your profile from recommendations and searches

What for: To hide your profile from strangers.

Skype may show your profile to your contacts in search results and suggestions. If you do not want your profile to be seen by all users who have your phone number or e-mail address, turn off this feature:

  1. Tap your profile picture;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the Contacts section;
  4. Open the Privacy section;
  5. Turn off the Appear in search results option.

Download your Skype chat history and contact list

What for: To back up your important data.

On iOS devices, you cannot export the chat history and contact list from the Skype app. You will need to use the Web version.


How to avoid annoying distractions in Skype

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Block calls from strangers

What for: To avoid unwanted communication.

By default, any Skype user can call you. If you do not want to be bothered by strangers, block calls from anyone not in your contact list:

  1. Tap your profile picture;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the Calling section;
  4. Turn on Only allow Skype calls from contacts to ring on this device.

Block unwanted users

What for: To avoid unpleasant people.

If your contact list contains people who write offensive messages, distribute spam, or are just annoying, you can block them. Blocked contacts cannot call or message you. To blacklist (block) a user:

  1. Find their profile in your Skype contact list;
  2. Tap and hold the contact's photo. A menu will open;
  3. Select View profile;
  4. Tap Block contact;
  5.  Tap Block.

Blocked users will not know you’ve blacklisted them.

Turn off automatic call answering

What for: To keep pranksters and scammers away from you and your family.

Your device can automatically answer all incoming phone calls, including calls in Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp. This feature is convenient for senior citizens. However, it can also be abused by scammers and pranksters. If your family is being bothered by suspicious people, instead of disabling automatic answer you can configure the application on their devices to only allow calls from people on the contact list.

To disable automatic answer:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your device;
  2. Go to the Universal access section;
  3. Select Touch;
  4. Tap Call Audio Routing;
  5. Turn off Auto-Answer Calls.

Please keep in mind that automatic answer will stop working not only in Skype, but also for all incoming phone calls as well as and calls in Viber and WhatsApp.

Disable unwanted notifications

What for: Less distraction.

Skype may send you notifications about incoming messages, surveys, and ads. If you are bothered by frequent notifications, you can completely or partially disable them:

  1. Tap your profile picture;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the Notifications section;
  4. Disable the unwanted notifications.

Privacy level
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Relaxed

Basic privacy settings, maximum convenience.


Medium

A golden mean respecting privacy matters but preserving convenience.


Tight

A choice of security over convenience; instructions contain a lot of details.

Relaxed
Medium
Tight
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