Skype privacy settings on Windows: Relaxed level

Learn how to change your privacy settings on Skype using Windows. These steps adjust your privacy and security settings to Relaxed 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).

To change your Skype password:

  1. Click your profile picture;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Select Your profile to open your profile management page;
  4. Click Change password;
  5. Enter the current password for your Skype account (it’s the same as the password for your Microsoft account);
  6. Select how you want to receive the one-time code — by e-mail, text message, or other means;
  7. Enter the code you receive and click Confirm;
  8. Enter your current Skype password;
  9. Enter a new strong password twice;
  10. Click Save.

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;
  3. Select More security options;
  4. Click Set up two-step verification.
  5. Read the information about two-step verification and click 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. Click Get it now;
  2. When the download page opens, click Get the app and choose a convenient source for your download: Google Play, App Store, or a link in a text message.

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


If you do not want to use an app, you can receive two-factor authentication codes by text message or e-mail. To do so, on the page prompting you to install Microsoft Authenticator:

  1. Click 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, click the link for your mobile device's operating system and follow the instructions;
  3. Click 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. Click 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 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. Click your profile picture;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Click Calling in the menu on the left;
  4. Turn on the toggle next to 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. Right-click on the contact's photo;
  3. Select Edit contact;
  4. Click Block contact;
  5. Click Block.

Blocked users will not know you’ve blacklisted them.

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
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Tight
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