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Skype now offers end-to-end encryption on an opt-in basis

Skype is catching up with WhatsApp, Telegram and other messaging apps offering end-to-end encryption for its users. Skype is calling the new feature “Private conversations,” and it applies to messages, files, photos and audio/video calls, though there are some caveats.

First of all, this encryption feature is entirely opt-in, and your correspondent will need to update the latest Skype version for it to work. Moreover, encrypted conversations are only accessible from one device at a time, which isn’t exactly convenient for users. It would have been probably better if Skype turned on encryption for all your conversations across all your devices, just like Apple does with its iMessage app, but this is still better than nothing.

To create a new Private conversation, you can either do so right from the “New chat” button in Skype, or by opening the profile of one of your Skype contacts and choose “Start private conversation” (remember that your contact will need to have the latest Skype update).

In addition to encrypted conversations, Skype has also started testing read receipts with Skype Insiders. This feature will also be opt-in, and it should become generally available in the coming weeks. If you haven’t done it yet, we encourage you to follow Peter Skillman, Director of Design for Skype and Outlook on Twitter for some fresh news about the new cross-platform Skype app.

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Will you use private conversations in Skype?