Sharing sensitive information over Skype requires a high level of security, and Microsoft just announced the availability of a preview of end-to-end encrypted Private Conversations, for Skype Insiders. Skype Private Conversations have been built to give you enhanced security through end-to-end encryption with an additional layer of security for conversations between you and your friends and family. Private Conversations can only be between you and one other contact, and thus are not supported in groups.
In a blog post, the company explains how, with Private Conversations, you can have end-to-end encrypted Skype audio calls and send text messages or files like images, audio, or videos, using the industry standard Signal Protocol by Open Whisper Systems with all the content of these conversations hidden in the chat list as well as in notifications to keep all the information shared private.
Give it a try by tapping or clicking the + icon, then select New Private Conversation. Select the contact you’d like to start the Private Conversation with and you will be taken to a new chat with them. An invitation will be sent to your contact asking to accept your invitation. This invitation is valid for 7 days. If they do not accept before then, the invite will expire, and you will need to send another one. Once the contact has accepted, your Private Conversation will be available on that specific device. If you’d like to move the conversation to a different device, you would need to resend the invitation to your contact.
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.
Deleting and Ending a Private Conversation
Either right click or tap and hold on the conversation and select Delete chat. To recover the Private Conversation after you’ve deleted it, start a Private Conversation with that contact again and you’ll be able to pick up where you left off. To end a Private Conversation, go to the chat header, scroll down and select End Private Conversation. You will receive a confirmation window to end the conversation. Select End Conversation. If you want to start another Private Conversation with this person, you will need to send a new invitation.
During the preview, you will only be able to start private conversations with other Skype Insiders also running the latest version, and these interactions are limited to one-to-one conversations. Private Conversations are available now to Skype Insiders using Skype version 18.104.22.168 for iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, and Windows Desktop.