Information Security Office

Skype: Safety Recommendations

The Skype peer-to-peer (P2P) application operates by sharing bandwidth of each Skype user to route communications. Depending on network configurations and how the Skype application is active, a user may unknowingly become a supernode. These not only consume large amounts of bandwidth, it means less network resources available for academic mission of the university. 

Please review the following Skype configuration recommendations to control bandwidth issue and add layers of protection regarding personal information.

Do not install Skype on a system containing sensitive information.

Review and understand the Skype End User Agreement before installing the application.

Use secure passwords on Skype system. 

For more information see Choosing a Secure Password.

Keep operating system, application and anti-virus software up to date. 

Backup important files on a regular basis.

Limit personal information in Skype profile.

Only accept incoming phone calls, files and instant messages from known users in Contact List.

When receiving transferred files via Skype, scan with anti-virus software before opening.

Occasionally review Skype Security Bulletins -

Disable Skype application from running on startup and quit application immediately after use.

For more information see:

Disable Skype from Startup - Skype Community

Additional information regarding disabling Skype features via the network see:

Guide for Network Administrator's - (PDF format)

Skype Related Articles

Skype security and privacy concerns - SecurityFocus
Skype Security Resource Center - 
Russia not first to see Skype as a security threat - ArsTechnica
NSA wants help eavesdropping on Skype - Schneier on Security
Legal battle puts Skype future in jeopardy, owner says - CNN Technology