How dangerous is Skype?

Skype expert Michael Gough examines the top five security misconceptions

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Myth No. 4: Skype is hard to stop on my network

Skype is only hard to block if you don't know what is on your network or if you don't have good configuration management of your clients. There are many ways you can block Skype, ranging from scripts to using network management software, to blocking Skype at the network layer. For details, see this article.

Myth No. 5: Skype is encrypted, so I can't archive IM messages

This one's not really a myth. Skype sessions are encrypted, so yes, you can't capture or archive Skype communications. The same is true of many IM applications, though, so it's not less secure than other IM programs that can use encryption.

Conclusion

So far, Skype hasn't suffered from the ills that bedevil most of the IM applications regarding viruses and worms. But it's most likely only a matter of time before a vulnerability is discovered and exploited. Any application that allows file transfers, IM or voice that can't be monitored, archived or recorded, has some level of risk.

However, Skype's architecture is more difficult to crack than other IM applications open to the Internet, and so it's the safest of those, but there are non-Internet applications like Jabber that are even safer for internal-only IM communication. But if asked if Skype is safer than MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AIM or ICQ, the answer is "yes" for now.

For more information:

Skype Slips into business

Skype aims to meet more business needs

Skype Security Blog

Skype - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SkypeTips.com

Michael Gough is host and webmaster of SkypeTips.com and VideoCallTips.com.

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