May 2

Prevent Skype stalking

The last few days there has been a lot of talk that Skype has a serious privacy vulnerability- anyone can easily discover the IP address of any Skype user. The fact that Skype reveals your IP address is not new news.  Skype has known this for years and Priveazy has mentioned this threat specifically (in the Priveazy Locational Privacy lesson) since 2011.

Unfortunately, this allows some serious Skype stalking to take place. Anybody who knows your Skype name can easily get your real-time IP address. This can give away your general location (what city are you in, are you connecting from your office network, etc) and also gives clues as to when you are in transit to new places in real-time.

How can somebody get your Skype name? It is as simple as searching for your name or email address in the Skype public directory. Both your name and email are automatically published to the Skype public directory when you created your account.

Fortunately, you can remove your personal information from the Skype public directory. Here’s the steps (for version 5.8 of Skype app on Windows)

1) Log in to the Skype application

2) At the top, click on “Profile”

3) Click on the small “Edit” button

4) If you don’t want people to be able to find your Skype name by searching on your name, click on your name and change it. You could just put in your first name or you can change it to a pseudonym. Click on the check icon when you are finished.

5) Click on your email address. Completely remove the email address. click on the check icons when you are finished. This only removes the email address from your public profile, not your Skype account.

Doing this prevents strangers from stalking you, but it doesn’t help if a stranger already knows your Skype name or prevent your existing contacts from Skype stalking you. 

If you are really concerned about this issue, here are a few other options:

1) Stay logged out of Skype when you don’t want to give away your location.

2) Skype doesn’t allow you to change your Skype name, but you can create a new Skype account with a different Skype name. Make sure to only share your new Skype name with trusted friends.

3) Always log onto Skype when you are connected through a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

For lots more recommendations about how to maintain your privacy online, check out