Skype launches end-to-end encryption for calls and texts

It's not the default, but it promises greater security for everyone.

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Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

After months of work, Skype's Private Conversations are now a practical reality. Users on Android, iOS and desktop platforms can now switch on end-to-end encryption for both calls and text chats. If your intended recipient accepts your invitation, the technology will better shield your conversations from eavesdroppers hoping to intercept chat traffic or snoop on your device. It'll even hide content in notifications and the chat list to prevent someone from casually glancing at your sensitive discussions.

There are restrictions that come with the feature. You can only maintain one Private Conversation per device at a time. You can switch conversations to other devices, but you'll only see the messages sent and received on a given device. And of course, it's optional -- unlike services such as WhatsApp, you can't default to end-to-end encryption. Still, this gives you a reason to stick to Skype for your most sensitive discussions instead of having to split your attention between apps.

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