Is Skype safe for a clinical consultation? In June last year, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners said in their publication RACGP advice on Skype: “There is currently no clear evidence to suggest that Skype is unsuitable for clinical use”.
This year however, new information came to light suggesting that Skype, owned by Microsoft, may not be as safe as we thought. Here are three reasons why you should be careful to use Skype as a professional video conferencing tool:
- Skype is not encrypted from end-to-end. Microsoft can intercept information transmitted via Skype.
- Skype tells the world where users are by exposing IP addresses. This allows criminals to target cyber attacks.
- The US National Security Agency (NSA) can listen in and watch Skype chats with their data collection program Prism.
Skype is committed to respecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal data, traffic data and communications content.
But this, it seems, needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. The Guardian reported that Microsoft “worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide.”
The big question of course is: If US government agencies are listening in on our video chats, what other governments and organisations are collecting our online data?
Thanks to Paul Waite for providing background information for this post.
- How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages
- Why Doesn’t Skype Include Stronger Protections Against Eavesdropping?
- NSA leaks hint Microsoft may have lied about Skype security
- Skype leaks your location
- Think your Skype messages get end-to-end encryption? Think again
- Skype with care – Microsoft is reading everything you write
- Skype Risks – Putting Your Privacy in Microsoft’s Hand
- Is Skype safe for a clinical consultation?