Microsoft rolls out end-to-end encryption for Skype Insider conversations

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Through the collaboration, Microsoft is introducing a private conversations feature in Skype, which is powered by the Signal protocol. The feature is made possible via Signal Protocol's encryption, though it isn't available to non-Insiders at this time.

A Private Conversation will have a lock icon next to your contact's name, and preview messages will not show up in Chats or notifications.

How to use private conversations:Give it a try by selecting "New Private Conversation" from the compose menu or from the recipient's profile. "You can only participate in a private conversation from a single device at a time", added Kilborne.

On the other hand - and given how mainstream a comms platform Skype is - then even partial e2e encryption could be seen as a bit of a step forward, perhaps most especially because Skype is adopting the Signal Protocol for its crypto addition.

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Signal has been rated the top messaging app for those who are privacy-conscious; back in 2016, there was evidence of this when the company was unable to provide anything more than the duration of a user's membership after it received a subpoena.

The concern here for me is the fact that the feature is an opt-in one-you will have to enable it to have your conversation encrypted. What this means is that Skype's end-to-end encryption is not a complete one; but kudos to Microsoft for adding it in the first place. That said, it's early days and the feature could get better as users start sending in their feedback. Keep in mind that you won't be able to use the feature unless you're talking to another person also using a Skype Insider app.

At this point, it's unclear as to what plans Skype has to roll out Private Conversations to the general public, but you can join the Skype Insider program here. Google's Allo, Facebook's WhatsApp, and the social network's Messenger client have been using Signal since 2016. You can share your experience with us by using the comment box below.

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