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Skype Make A Positive Move To Tackle Online Abuse

By changing the default setting for IP addresses, Skype are facilitating a huge positive change with a very limited amount of disruption to their user base – we call that a success!

Skype, the Microsoft owned global messaging and call service have taken a step in the ongoing fight against online abuse by changing their users default settings. Previously, Skype users IP addresses are shown by default to other users, which can potentially lead to people being targeted through their IP addresses in various different ways such as Doxing, Swatting and DDos attacks (If you need support for any form of online abuse visit our help centre or total access support section.

In an effort to keep users safe, Skype have now announced that by default, IP addresses will now be hidden. Users can change the setting to show their IP if they choose to, but from now on all IP addresses will not be shown unless you change the new default setting yourself.

Harassment or Doxing may not be a problem for most Skype users who have only family, friends and known business contacts. But for many online communities such as gaming and esports, where Skype is used for in game chat and communication, this is not the case and players who have disagreements could be targeted.

Our Thoughts

It is very encouraging to see Skype/Microsoft taking a common sense approach to what is a very serious issue for online communities and gamers all over the world. Lives can be destroyed through online harassment and we applaud Microsoft for the changes, for many companies the problem is easiest to deal with by pretending it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately we see many people taking risks by not tailoring their personal security on social media accounts and messaging services and this is a simple yet very effective way of reducing that risk.

It will be interesting to see the impact of the change to the Skype policy and any significant reduction in reported abuse from their service users. We would welcome and encourage other platform providers and social media companies to consider a similar approach when reviewing their default personal data settings. Please explore the following suggestions for further information regarding online abuse and harassment. If you are affected by abuse online, visit our Online Abuse Help Centre or Total Access Support section.

What do you think about the changes Skype have announced? Tweet us @CybersmileHQ!