How Safe Is Skype For Kids?

With Skype you can talk to other children. The advantage is that you can make “phone calls” over the Internet completely free of charge, anywhere in the world. All you need is a headset (headphones with microphone), a PC, laptop or cell phone and the Skype program. You can also download it for free on

As great as Skype is, unfortunately it also has its disadvantages. Today we would like to inform you about these disadvantages.

Disadvantages And Dangers Of Skype

Skype was acquired by Microsoft some time ago. This is the company that programs and sells Windows operating systems. Experts now suspect that Skype is no longer completely secure because of this. Some journalists now claim that Skype stores users’ conversations for 30 days. By the way, journalists are people who conduct interviews with important people and write reports for newspapers. Some journalists work for television.

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The acquisition of Microsoft has now made it easier to eavesdrop on conversations. You might be wondering why someone would listen to your conversations and what’s so interesting about that. Quite apart from the fact that it is forbidden by law, such eavesdropping can be quite dangerous.

If you talk about your address, passwords or other important data during the Skype conversation, hackers can access it relatively easily. Politicians and entrepreneurs are particularly at risk. They don’t want state or company secrets to be spied on.

In addition to Skype conversations, video conferences are also not without danger. Other people can hack into your webcam without you noticing. This means that they take control of the camera. So they can not only follow the video conference, but also turn the camera on and off at any time without you noticing.

By the way, Skype has features for which you have to pay something. If you deposit money, you can use it just like a real phone to call other people on their cell phones. Therefore, be careful not to buy Skype Credit unintentionally!

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Tip for parents: There are special child settings for Skype. For example, they allow chatting only with participants from the friends list.

Tips For You

Whenever you are alone or with other children on the Internet, you should always take care of your safety. Follow the tips below:

  • Do not give your postal or e-mail address to others. You should also not give your phone number to anyone on the Internet. Also, if you talk to one of your friends on Skype, you should not exchange contact information or secrets over Skype. Always keep in mind that someone may be reading or listening without you realizing it.
  • Only accept contact requests from people you know in “real” life.
  • If someone asks you to do something strange, don’t do it. Talk to an adult about it!
  • Facebook and Co.: Take a look at the security and privacy settings. Make sure that not everyone has to know everything about you. Only share your posts with friends.
  • Use only secure passwords and usernames. Your username should not indicate your real name, where you live, your gender or age. Choose a funny fantasy or animal name instead.
  • Review Skype settings with your parents. Together you can set Skype so that your profile photo is only visible to friends.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date antivirus, firewall and anti-spyware software. This will protect you from unwanted access to your computer.
  • Never share passwords! If you receive messages or e-mails asking you to do so, you can safely ignore them. For security reasons, Skype, Facebook, etc. never ask their users to disclose their passwords. Most of the time, someone is behind such messages who wants to crack your profile. Such actions are called phishing. This word comes from the English “fishing”, which means “to fish”. The capital P stands for “password”. So phishing is “fishing for passwords”.
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Worksheet For The Text

1) Explain the difficult words in the text.
What does…

  • Headset
  • hacking
  • Journalists
  • Phishing

2) Write here at least 3 safety tips for surfing the Internet.

3) What are the dangers of using Skype? Design a clear poster on this topic.

Photo:Twin design /

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