Disadvantages of Using Skype
By Kefa Olang
Over the years, Skype has become one of the leading messaging programs. Although it boasts a world of communication features that enable you to connect with anyone around the world, it is certainly not without drawbacks that can, at times, make it less desirable.
Skype is a network-intensive program. Although the basic version is completely free, an Internet service (preferably a high-speed network connection) is required to use the program. In fact, with the advancements in the latest versions, a fast broadband Internet connection is necessary to decrease the chances of choppy playbacks and stalling video calls. The amount of bandwidth required to use the program also varies depending on the type of calls you plan to make and the features you intend to use. HD video calling and group videos require the most bandwidth; therefore, although purchasing one can be expensive, a fast network connection is recommended.
With it's popularity, Skype is a target for hackers and attackers looking for ways to steal personal information such as passwords. Though developers encrypt Skype calls, especially with newer versions, the messaging program is still susceptible to being hacked, especially if the proper security measures aren't taken by the user. Hackers are always looking for new ways to break passwords and access personal information; so, as a user, a few simple measures, such as befriending people you know and only exchanging files with people you're familiar with, decreases the chances of unauthorized intrusions that could diminish privacy and security.
Risk for Children
Over the years, online chatting has become a danger-zone for children. For example, Skype can be used to facilitate cyber bullying, especially if parents fail to monitor their children's activities. Additionally, like other online chatrooms, Skype creates opportunities for adults to prey on children. Even though the program can be used for wonderful experiences such as connecting with family and friends over video chats, these experiences can turn ugly in the blink of an eye if the wrong people are on a child's friend list. Therefore, parents should take advantage of their ability to adjust their child's privacy settings and monitor who children communicate with.
Although Skype offers a free account, there are several other interactive features you must pay for if you want to use them. If you would like to use additional features such as unlimited calls to any country in the world, cell phone calling or SMS, you must pay for credit, get a subscription package or buy Skype Premium. Depending on your financial situation, the cost of some of these upgrades may not be feasible.
Kefa Olang has been writing articles online since April 2009. He has been published in the "Celebration of Young Poets" and has an associate degree in communication and media arts from Dutchess Community College, and a bachelor's degree in broadcasting and mass communication from the State University of New York, Oswego.