How to Prevent Viruses when Using Skype

by Contributor

Skype uses secure encryption technology to keep your privacy safe while sending calls, instant messages and files. Just like with any email client or file transfer program, there is a risk of viruses, Trojan horses, adware and malware. Use these guidelines to prevent viruses when using Skype.

Use up-to-date anti-virus software. Good anti-virus software is essential for any computer with an Internet connection. Download a good program or, if your computer came with anti-virus software, be sure it is the latest version.

Scan all files you receive. Before opening files, screen them through one or two virus scanners.

Communicate with friends only. You can control who is authorized to contact you, so only accept requests from people you trust.

Do not accept unexpected files. If a friend's machine is infected, he may automatically send you the virus. Ask them to explain everything they send and make sure the response is genuine.

Download adware protection software. Viruses and adware are two different things. Not all anti-virus software scans for adware.

Run regular scans. Viruses can slip by you. Regularly run complete system scans just in case.

Beware of links. Some hyperlinks can lead straight to viruses or adware. Just like file transfers, ask for an explanation before clicking. Study the URL for clues of suspicious files. Anything with an .exe, .vbs or a double (.html.dll) extension or that asks you to launch an external application should be avoided.

Delete suspicious files immediately. Do not let them linger if you think they may be infected. Run a thorough virus scan after deleting the file.


  • check When installing your anti-virus software, use the basic setup. Schedulers and active scanners slow your machine down. Instead, schedule manual scans monthly or weekly.
  • check Treat file transfers on Skype the way you treat email attachments. Be careful before you click.
  • check If infected, be sure to tell everyone on your contact list and fix the problem as quickly as possible.


  • close Viruses can hide in any type of file--.jpg, .MP3, .gif or .txt. But the most common are .exe files.

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