Sunday, April 20, 2008

Editing your Skype profile

Your Skype profile contains three kinds of information:
  • Information that all Skype users can see: Includes information such as
    • Your full name.
    • Your vital statistics: Gender and date of birth.
    • Geographic location: You can specify the Country/Region,
    • State/Province, and City.
    • Your preferred language.
    • Your telephone numbers: Can include home, office, and mobile.
    • Your Home page: You may have a Web site that you want the world to visit.
    • A description about yourself: If you want to tell your life’s story, you must do it in 200 characters or fewer.
  • Information that only your Skype contacts can see: Only your Skype buddies get the exclusive and revealing picture of you, as well as some limited information about your Skype account.
    • Your Skype picture.
    • Your time: It can be your computer’s local time or a Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
    • The number of Skype contacts you have: You can choose not to reveal this information to anyone.
  • Information known only to you:
    • Your email address: You can list more than one email address.
The information in the public portion of your profile is available literally to any Skype user. The semi-private information is reserved for your Skype contacts, and no one gets to directly view your email address.
From a privacy perspective, a few points are worth mentioning:
  • Even if you don’t want to reveal much information, you’ll probably find that listing your preferred language and country is useful. Adding identifying information such as a country can be helpful to someone who searches for your name and finds several people with the same first and last name as yours. Additional information can help to narrow the list.
  • Many people are unaware that the number of Skype contacts a person has is listed unless they deselect this option. You may not want the world to know that you have only three contacts, especially if you portray yourself as being experienced in VoIP and Skype.
  • You can choose to fill in all the items in your profile, or none of them. You should have your email address in your profile so that you can take advantage of features such as SkypeOut, SkypeIn, and Voicemail. Also, if you ever forget your password, you’ll need your email account to reset your password.
  • Although your password is never directly displayed, a Skype user who generally knows your email address can find you by searching Skype.
The last item may prove to be very helpful. You can use, for example, a or email address for your company. People can then easily search for and find the right party, such as sales or support, if your company has many Skype user accounts.

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