Although many things on the Internet are anonymous, your Skype calls aren’t. Not only can the Skype service track your calls, but the people whom you call can also track some basic information. Since some Skype accounts do not use the same phone number for each call, people and companies have figured out ways to track the computer used to make a Skype call.
If your Skype accounts come from someone else, such as your parents or your school, your Skype activity can be tracked through Skype Manager. Skype Manager is a Web system that allows an administrator to see all the activity of Skype accounts under his plan, while also limiting what activities can be done with each account. This monitoring can extend to personal accounts, but you have to give express permission to the administrator.
Windows IP Tracing
If you’re calling another Skype user, she can trace your computer even if you supplied Skype with false credentials. The Windows command prompt contains a maintenance command that can be used to track the IP address of Skype callers. Opening the command prompt and typing “>netstat -e -s” provides you with a list of current connections for your PC. The IP address listed next to the Skype entry is the IP address of the computer of whomever you’re talking to on Skype.
Skype tracks all of the activity that takes place on its service. Although this information is protected from most use and not publicly available, Skype does turn this information over to law enforcement in the case of fraud, threats, alleged terrorism and other cases. Skype is also part of the Prism program from the National Security Agency, according to the Guardian newspaper, and aids in the collection of both audio and video of calls.
People can also track Skype calls by having programs installed on either their equipment or yours. Companies like eMatrixSoft, stealthGenie and mSpy (links in Resources) have software that monitors Skype activity and grabs any available data about Skype callers, including their IP address. Parents and school administrators may install software on phones or PCs to track the calls made from those devices as well as the calls they receive. If you install the software on your PC, you can get information on any Skype users who call you.
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images