Precautions while using skype

What is Skype
1. Skype is for doing things together, whenever youre apart. Skypes text, voice and video make it simple to share experiences with the people that matter to you, wherever they are.With Skype, you can share a story, celebrate a birthday, learn a language, hold a meeting, work with colleagues just about anything you need to do together every day. You can use Skype on whatever works best for you on your phone or computer or a TV with Skype on it. It is free to start using Skype to speak, see and instant message other people on Skype for example. You can even try out group video, with the latest version of Skype.
If you pay a little, you can do more things, in more ways, with more people like call phones, access WiFi or send texts. You can pay as you go or buy a subscription, whatever works for you. And in the workplace, this means you can bring your entire ecosystem of workers, partners and customers together to get things done. Try Skype out today and start adding your friends, family and colleagues. They wont be hard to find; hundreds of millions of people are already using Skype to do all sorts of things together. .....
Skype safety
2. First and foremost choose and use a stong and unique password for your Skype account.Make sure that your Windows operating system, Skype and security software is up to date, always.Always authenticate the identity of the person at the other end; especially before discussing private or confidential details, such as your home address or sensitive work data.

Always make sure you trust the website or person at the other end before giving out sensitive information like you personal details. Again take care before giving out your credit card information to any websites which may claim to be reselling Skype products. .....

Get dressed
3. Your daily outfits consist of yoga pants and a sweatshirt, but that doesnt mean that you should wear that during your job interview. Dont get lulled into the idea that simply because you are doing an interview from your home that you dont have to get dressed. Treat your Skype interview as you would an in person interview, and be dressed professionally. Make sure that your hair and makeup is done as well. .....
Spruce up your space
4. On an average day, your home office is a sea of papers, your kids preschool drawings and assorted coffee cups. Before you sit down to have your interview, though, youll need to clear out your office. After all, you are not only being judged on the strength of your answers to the interviewers questions, but yes, on your digs as well. A potential job candidate sitting in the middle of a mess can signify to a potential boss that your work ethics arent up to parand can definitely be counted against you. .....
Hire a babysitter
5. Youve warned your kids not to make a peep while you are interviewing with a prospective boss. Youve even plunked them down in front of the TV with their favorite program, juice boxes and Cheerios galore. Yes, youre not proud of it, but a working mama has to do what a working mama has to do. Even if you take every precaution possible, your two year old might still wander into your home office and announce that he has tried to use the pottyunsuccessfully. To prevent interruptionsand to be viewed in the most professional light possiblehave someone watch your kids for you while you do your interview. To ensure that your potential boss doesnt overhear your toddlers terribleand spontaneousear piercing tantrum, ask your sitter to take the kids outside for a while. .....
Practice speaking
6. Looking right at your interviewer during an in person job interview while giving an answer is a skill that can take time to master. Speaking directly into a camera while you explain why youre the top candidate for the position is something entirely differentand can be difficult to do. You might be tempted to look away as you gather your thoughts, but its best to look directly into the camera as much as possible. And as much as you would like to look at your computer screen while responding, get into the practice of looking into the camera instead. This can take some time to get used to, so practice as often as you canwith your spouse or friends, for examplebefore your interview. .....
Be prepared
7. Before your interview begins, have any necessary papers or notes in front of youand out of sight of the camera. If you need to reference your resume or your cover letter, for example, they should be right in front of you. You can keep the papers right below your computer screen, so you can quickly glance down and get the info you need without skipping a beat. This will help prevent you from shuffling through your papers to find the info that youre looking forand answer the question perfectly. .....
Position yourself correctly
8. Dont sit as close to the computer as you normally would. Instead, sit a bit farther back so that your face and upper shoulders are framed in the shot. Additionally, place the computer slightly higher than you normally do, so that its capturing you face on and youre not looking down at it. .....
Use the highest speed Internet connection you can
9. On slower Internet connections, video may not align well with the audio and can cause awkward time lags, so use the fastest connection you can. If nothing else helps, try plugging your computer directly into your Internet cable, rather than using a wireless connection. .....
Remember to look into the camera
10. If you look directly at the image of your interviewer on your computer screen, youll appear to be looking slightly away from her. Instead, looking directly into your webcam will read as direct eye contact on your interviewers end. .....
If you find the image of yourself distracting
11. Skype, for instance, will include a small image of yourself in the corner of your screen. If you tend to watch the image of yourself rather than watching your interviewer, change your setting to remove that window altogetheror just cover it with a sticky note. .....
Plan for technological difficulties
12. Keep your computer plugged in so the battery doesnt die, and keep your phone on hand in case the interview mode changes at the last minute. .....
Your first time doing a video interview
13. That will help break the ice, and most interviewers will be very understanding and inclined to cut you some slack if you seem uncomfortable . .....
Pay attention to your physical background
14. Youll look much more professional sitting at a desk or table and against a neutral background without any clutter. Make sure that you dont have wine glasses, cigarettes, or clutter visible in the background. .....
Pay attention to the lighting
15. Aim light at yourself from the front, not from behind you. A lamp with diffused lighting about six feet in front of you works well. You can also try covering your light source with a cloth to soften it. And make sure that youre not backlit from a window or light source behind you; if you are, you can end up appearing on the screen as just a dark silhouette. .....
Keep other programs on your computer closed
16. You dont want a beep every time you receive a new email, for instance, or a reminder popping up of that other interview you have tomorrow. .....
Look at the camera not the screen
17. It can be confusing, but when youre looking at your monitor it actually makes the interviewer feel as if youre looking away. Instead, look directly at the video camera youre using for your interview. And although youre not making eye contact in the traditional sense, this is the way that the interviewer perceives that youre looking straight ahead. .....
Be aware of interruptions
18. Since youre used to living in the house, it can be easy to forget to turn off a phone or not warn family members to give you some privacy, Schembari says. Have a plan for whatever distractions you have in your house, including children and dogs. Too many people dont take [Skype interviews] as seriously as in person interviews, but you need to be just as professional here, she says. .....
Practice in front of a mirror
19. During the interview, you can see yourself in the video camera, which can be startling if youve never seen yourself speak. Its important to get familiar with your own facial expressions when you talk, says Colleen Aylward, chief executive of InterviewStudio Inc., a company that offers video interview capabilities. It also gets rid of some of the camera shyness. .....
Mind the background
20. Your surroundings can say a lot about how youve prepared for the interview, so its important to put your best foot forward. Shoot your video against a blank wall or a warm one color background, Aylward suggests. Clear off your desk, or have only awards and certificates in the background. .....
Avoid patterned clothing
21. Wear a shirt thats business casual and complimentary to your skin tone. Avoid patterns that come across as too loud on screen, such as anything floral or bright stripes. Clothing can distract the interviewer from the information conveyed during the conversation, so its important to plan your outfit carefully. .....
Conduct a mock interview
22. Being comfortable with the technology prevents the added stress from a tech malfunction. Find a person you trust and use Skype or other video conferencing software to conduct a mock interview. Youre bound to make mistakes, so its best to practice with someone who can provide honest feedback. .....
Test audio and video
23. Just because your laptop has a built in video camera and microphone doesnt mean the quality is up to par. Instead, test out the video and audio capabilities on your computer and decide whether you need to buy a headset with a microphone or an attachable video camera. Before the interview, some companies may send their own video devices to applicants. .....
Add extra enthusiasm
24. Any news announcer will tell that your reactions translate differently when on screen, so its important to compensate with extra enthusiasm and concise answers. Additionally, speak succinctly and remember that speed is important, Aylward says. Practice speaking more quickly than you normally do, she says. .....
Practice making eye contact with the camera
25. Dont focus your glance at the image of the person on the screen. This will make it appear as though you are looking down. One trick is to tape a photo of somebody next to the web cam lens. .....
Situate yourself against a plain background
26. You dont want a prospective employer seeing your dirty pile of laundry sitting behind you, advises Jill Veved, PR rep for Vivalta, a recruiting firm for finance and accounting professionals. A blank wall is best, but if this isnt possible, make sure you have minimal distractions behind you. .....
Make sure its quiet
27. A crying baby or barking dog wouldnt interrupt an interview conducted at your future knock on wood office. Take precautions to make sure they dont intrude on your home based interview, either. You dont want to risk having to pause your meeting to silence the sound of your beloved beagles vocal siren, says Tyson Spring, a partner in the human resources consultancy ?lever Professional. .....
Dress professionally
28. I wore a suit and did my hair and make up just as I would if the interview had been in person, says Heather Taylor, who snagged her job as social media manager of MyCorporation via video chat. Even though you can get away with wearing gym shorts beneath your office worthy top, putting on a fully professional ensemble with help keep your head in the game. .....
Experiment with lighting
29. Most computers are in areas with light from above or behind, notes Mark Herschberg, an executive with a financial information service. Its great for working, but gives you bad shadows on camera. He recommends picking an area thats well lit but not so bright that it makes you squint. .....
Set up in advance
30. Nothing causes more anxiety during a Skype interview than realizing that your internet connection or other technical details are out of whack. I recommend using a wired internet connection where possible and your best hardware, says Tyson Spring. Dont pull the 2002 Dell Dimensions out of the closet and hope for it to perform with 2011 Software applications. Test your equipment and software together well in advance of the interview. .....
Remember that the camera is the eye
31. This is the trickiest thing about Skype When you feel like youre making eye contact by looking at the other persons face, youre actually not looking directly into your computers camera, which serves as the eye. For a real eye contact effect, look into the camera, even if it feels weird. As with everything else here Practice til you nail it. .....
Control
32. SKYPE is a great tool and huge break through for creating an additional layer of connect between singles at online dating sites.However, do think of, consider, and mitigate the risks and hazards you are putting yourself at risk for first before you SKYPE with a complete stranger. Protect yourself while pursuing love. .....
The charge is a recurring payment
33. If you have previously purchased Skype Credit, you may have Auto recharge set up on your account. Auto recharge automatically tops up your Skype Credit when it falls below a certain amount, to ensure you never run out of Skype Credit.If you no longer wish to top up your Skype Credit, you can cancel Auto recharge.If you have signed up for a subscription, the subscription is renewed automatically at the end of the initial period, and the recurring payment is made with the payment method you used to sign up. To stop the recurring payments, you need to cancel your subscription. .....
Your card has been used fraudulently
34. It is possible that your card has been used fraudulently to buy Skype Credit. We take every precaution to ensure that only genuine transactions get processed; however, criminals have developed a number of techniques, such as random card generators or using stolen card lists, to gain access to an individuals credit debit card information.If your card is a credit card, you are not liable for this transaction in any way. All major credit card companies have policies that protect you against this kind of fraud.If your card is a debit card, your financial institution is required to reimburse you for fraudulent transactions. .....
Add only friends
35. When accepting Add requests, only authorize people you know personally. You should be able to trust everyone on your contact list. .....
Be careful with links
36. Hyperlinks often lead to sites with viruses, adware or scams. Ask for a thorough explanation of each link, even those friends send you. .....
Exercise caution with the random chat function
37. Setting your status to Skype Me invites anyone strangers, scammers and friendly random chatters alike to contact you and view your profile. .....
Leave personal information off your profile
38. The public can access anything you enter in your profile. Do not include your email address if you do not want unsolicited emails. Make sure your username does not resemble your real name. .....
Do not reveal your password or credit card number
39. whether via email, chat or call. Even if someone claims to be a Skype employee, do not give it out. Skype will only request your password and credit card number from their secure website. .....
Adjust your privacy options
40. Click Tools, then Options and then Privacy to control which people can contact you. .....
Protecting a Skype Account
41. A new Skype user can protect his or her account by changing the password frequently. The password should be changed once every month for maximum safety. Every person who has Skype should also continue to download the latest version to his or her computer. The manufacturer routinely releases updates that have tighter security and enhanced features.
In regards to the possibility of kids having the availability to communicate with strangers, one can only reach a stranger through Skype by requesting to add them as a contact. When a teen receives a contact request from an unknown person, they can simply deny the request. .....
How is Skype Beneficial
42. Skype can benefit a multitude of people. Business owners can hold meetings via Skype no matter where their employees are located. This technology reduces fuel costs for all parties involved. Some employers hold interviews over Skype, as well.
Additionally, Skype is an excellent outlet for parents who have to co parent children from different locations. Children can keep in touch with their mothers and fathers so that they continue to play a crucial role in their development. Families with members who are serving overseas in the military have also greatly benefited from the service. Skype has many positive attributes, which is why it is still one of the leading video chatting platforms. .....
Is skype safe
43. Some consumers have concerns about whether Skype is safe. They may worry about people listening to their communications. Some wonder if Skype is safe enough to prevent hackers from accessing their computers. Parents may question whether or not Skype is safe enough to keep their children from being exposed to something corrupt and are concerned about strangers contacting tweens.
Skype can be completely safe with the right precautions. Although parents of tweens may want to monitor their childrens activities, Skype has controls that allow a user to block certain members from contacting their accounts. .....
Prepare
44. The day before your sitter is to arrive, make sure to print out any email addresses or phone numbers they may need. Include the best numbers to reach you, the number of your veterinarian, and an emergency contact that lives nearby. If you will be staying in a hotel, include its name and phone number in case you cannot be reached on your cellphone. Include clear, detailed instructions on feeding your pets, and how to administer any medications. Dont leave any stone unturned!
Finally, if possible, contact a neighbor you know and trust. Leave them your contact information and the dates you will be away, as well as a spare key in case of emergency. This person can monitor the comings and goings of the sitter and report if there is any suspicious activity. .....
Check in regularly
45. Arrange a regular check in schedule with your sitter. This way, you can speak on the phone and ensure that your sitter has adhered to your introductions and requests. This will also provide a time for your sitter to ask any questions or voice any concerns. If possible, suggest using Skype or FaceTime with the sitter, that way, you can actually see your home and how your pet is doing. Plus, you get to see your sweet animals face in real time. .....
Skype security
46. Before proceeding, its worth considering a few home truths. While your Skype account can be secured on any platform from unwanted callers and spammers, the cold hard fact is that the system is not 100% private.While youre busy making your phone call, for instance, the other person could be using call recording software to create a recording of the event. Plenty of these apps exist, many of them free. .....
Desktop skypers
47. If youre using Windows, Mac OS X or Linux, you can easily Skype contacts from the comfort of your desktop while working, perhaps checking documents or gaming.However you use Skype, it is imperative that you understand your privacy settings and use them effectively. .....
Stay Private on Skype
48. Skype on Mac OS X has its own collection of privacy tools, not too different from those on Windows. With the app running and selected, open the Skype menu and select Preferences. to find the Privacy panel. .....
Mobile skype privacy settings
49. Its fortunate that Skype is available on mobile devices as it can help you to save money making calls although battery life can be heavily impacted, so make sure you are updated to the most recent, battery friendly versions . Before proceeding here, you should take the time to ensure that you have secured your actual handset as best you can, activating any in built security PIN features to ensure that your Skype account cannot be compromised by someone stealing your phone.While mobile Skype apps arent as comprehensive in their privacy features as their desktop brothers and sisters, you should still spend the time ensuring everything is setup in a manner that youre comfortable with. .....
Windows phone
50. While the various desktop apps are more or less the same, Skype on Windows Phone is a little different to the other mobile versions, and is probably most similar to the Windows 8 Modern version. .....
Are my Skype communications private
51. The content of Skype communications is encrypted, though Skype and eBay which owns Skype have the capability to decrypt traffic. The risk of your conversation being intercepted and decrypted is very low, but it would be relatively easy for someone to determine that you are having a conversation, and what the IP addresses are for the interlocutors. Depending on how your network and Internet access are configured, your IP address may or may not be capable of being traced to you personally, or your home address. .....
Test your skype connection
52. Conduct a trial run with a friend well in advance of your interview to see if your Skype connection is running properly. If things arent up to par, at least youll have time to get things fixed before the actual interview. General problems include Skype settings, port forwarding, and webcam settings. Refer to your webcams or laptops if the webcam is built in owners manual for more information on handling such issues. You wouldnt want a small technical difficulty to cost you the position, so it pays to take these extra precautions. .....
Dress appropriately
53. Even though you wont have to step foot out of your room to interview for this job, you still have to be clean and presentable for your interviewer. Typical guidelines apply for men with the suit, tie, and jacket and for women with the business suit or blouse with a pantsuit, depending on the company and position. In addition, avoid wearing any white clothing that could reflect light onto your face, possibly causing it to look overexposed through the webcam. .....
Clean Up the Visible Area
54. Make sure the area of your room that the interviewer can see through Skype is cleaned and not full of clutter or dirty laundry. You dont want to give your interviewer a bad impression with a mess in the background. Also, you want to isolate any outside distractions from your webcam interview area such as pets, loud noises, and other people you may live with. This is an important moment in your life, so theyll understand. .....
Be on time
55. It may be a job interview over Skype, but that doesnt mean the rules of engagement are any different. You wouldnt dream of turning up to a job interview late, so you should be logged on to Skype and ready to go well before the interview is due to begin. Dont take any risks with this as being late looks really bad! In fact, being late for a Skype job interview is probably more difficult than being late for an interview at an office. and the employer knows it! Play it safe, be on time. .....
Have supporting documents handy
56. During an interview you could be asked anything. If youre a designer, the interviewer could ask for examples of your previous work. If youre a writer, they could ask to see some of your published work. If you are a web developer, theyre probably going to want to see what youve developed. If you want to look professional, its best to at least have this material to hand or be able to refer them to an online portfolio of your work. .....
Record your interview
57. Interviewing is a skill that you have to learn, and what better way to learn than by recording your interview so that you can analyse it later. Theres no better way to record Skype video calls than with VodBurner, a piece of software for Windows that will allow you to record the video and sound from the entire interview. If youre interview is audio only, then check out CallBurner, an application from the same developer that records Skype audio calls. .....
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