Skype/VoIP Privacy

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by doubledee, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. doubledee macrumors 6502


    May 14, 2012
    I am about ready to see if I can turn my MBP into a "mobile phone" using something like Skype or VoIP.

    As part of this, I am *really* concerned about my privacy and security making calls online.

    Specifically, I am debating what is the smartest thing to use for a Username and any other self-identifying info I might have to give out along the way.

    With a land-line, there is Caller ID, but other than that, anyone you call can't really identify you unless they know your voice.

    My fear is that I am not careful setting up a Skype or VoIP account, that I might be giving the "bad guys" some way to trace things back to me personally, which is scary. :(

    Any tips on how to stay anonymous while still using Skype/VoIP?

    Since I don't know the "Set up Process", I'm not sure what info I have to hand over, but I am thinking that giving out my Real Name or Main E-mail Address or things like that would be a really bad idea when it comes to things others could see.

    Follow my concerns?


  2. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    Well, your concerns.....

    seem pretty valid for you. This is no the place to debate them. And you are asking for advice, so.....

    For me, depends in what people you want to/have to talk. Maybe you can setup an account for ocasional people and another for trusted people. The account for ocasional people will be based in an artificial e-mail, so artificial that no one can tell you are behind it. The trusted one can be an account the people close to you recognizes....

    Anyways, I hope I am not breaking any law with my advice.....:eek:.....:(

  3. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    In another thread, you stated that you use Gmail.

    Do you think Gmail is private? Or put another way, why do you think Google is willing to give out "free" email? What data do you think they'll be collecting, collating, condensing, and using for their own purposes?

    Your use of Gmail appears to be at odds with your expressed interest in maintaining privacy, and your apparent mistrust of Google. Something doesn't add up.
  4. doubledee, Mar 7, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014

    doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 14, 2012

    To own my soul!

    Everything they can get their greasy hands on!


    First of all, my Gmail accounts *are* rather disconnected from me. (The one I was locked out of was set up as a temporary e-mail while I clean up my business's name online. It contain no personal data.)

    Secondly, what other choices does one have?

    Do I think my AT&T e-mail is "private"? Hell no!

    Is it a notch more private than my free Gmail accounts? Maybe.

    I don't think there is such a thing as a totally "private" e-mail after the Feds shut down services like Lavabit...

    But back to my original question...

    I don't know what kinds of info Skype and will ask for, but before I got stuck half way through registration, I figured I would ask here for some advice.

    For example, if they ask for an e-mail, would that be anything other people get get access to?

    I have a WiTopia account, and my login credentials including my AT&T e-mail, but I figured that is okay, since that is not outward facing.

    But I don't know how Skype and services like work.

    And I don't know what security holes I should worry about.

    Maybe it is okay to use my AT&T e-mail? (With a different password, of course!)

    Or maybe you guys would advise me to create a "throw-away" e-mail account online with someone like Gmail, Yahoo, or

    I don't know.

    Here are my privacy expectations...

    1.) If I try to turn my MBP into a mobile phone using either Skype or, then I do NOT want people to have access to my Full Name, Billing Address, or E-mail Address. (And since I use WiTopia, I would hope that they cannot see my MBP's IP address?!)

    Obviously others will see the Telephone # they assign me, and I would hope I can create some "handle" like "DoubleDee" instead of my Full Name being displayed on people's Caller Id.

    See where I am going with this?

    2.) I would hope that if need be, I could ask Skype or to "delete" my profile and account, and then there would be no way that anyone could reactivate that account, and that NO FOOTPRINT of said account would remain.

    (I would *never* put any personal info or pictures in a Skype or profile, but even with a handle like "DoubleDee" and a Tele #like (480) 569-1271 I wouldn't want those persisting if I didn't want an account anymore!)

    BTW, after thinking about it some more today, I added "Duck Duck Go" to my Bookmark Toolbar, and am going to try and start using that almost exclusively! (One more small step towards better privacy!)


  5. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    You could try registration with a throw-away account. Create a throw-away email, throw-away name, etc. before starting registration. Take notes during the process, so you know what you'll need during a subsequent real registration, if you decide to take that step.

    Not sure what you mean.

    You shouldn't have to give them your email password.

    At most, the email address might be public. Or it might default to public and there's an option to make it non-public. This should be something you check for with a throw-away account: the available account options for a given service.

    This is the value of exploring a service pseudonymously before committing to it.

    You're probably only going to learn the real ins and out after signing up and trying it for a while. For practical purposes, you should just assume this is so, and act accordingly.

    If you're unsure of the service's trustworthiness, then do everything with throw-away accounts, names, passwords, etc.

    You could even take the extra step of creating a throw-away non-admin OS X account, so anything that might be written to preferences files can be deleted by deleting the OS X account, and then never using the throw-away service account again.

    You should definitely try this with a throw-away account. You could even make a second throw-away service account with the single purpose of deleting it.

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