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Skype: Blocking Contacts and Ensuring Privacy

written by: Aaron R.•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 4/29/2011

Skype is one of the most popular chat services available, with options for both voice and video chat and standard instant messenger services. Unfortunately, you may find it necessary to block one of your Skype contacts. You can read more below to learn more about options for blocking on Skype.

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    Maintaining Your Privacy on Skype

    Skype - Privacy Settings to Help Block Spammers As with all Internet endeavors, it's vital that you take some steps to maintain your privacy with Skype. In order to keep Skype orderly and free of spam, you'll probably have to block people at some point. Of course, you may also need to block a contact for other reasons. If you just want to lay low for a while, or need to avoid online harassment, Skype blocking can be a good start.

    The first step will be to get your privacy settings up-to-date. Skype spam is quite easy to prevent with the proper privacy settings. Start by going to Tools > Options in the Skype toolbar. Look for a tab labeled "Privacy" on the left side, and then click it.

    This very simple screen will let you confirm that you only want to be contacted by people that you have approved for your contact list. This should make the spammers have to work a lot harder and give you much greater control over your account. You can also click the button below it to pull up the list of advanced options. These let you specify the details of the privacy policy.

    You can choose from a few options. The basics just let you set up different policies for videos, calls and instant messages. There are also useful options for separate privacy issues though. In this setting, you can choose how long you keep your history, whether you want your status to be viewable online and whether Skype can use your info for third-party ads.

    You may also have noticed that there's a new sub-tab under privacy, labeled "Blocked Contacts." That's the next step for handling specific contacts.

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    How to Block Contacts in Skype

    Skype - Block Contact - All It Takes Is A Few Clicks If you're having trouble with a specific person on Skype, you can choose to block them from contacting you again. This is actually a very easy process. You just need to look at your contact list, and then right-click the name of the person that you want to block. In the menu that comes up, you can click on the tab for "Block This Person" to block them. You'll need to confirm the choice, but that's actually it.

    Note that you can also do this from aforementioned "Blocked Contacts" tab in the Skype privacy options. If you go to the list, there should be a menu at the bottom that lets you select contacts with whom you recently spoke. You can also manage your list of blocked contacts here, which means that if you accidentally block someone on Skype (or have a change of heart), you can unblock them here.

    Note that this is not the same as removing them. Blocking someone just keeps them from communicating with you. You will have to use the "Remove from Contacts" option to actually take them all the way off. There should be a box that you can check during the blocking process.

    If you're blocking a spammer, you can also check the appropriate box to report abuse of the system.

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    How to Tell If You've Been Blocked on Skype

    For the flip side of the coin, you may want to know whether you've been blocked on Skype or not.

    The easiest way to check would obviously be to talk to the person, but that may not be an option for obvious reasons. A mutual friend or community might offer an option though.

    With the latest version of Skype, a blocked contact will always show up as offline to you. If you know that they should be online at these times, and they don't ever respond, then you can safely assume that you've been blocked. While it is possible that they set themselves to be offline, or that they might just be busy and signed out, it should become fairly apparent after some time has passed.

    One of the only ways to check would be to get an independent look at their status. Again, if you have a mutual friend, you can have them look for you. If the contact appears online to them, then you have your answer.

    Please note that if you've been blocked, it would be a very bad idea to try and continue communication. For whatever reason, the contact does not want to talk to you. The best and most mature step would be to acknowledge this and move on.

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    Source: Author's Use of Skype and

    All screenshots and information from Skype Version

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