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August 18, 2010

Skype For Visitation

At first, Skype for visitation sounds like a wonderful idea. Using in this court case enabled a mom to relocate out of state with her children - something that courts aren't allowing as much in the past ten years.

There are problems, though. Skype has security issues.

http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/357
http://www.dartmouth.edu/comp/soft-comp/software/downloads/mac/skype/security.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype_security
http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/security/security-privacy/
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/105760/Skype_could_pose_security_problems_for_companies_analysts_say
http://www.littlefishsupport.com/voip-services/skype-fixes-security-issues

Also, if dad in the case in question is not a nice sort, he can encourage the kids to download files from the internet that contain malware so he can track his ex-wife's computer usage. Not good.

Full disclosure: I use Skype and so do my husband and son. We also use Ventrilo. I conduct interviews about sex, vibrators, and human sexuality experts on Skype. My husband and I use cell phones so I have no way of recording my interviews that way. I use Skype to discuss article topics and assignments with my editors. Besides, Skype-To-Skype is free and long distance phone calls are prohibitively expensive. I like Skype very much and I am willing to use it knowing of the security issues but I'm not all that concerned because I know the people I talk to and I don't download anything unless I know exactly what it is. I know I'm not entirely safe but I'm less likely to get viruses, trojans, spyware, and malware since I use a Mac.

Still, Skype for visitation with an abuser or hostile dad or mom could be problematic. When I won a moveaway from Maryland to Massachusetts with my son Skype wasn't around yet. We used e-mail, which to me is considerably safer. No downloads allowed and my son didn't download anyway. Frankly, I don't think my ex was computer savvy enough to know about spyware or malware. I have always been careful about what I download onto my computer and I've never downloaded anything nasty. I understand the thought behind court ordering a mom in this case to set up Skype for herself, her ex, and the kids but I recognize that there could be problems.

Posted on August 18, 2010 at 09:46 AM | Permalink

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