Technology KnowledgeBase

I’d like to use Skype. What is the district policy about using this software?

Skype is not a safe application to use on our internal district network.  Skype is a peer-to-peer application, which means that the connections for communicating with other Skype systems go through various skype users around the world.  When you load Skype onto your computer, you can end up routing calls for other people who have nothing to do with the district - the Skype service continues to run even when you quit the application. Since the Skype protocol allows for file transfers and other communications in addition to voice and video, it is possible that it could then be used to load malware (software to attack or compromise your computer or network) or to route network attacks. Such problems have been reported with other peer-to-peer systems.

In addition, the district pays for every bit of information that goes over its Internet connection. Since others could route calls through your computer, we would be paying for more bandwidth usage for their calls.

We have been looking at other free or hosted video conference solutions, but have not yet identified one that meets the District’s needs for security and manageability. If you have suggestions for other services that might meet these requirements, please post a comment to this article.
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