Skype update hides IP addresses by default to protect users from online harassment
Prior to the release of the new update, Skype allowed users to display their IP addresses to others listed on their contacts Getty Images

Microsoft has launched a new update for Skype – its video calling service – which will hide all users' IP addresses by default. The technology giant had released similar updates earlier, wherein users could manually hide their IP address from being viewed by other users.

The latest update has been designed essentially to protect video gamers, who have previously reported of being targeted by malicious online attacks. Skype's group chat and voice calling services are used by gamers to connect with others while engaging in online multi-player games.

Gamers often struggle to avoid distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks from malicious adversaries, as sore losers gain access to their IP addresses by looking up their Skype ID and launch massive, malicious online attacks, either by flooding one's system with traffic or falsely triggering SWAT raids on their virtual opponents.

On 21 January, the company's blog read, "Skype is fully committed to delivering as safe and secure of an experience as possible to our customers. We have recently introduced the ability to hide a Skype user's IP address and we've set this as a default status in the latest versions of Skype. This measure will help prevent individuals from obtaining a Skype ID and resolving to an IP address."

Prior to the release of this update, Skype allowed users to take a call on displaying their IP addresses to others listed on their contacts. With the roll-out of the recent update, users' IP addresses will be hidden by default, regardless of whether they be new or existing contacts. However, users can choose to share the information by manually altering the options from Skype's settings.