Could a Hacked Computer Record My Skype Video Calls?

//
Hi, Leo. If I’m sure that a hacker is controlling my computer and I was online in my Skype account, in a video call to a friend. Could hackers then see and save a video message during the recording? In other words, can a hacker see my screen and record my video call with my friends and show our faces at the same time?

While this does seem like a very specific scenario and a very specific concern, I want to address it because it’s a fine example of what a lot of people just don’t seem to realize, something that’s very important about the nature of hacking, malware, and compromised machines.

To directly answer your question, yes, absolutely. If your machine has been hacked into or is compromised in some way, then a hacker could certainly record your Skype video calls.

But the problem here is that it’s much, much worse than that.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

It’s not your computer

There’s an old adage that I think people need to hear more often:

Once there’s malware on your machine, it’s not your machine anymore.

Or if you like different terminology: once your machine has been hacked, it’s not your machine anymore.

Webcam in a gun barrelThe bottom line is that once your machine has been compromised, a hacker can do anything. And by anything, I mean anything! He can record your video, your audio, your keystrokes, your mouse movements, your screen; anything you do. He can copy your data, your history, your programs, your files, your emails, your pictures; anything on your machine.

He can use your computer to send spam, or hack other computers, or spread malware, or hide his location, or do anything. And if he’s any good as a hacker, he can do almost all of what I just described without you noticing.

Why I harp on staying safe in the first place

As as soon as you say, “If I’m sure that a hacker is controlling my computer”, without going any further, I can tell you you’re screwed! It’s not your computer anymore. The hacker can do anything he wants with it.

That’s why people like me harp so hard on staying safe in the first place. That’s why we want you to keep your system up to date, run anti-malware scans, and so on. And above all, learn what it means to stay safe.

Avoid downloading and installing stuff you don’t need. Don’t believe everything that’s emailed to you. Don’t open attachments that you aren’t 100% certain are safe. Whatever it is, if you’re not sure, just don’t. This is all stuff you already know or should already know. The key is remembering it and making it a habit.

I know that it sounds overwhelming, but it’s completely doable and really, it doesn’t have to be a huge imposition. Just like there are rules to driving a car safely, once you get them memorized, they become second nature as soon as you pull out of the driveway. Working to use the internet safely can become second nature, and then you won’t have to worry about whether or not your video chat is being recorded.

But is it possible?

In response to repeated comments in this vein, let me be extra clear about a few things:

  • Yes, it is possible.
  • No, there’s no way to know.
  • No, there’s nothing you can do about it after the fact.
  • Yes, it’s technically possible that a video call from years ago could have been recorded and used to blackmail you today.
  • But it’s extremely unlikely.

Please read Can Video Chat Be Intercepted and Recorded? for more on the topic.

Was this article helpful?

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter and get more like it. Each week I tackle current tech problems, solutions, and issues to help you be safer and more confident. Sign up now and get a copy of The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition with even more. Subscribe to The Ask Leo! Newsletter right away so you won't miss a thing!

55 comments on “Could a Hacked Computer Record My Skype Video Calls?”

  1. What has apparently happened to make the person suspect that the PC has been taken over?

    What raised his/her suspicions?

    Has he recently allowed someone access, whether locally directly on the PC; or remotely over the Web?

    Is he/she aware of opening junk mail (hopefully accidentally), particularly attachments?

    =======================

    I am not sure how well this works, as there are probably ways of hiding such spyware; but I have recently started to look at the Installed Programs, sorted in Reverse Date order, ie Latest Date at the top, immediately after downloading and installing new software, so that I can Uninstall the odds and ends that crawl in then.

  2. hello sir im in great tension me and my boy frnd makes sex chat through team viewer and fb,,,,,now im in tension that is their any possibility to hack that vedio and upload in net…when my boy frnd scans my lap he found same malware and a trojen.,..is that a hacker? im eagerly waiting for your detailed reply thanks..

      • helo leo .. i have same problem one year ago i makes video chat is their possibilty to leak now ? i check all leked websites there is no leked

          • sir sory me again ask same question but in your answer
            “The other scenario where video recording is theoretically possible is if you or your video partner have malware on your machine. I’ve never heard of this happening”
            i went ask one year ago i make video call so its possble videos hacked by hacker when other end person not recoverd the video now am worried now what can happen

          • virse and malware are different or same ? viruse can destroy files and malware are hackers which hack the device whats your opniion about this ,? in my laptop no symtoms of viruse and hackers so its possible in their viruse or hackers are avalible (am weak in english try to understand sorry )

          • The terms virus and malware are commonly used interchangeably, but to be more correct, a virus is a specific kind of malware that propagates from computer to computer similar to a physical virus.

  3. Hi .
    My name is mohsin ali.
    One girl recored my video on skype.
    And now she blackmail.
    And say to me if i no send her money she publish my video.
    And destroy my persanlty.
    I want know how i remove that video.
    Or how i do solve this problim.

  4. hi i am marry.
    a person who became my friend .. he call me n we make vdeo callls but now he blackmailng me that he upload my vdeos n pics in internet. pls help me

    • That’s a good point. Perhaps Skype doesn’t record video calls – but the person you are Skyping with certainly can. The only solution here would be law enforcement.

  5. hi sir, i just to ask that who are controlling the skype can they see the video calls of allthe peoples please tell me thank u

  6. Hi im mitch!
    I just want to ask if this is possible in iphone? Can someone see my conversation in skype? Im using iphone. Thank you please reply sir

    • The healthiest attitude is to never assume privacy. Back in the days when telephones were first invented the operator could listen into any line. It’s not quite as easy today, but every electronic signal is going to have a beginning point, numerous interceptors, and and ending point. That being said, more than likely no-one is listening. Or if they are – it’s probably someone in the next room. 🙂

  7. Hi
    One of my friend having a same problem regarding to this video calls on skype he is facing a same problem that this girl did a live sex chat video call and sent him his few friends name saying that if he wont send money to her so she will post their video chat to his friend via email. So will you assist me with that issue. How to resolve should he take this matter seriously or to ignored it.

    • The thing is that videos are extremely easy to copy and pass around. Her threat is very easy to carry out. What to do beyond that is up to you. So this is exactly the scenario Leo is talking about. Skype is probably not recording you. But what about the other person?

  8. How do i ask people or get people or both to stop hacking me on skype and how does that happen and if it is someone i no that is being mean 2 me or someone i don’t no but they no me can i do it right back too them and if so how will i do that and i no it’s bad ya.
    Ps this is from heather dan gossett.

    • The only things you can do is block the person, and change your settings so that only people in your approved contacts can contact you. You’ll notice that when you block them you also have the option to report them as abusive. Hope that helps.

  9. my friend hacked my pc..and so he is surly my Skype account…my q is can he record my audio calling in Skype when i talking with other person..i connect to my Skype with my mobile at that time not my pc…?,,

  10. Recently, I had a private chat with my GF through imo video call, Is there any chance to recover from both of our instrument, i have iphone5s and she has lenovo A5000.
    Also please clarify me that anybody else can view/record in online/offline.

  11. hello mr. leo.
    greating for the day sir i am suffering big truble last time when i was on skyp that time i am am nude but i did one great mistake i try to take my video but suddenly some one hack my video now days she or he try to black mail she demanded lot of money otherwise uploading my video on site she always using bad words for me , from my side when i was calling on skyp i thought he or she control my laptop i don,t know how to stop it how to take back this video my video from them please help me sir .

  12. hi
    is there anyway that the video call on imo can be recorded by a third person? or is it posible that it will be saved in aome server? please awnser me im really upset:(((((

  13. Is there any way to stop or prevent blackmailer to publish video on youtube or facebook. If video call was on facebook messenger and I have the url of chat window? I also have video details of clip sent on my whatsapp. Someone help please I am worried !

  14. There’s no way to know what is and is not possible. Certainly they may have recorded it. Whether or not that can be traced back to you is impossible for me to say. Same with hacking your computer – unlikely, as long as the service is trustworthy, but I’ve never heard of that service. All I can say is don’t do what you did ever again.

    • Hello Leo! Could you please delete a previous comment I made on this thread as it is jeopardising my privacy. Sorry to be such a bother but i would not be asking this if it wadn’t for a genuine reason. Thank you in advance!
      My comment was – LouisaYoung123

  15. Hi leo,
    I have a small doubt. Is the hacker only
    Record anything from webcam only in calling or video calling? . Or the hacker always recording the webcam? ….

  16. thanks for reply now am happy
    after one year am remmber about my online video chat so now days am worried but after you answer am relex if my computer hacked then hacker blackmailing me when i make video call but now after one year its not possible i think am i right sir ??
    you doing exelent job sir

      • oh shit am again worried now days am doing preparation for my phd test but now i cant prepare my self for test becouse am very sad about this sir you heard about this condition hackers leked chat between them and you say in your articale its all about trust to other end person and why hackers can hack us i think hackers hacked those who are famous am i right or wrong

          • sir now i read a artical that porn shakers traping the online video call is that possible and what this artical can say i cant understand sit am very sad plzz help me i use my personal laptopm or wifi 2 years agoi make video cal now am worried that some one can leked the video that what possiblites of leked the vdiep by ? hackers or perosn or others plzz help me

          • Read the article you are commenting on. Run a few virus scans to find and eliminate malware, and don’t do any sex chats if you are afraid they will be captured.

  17. I’m closing comments on this article because all comments of late have been the same and indicate that those leaving comments aren’t reading the article.

    I can’t put it any more plainly: Read the article for your answer. I’ve updated the article to be as direct as I can be about this.

Comments are closed.