The messaging software Skype uses a local database on the system to store all kinds of information in.
This not only includes information about each user of the application, but also call, message and contact information.
What many Skype users may not know is that the information are stored without protection in the database.
That's not an issue if you are the only user of the computer and use proper protection, for instance full disk encryption.
If you share an account regularly or occasionally, it becomes a serious privacy issue.
SkypeFreak is a free portable program for the Windows operating system that can dump Skype data. All you need to do is run it on the system, pick a Skype username that you want to dump data of, and select the type of data or all of it.
The program runs on the command line and displays prompts to you once you have started it up on your system.
Start by entering a Skype username. Once that is out of the way, the main menu is displayed to you. Here you can select one of the following options:
The program ships with its Python source code so that you can not only check it out but also run it on your system if you have Python installed on it. To run it, simply run python SkypeFreak.py on the system to do so.
The only requirement for running the application is that you need to know the username of the Skype user. Without that username, you won't be able to dump the data.
Interestingly enough, you can look up the username easily on your system. You find that username here by default: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Skype\ listed as a folder.
SkypeFreak runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems. The author of the code plans to implement improvements such as export to csv files in future releases.
Even if you do not plan on running the software, it is good to know about it if you are a Skype user. I highly recommend using full disk encryption on your system to block access to data on it.
While it won't help you if you hand over the controls of your computer to someone else, it will take care of situations where the computer is not on.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.