Private Public Chat

How can I stop strangers from joining a Skype Public Chat?

Public chats, by definition, are designed to be open to the public, but many people use them for private group chats. The chat could be a business meeting, a group of school friends or a family chat.

When you create a Skype Public Chat you can set the rules so "Participants need permission to start reading and posting" - then the host must approve all new guests.

However, this method doesn't stop random people from waiting to join and it doesn't prevent guests from inviting their friends. So the host can spend a lot of time approving and denying requests from strangers.

Prevent people from joining the Skype chat

You can use chat commands to lockdown your Skype chat and prevent any unwanted guests. Skype's Public Chat service has a built-in "allowlist" and "banlist". These are used to grant or deny access to the Skype chat. To stop people from joining your chat, you simply need to ban everyone, then allow only your friends.

The command to ban everyone is
/set banlist +*
That will stop any new users from joining your chat.
As a bonus, it will also prevent existing users from adding people to the chat.

The command to grant access to your friends is
/set allowlist +friend1 +friend2 +friend3
This will allow your friends to join and leave the chat at any time.

As the host, you can temporarily add guests to the chat,
/add guest1
As they have not been added to the "allowlist", when the guest leaves the chat they will not be able to return.

If the guest doesn't leave the chat, you can eject them,
/kick guest1

These simple commands allow the host to control the Public Chat and prevent abuse by malicious users.

2008-06