Microsoft has been criticized for a lot of things over the years, but one loud and recurring critique is well founded. It involves the safety of your family and you, especially gamers.
About five years ago, Microsoft bought Skype. That's the video chatting and messaging service you may have used to see your family as you're having a phone-type conversation with them.
Gamers often use Skype, too, to chat with other gamers as they're playing multiplayer games. In case you don't know it, gamers can be quite vicious when they lose.
That includes overloading a rival's system with so much traffic that they can't log in. It's called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
The attack is possible because, by default, Skype users' Internet protocol addresses, IP addresses, were visible to the people they're chatting with. Every digital device you use has a unique IP address.
Recently, Microsoft made it possible to choose not to share your IP address. Now, by default, your IP address will not be visible to other people on Skype, unless you choose to allow it to be. You shouldn't do that.
"Skype is fully committed to delivering as safe and secure of an experience as possible to our customers," according to Skype executives on the company's blog. "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.
"Starting with this update to Skype and moving forward, your IP address will be kept hidden from Skype users. This measure will help prevent individuals from obtaining a Skype ID."