I use Skype also, it works really good for calling and video calling. You can also call long distance land lines for really cheap. As far as being safe, I don't think you need to worry about people hacking into your conversations, there are over 10 million people using Skpe as I type this message (it tells you in at the bottom of the little window how many people are onlin) and the chance that someone does hack into a conversation it probably wont be yours. As with all stuff over the internet, never exchange credit card number, bank account numbers, social security number, and so on over un-secure connections. Don't worry about it though, people who hack computers for information usually lean more towards emails than chat programs. Give Skype a shot otherwise any of the major instant messengers are good like Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, so on and so on. Good Luck!