Messaging Apps That Keep You Secure
Most of us out there use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and most of us also carelessly sign away our right to privacy without reading the terms and conditions of these applications. Why? Well these apps seem to be such “happening” places in the digital world that not being a part of them feels like you might be excluded from what is happening in the rest of the world. There have been so many movements in the real world that have seeped into the digital world and vice versa. Just think of the #MeToo movement or #BLM which was trending on Twitter worldwide.
However, as much as you might want to be a part of the rest of the world you really need to consider the kind of apps you use for sharing messages and even political views in some cases. Facebook Messenger might seem convenient but messaging apps such as these do not use end-to-end encryption. This makes your data vulnerable to spying by the government, third parties or even the parent company that created the app to begin with. Sounds grim right? Well, it is. However, the good news is that as users are becoming increasingly aware of the risks to their privacy there has been a greater demand for and hence proliferation of secure messaging apps.
These secure messaging apps have one key feature in common which is that they use end-to-end encryption. This means that only the sender and receiver can read the content of the messages via a key or code only in possession of the two people communicating. Sounds great right? It sure is nice to know your messages are safe which is why we have put together a list of the best messaging apps the use end-to-end encryption, sync on multiple devices and allow for text, audio and video communication.
This secure messaging app is bound to keep you safe as end-to-end encryption is the default setting of this application. Also every time a message, image or video is sent a new encryption key is created and used. The creation of a new key for every message thereby reduces the risks of all your messages being exposed even if somehow one encryption key is compromised. Wire is also completely open source which means you can personally go check out and scrutinize Wire’s code for any security deficiencies and edit the code for improved performance and safety as long as you have access to high-speed internet.
Switzerland and the European Union have very strict laws when it comes to data privacy and Wire, much to its users’ joy complies with these strict standards. To add to this application’s great review it is also free when it comes to personal use. As for organizations who would like to use Wire without ads payment will need to be made. Though it is probably worth it to keep your data safe.
Signal prizes user privacy which means it by default ensures you are using end-to-end encryption for all your messages as well as your voice calls. It also makes use of Open Source Protocol which means users can inspect the app for any flaws and make improvements accordingly. They say if you need to understand the motives of a person you should follow the trail of money and this is why we like Signal. Probably one of the biggest advantages of Signal is that it is not funded by big tech or third party advertisers. Instead it is funded through grants and donations which means there is no ulterior motive or secret tracking of your data taking place.
To further strengthen security Signal also has a unique feature which deletes messages after a certain period of time set by you for each chat saved in your chat history. Convenient right? This feature is also bound to save a lot of storage space on your phone and prevent you from going through the tedious task of having to delete your chat histories when you are running short of space.
iMessage, an iPhone-only messaging app, like all other Apple products is designed to protect its users’ privacy. This means it makes use of end-to-end encryption to keep all the content you share via iMessage secure. To make things even better you can customize iMessage to make messages disappear after a certain period of time by limiting the number of times someone can view your message and for how long they can view it.
Perhaps the only drawback to iMessage isbacking up of messages on iCloud. Why? Well, the encryption keys for encrypted messages stored in the cloud lies with Apple. Hence if someone hacked into your iCloud they would be able to access your iMessages. There is a pretty easy fix to this problem though: just back up any data you want to save on an external hard drive rather than on iCloud.
With more than 200 million users Telegram’s end-to-end encryptions places your privacy as its top priority. It even has a self-destruct option which means not just your messages, but any files and videos you share will be protected through encryption and automatic deleting of content in chats. However you may sometimes worry that while the chat messages have been deleted on your phone they could still be present on the person’s phone to whom you sent these messages. What can you do to solve this issue? Just perform the simple step of turning on secret chats. With this feature turned on you can make sure that the messages or any files etc. get deleted from your phone as well as the receiver’s phone by force. Awesome right? Now you can feel complete peace of mind.
To Wrap Things Up
It is important to protect your data especially as people carelessly send personal details and financial information over messaging apps. You know what I’m talking about e.g. that time when you asked your partner or parents for their card because your own card suddenly seemed to start acting up. So whether you are an activist dealing with sensitive information or an ordinary person you probably want to make sure the messaging app you use isn’t selling or using your data without your knowledge.