As we move towards the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, technology is constantly evolving. This is true for technology held by the good guys and the bad ones. More than ever, it’s important that our information (especially what we share online) is protected. Encrypted messaging apps are one of the best ways to protect your privacy by making sure that the private messages, photos, videos, documents, and phone calls we send stay in the hands of the intended parties. Unlike regular messaging and calls that are open to hacking, encryption messaging offers added protection. Read on to find out how the process works and these four secure messaging apps offer privacy protection.
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WhatsApp is an encryption app that is more common in Africa and the UK than it is the US, but its use is building steam because of its beefed-up security. Owned by Facebook, WhatsApp’s website claims it was built to help users connect, allowing you to keep in touch with friends, share information during natural disasters, and reconnect with lost family members. They also tout end to end encryption that ensures “your messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, and calls are secured from falling into the wrong hands.”
The app’s system ensures that only you and the person receiving the message can read what is sent through a special lock that is encrypted into each individual message. Calls through WhatsApp are also encrypted, so there’s no need to worry about anyone listening in on your conversation.
But does WhatsApp offer enough privacy? Let’s continue to look at other options.
Though Signal is number two on this list, it is actually the source of WhatsApp’s encryption. Signal is getting a lot of support from the technology community, recently receiving a 50-million-dollar endorsement from WhatsApp co-creator Brian Acton. Like WhatsApp, Signal has end-to-end encryption. This means that only the person you are communicating with can read your messages. One unique thing about Signal is that it has an encrypted group chat feature that isn’t found on other encrypted messaging platforms.
Available on iPhone, Android, and desktop, Signal (once owned by Twitter) is now free and part of a nonprofit startup. There are no long-distance call charges, SMS fees, or ads to click on. Signal is “just open technology for a fast, simple, and secure messaging experience.”
Would you like your messages to vanish where no one can read them? Are you worried that a company is holding on to all your communications? If you are, Dust is for you. The great part about Dust is that messages can never be recovered, not even by the Dust team. When it is gone, it’s gone. A unique feature of Dust is the ability to erase your message off a person’s phone. Sent something you don’t want a person to have, you can erase it. Dust will also detect and notify you if someone has taken a screenshot of your message. If you are looking for secure and anonymous communication, you should definitely considering using the Dust app.
One final encryption app to be on the lookout for is Telegram. Like Signal, Telegram is a nonprofit messaging system that is free to use with no ads and no subscription fees. Because Telegram is cloud-based, it allows you to access your messages from various devices. Like the other two encryption services, the messages are encrypted and they can even self-destruct.
Though it might seem that Telegram is no different than WhatsApp and Signal, it claims to be the fastest messaging service of them all. Telegram can hold messages and media (pictures, video) of any size making it a secure way to send media to family and friends across the globe. Documents and group chats can be shared through Telegram as well allowing you to keep what’s private, private.