It’s now easier than ever to secure & encrypt your messages. Here we have listed the top messaging apps that allow you to stay private.
Many of the world’s most commonly used messaging apps have been listening to our conversations. Media coverage is helping users wake up to the horrors of having their data stolen or sold to third parties without their consent.
They are demanding platforms to protect and encrypt their data, and some messaging applications are starting to do that. Protecting your private conversations should be a top priority for everyone, especially for the platform you trust to enable those conversations.
Which apps can encrypt and protect your data? Let’s take a look.
Signal has built the gold standard of open source messaging with the range of traditional features users are familiar with, like private and group text and voice messaging, as well as voice and video calls. What makes them unique is:
“The Signal Foundation’s mission is to develop open source privacy technology that protects free expression and enables secure global communication.”
Where Signal stands out is how they have set up encryption. The Signal team is completely unable to access any user data or the keys needed to access their chat messages. In fact, they don’t hold onto your metadata either. This means if any government subpoenas Signal, there is literally no information they can provide to authorities.
The downside is that Signal isn’t as popular as some of the big messaging apps and as a result, the user base is small in comparison.
Telegram is rich with features and has over 200 million users. Telegram has developed their own cryptography scheme known as MTproto. Many people are afraid it doesn’t provide true encryption since it doesn’t follow any known open source standards. As a result, unlike Signal, the default setup does not have end-to-end encryption.
Due to this fact, officials could try to seize this communication data for those using the default setting. In 2018, Russia tried to do just this, and Telegram resisted. Russia then attempted to block usage of Telegram in their country, but cloud service providers like Amazon and Digital Ocean refused to comply.
The two most popularly used messengers in the world, owned by Facebook, have had a fair amount of scrutiny. But many don’t realize that back in 2016 both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp released their own end-to-end encryption called Secret Chat. Although this feature is not enabled by default, you can turn it on.
Facebook’s company code is proprietary, it is not open to review by researchers and the open source community, which can be of some concern regarding how safe the code is. However, both messaging applications’ encryption is based on the Signal protocol, which may give some people peace of mind.
Facebook might not be the best option, but they are showing steps towards protecting data as of late. After being heavily fined by the US Justice Department from a scandal linked to Cambridge Analytica, they claim they are creating better measures. Of course, only time will tell.
Sidekick’s long awaited private beta will launch soon. With it comes a slew of exciting new features users are dying for that don’t appear anywhere else. While native end-to-end encryption won’t work in the beginning due to working out bugs that can’t be fixed otherwise, they will enable encryption before the public beta.
Important differentiations include:
- Not requiring users to submit their SIM card or phone number information in order to register.
- Not allowing social logins like Facebook or Google in order to prevent them from getting access to your Sidekick account details.
- Not storing user search information.
- Securing user transactions on an encrypted private ledger that doesn’t touch live Blockchains.
- Not storing, selling, or giving away personally identifiable information, EVER.
- GDPR compliant via a Setting which allows user to directly purge data from our servers.
- User controlled file manager which lets them directly purge their downloaded and shared files from our servers.
These 5 messaging apps all use encryption natively built. If you want to protect your data from players who may try to extort your information, make sure you use the features offered to you by those messaging apps.