Using instant messengers has long become an integral part of our everyday life. Messengers allow you to quickly and easily interact with each other in a variety of situations: work, education, entertainment, personal issues. The functions of modern instant messengers have long gone beyond the usual exchange of messages, photos, videos. We can make audio and video calls, pay for utilities, get information, order food, taxis, tickets, and much more. All this should inspire you to pay more attention to the security of messengers. Today, we will review four messengers that will help you to protect your data from strangers.
This popular messenger has secret chats, the messages in them are not stored on the server and are available only to the interlocutors. It will not be possible to intercept and decrypt this correspondence. At least so far no one has succeeded. To create a “Secret Chat”, go to the Telegram app and click on the menu at the top left in Android or on the right in iOS. Select the “Create a secret chat” item, after which it remains to select the desired interlocutor.
The messenger puts privacy and confidentiality first. Signal uses the ZRTP cryptographic protocol and the AES algorithm. Thanks to end-to-end encryption, only the sender and the recipient have access to the correspondence. Disappearing messages are also available in the app. You can also activate the option to automatically blur people’s faces on all photos sent to the chat to increase privacy. In terms of security and functionality, Signal is very good, but there is a drawback that seriously affects privacy: anonymous registration is not supported, so you will have to entrust your phone number to the messenger.
Wickr does not ask the user to share one’s phone number, email, or other information that similar applications ask for. In the settings of the messenger, you can set the time after which the message will be deleted. Wickr will also notify the user if the interlocutor takes a screenshot of the correspondence. It is by far the best choice, combining proper security and privacy.
In terms of a high level of privacy, it is worth noting Session that has been gaining popularity since 2020 due to decentralization and the use of end-to-end encryption based on the Signal protocol. The messenger has anonymous registration in one click without entering passwords. A minimum of metadata is used when sending messages.
Whatever messenger you choose, the main threat is still on the recipient’s side. Leaks most often occur not because of technical problems, but because of human stupidity. Share your photos, contacts, and confidential information only with people you trust. This is the only certain way to avoid unpleasant situations with data loss, hacking, or cheating.