Messengers have long become an integral part of our daily lives. With these simple and free apps, you can chat with family, friends, colleagues, and others.
There are some additional features of instant messaging applications:
Meanwhile, the lack of encryption of the conversation means that your messages can be read by strangers, including representatives of the company that developed this application and members of the government.
Fortunately, there are instant messengers that seriously take the security of their users. They keep your messages private through end-to-end encryption. Thanks to this, only you and the intended recipient will be able to access the contents of the dialogue.
End-to-end encryption is a panacea for crackers, which try to access your files. Moreover, thanks to this method, copies of your dialogs will not be stored on servers, which allows you to protect them from government access.
Obviously, no one wants his conversations, cryptocurrency wallets or contact list to become public. We have compiled a list of the best messaging apps that can protect your data.
iMessage is one of the messaging apps. Despite the fact that it is available only for Apple devices, this program ensures the privacy of its users.
In addition to end-to-end encryption, the application allows you to control the amount of time and views of the selected message. iMessage is available only to owners of iOS 10 or higher.
Alas, this messenger is not without flaws. One of the possible difficulties you may encounter is backing up to the storage iСloud. Here, messages will be encrypted with keys that are fully controlled by the Apple platform. This fact means that if your account is hacked, messages in iCloud will be declassified.
The CEO of the company is committed to personal safety. For this reason, its end-to-end encryption messenger is a testament to the desire to provide users of the iMessage application with complete privacy. You should just avoid storing personal data in computing services such as iCloud.
Almost every smartphone owner has this messaging application, which is one of the most popular. This app is an opponent of less confidential Skype and charges about 260 million active users every month. Initially, Viber did not have advanced security features. However, in 2016, this messenger was finally provided with end-to-end encryption.
Each of the available platforms has an E2EE. In addition, depending on the degree of security, each chat has its own color code. For instance, red means the failure of the authentication key, while gray indicates encrypted communication. The encrypted dialogue with a trusted contact is green.
One of the biggest Viber’s disadvantages is the ability to use end-to-end encryption only in single dialogs. Group conversations are deprived of this opportunity.
Another anonymous chat that knows how to “cover-up” is Wickr. The idea of creation arose in 2012 in the USA after the leak of important information from the NSA.
This application uses end-to-end encryption by default, while Wickr is regularly checked. Since 2017, the messenger has been using open code.
Wickr Pro and Wickr Me are forms of SMS exchange software. The first is paid and intended for business. The task of the second is free personal use. This messenger has several functions that ensure its safety. Among them, there are blocking third-party keyboards on the Apple platform, detecting screenshots and guaranteeing the irrevocability of all deleted data.
Alas, Wickr does not have as many users as other messaging apps. However, at times this fact may be an advantage.
Telegram is an instant and free messenger that rightfully occupies one of the leading positions. The platform was founded by brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov in Berlin in 2014.
Telegram uses its own MTProto protocol, thanks to which you can encrypt personal dialogue. Meanwhile, it does not happen by default. To protect messages, you need to create a “secret chat”. You can also set automatic deletion of messages on all devices by default or at a specific time. If your conservation is not encrypted, all data will be stored on the application servers. This fact jeopardizes the security of personal data.
Besides the fact that the application uses partially open-source code, Telegram skips a lot of metadata. The security researcher has access to information about the time when the user was online and with whom he had a dialogue. Be careful during communicating in this application.
Jabber and OTR are not similar to other applications from our list. In fact, they are more likely communication protocols than platforms for exchanging SMS. Together they make up a safe and free open-source application.
A huge number of platforms use Jabber with OTR. Among them, there is Adium for MacBook or Pidgin for Windows and Linux. In addition to them, you can use the recently appeared Chat Secure and Tor Messenger.
Alas, this application does not work very well, because Jabber/OTR requires almost continuous communication between users. Moreover, the lack of some basic functions (for instance, the inability to send attachments, etc.) may become another disappointing factor. Meanwhile, if it is necessary to use the protocol to bypass the strongest opponent, Jabber/OTR will be the best solution.
Today, WhatsApp is the most popular application that uses E2EE. The audience of this messenger has 1.5 billion users. Such applications as Instagram or Messenger do not have end-to-end encryption.
In 2009, Jan Koum and Brian Acton founded WhatsApp. The application has gained immense popularity and was subsequently bought by the Facebook platform.
Despite the use of end-to-end encryption, there are some facts indicating the possibility of collecting and transmitting personal data to Facebook. The latest news that this site wants to combine all its messaging apps (Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger) also surprised users.
There is a huge number of messaging applications. Each of which has its own unique advantages. However, if you focus on security and the number of possibilities, the Signal will definitely take a leading position. WhatsApp is more popular. However, his connection with the Facebook platform is quite suspicious. Indeed, Jabber is the best in terms of security, but its few and poor features make it far from ideal.
The Signal is a mobile app, that has long won the love of its users. Previously, this program was called RedPhone. Despite the fame of WhatsApp, Signal is a favorite application of many people, while its popularity is gradually growing.
All types of messages in this application (video calls, instant and voice messages) are equipped with end-to-end encryption using the proprietary Signal protocol. The latter rightfully claims to be the most secure protocol, because it combines the Double Ratchet algorithm, AES-256, the X3DH protocol, as well as Sesame to manage encryption on several devices at once.
This technology has a completely open-source code, so its confidentiality can be confirmed and accepted by other applications for conducting conservations, including Skype and WhatsApp.
Each of your dialogs in this application has its own unique security number. This fact is a confirmation that every dialogue is safe. It also eliminates the possibility of an attack by a mediator. If the security number changes too often (in the case of switching the device or reinstalling the application), this may be a sign of some kind of malfunction.
A proof of the reliability of the Signal was the court in 2016 when the application provided only the date of creation of one of the accounts and the time of the last user activity.
The messaging app also has a password protection feature. Thanks to this, you can protect your personal data in the case of a fall into the hands of attackers. Moreover, you can limit the existence of a message in time by setting the required display period in the dialog.
There is only one drawback of this messenger. It is the need to provide your own phone number. However, there are various ways to avoid this condition. An additional advantage may be that you cannot run the Signal on the same device on which it was registered.