If you use Skype, WhatsApp, or Facebook chat, then you’re using an end-to-end encrypted service.
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a way for two or more parties to communicate by sending encrypted messages back and forth. In other words, it’s a way to chat freely without having to worry about people snooping through your messages…or so you think.
Many so-called encrypted messengers aren’t very private. In fact, some even don’t encrypt the messages at all. If you’re looking for a little more privacy in your messaging service, here are 5 end-to-end encryption messengers you should use.
Possibly the best thing about ChatSecure is the fact that it uses Off-the-Record (OTR) encryption to prevent third parties from finding their way into your chats. The software is free and open-source, and you can also chat with people on desktop devices, which is something many other E2EE apps lack.
Most secure messaging apps require both parties to use to have the application installed, but not Signal. This free app sets itself apart by incorporating a standard SMS messenger service to send and receive text. That means you can use the app’s secure service to text people who don’t have it installed on their phones.
While Signal isn’t available on desktops (yet), it’s worth mentioning how important it is to start using a VPN on your Windows or Apple device to help protect your privacy.
Unlike most of the other apps on this list, Threema is not open-source, which means they’re regularly checking to make sure their encryption codes are updated. They also don’t require a valid email or phone number, so it’s even easier to go off the grid. At $2 a download, this app has a strong following.
The best thing about Wickr is its unique ability to set expiration dates for the messages you send. It also lets you remove any sort of metadata from your messages, including the time, date, and geo-location information. In an effort to improve on their security credentials, Wickr’s recently added a new security feature that allows users to verify their contacts by checking their fingerprints, which can be verified by video.
Quite possibly the most popular app on the list, Telegram recently claimed to have more than 50 million users. One of the greatest things about this app is its seamless ability to let you participate in group chats with up to 200 people. Keep in mind group chats are not encrypted by default, so whenever you participate in one make sure the Secret Chat option is enabled.
It’s time to put kick those traditional messenger services to the curb and start utilizing these more secure, private end-to-end encryption messenger services.