Best Encrypted Messaging Apps for Privacy-Conscious Users

Anyone who knows anything about the internet has heard about Edward Snowden. No one can deny that he has had a significant impact on our online lives. Thanks to him, people are more conscious than ever about their internet privacy. They pay close attention to factors like metadata, data theft, digital snooping, and surveillance. This has resulted in a war between governments and businesses over the issue of data use. However, the app developers around the world are exploring how the user can take control over their own privacy. The way we message our co-workers, friends, and relatives has evolved beyond recognition. The importance of keeping these messages private however has never been as important as it is now. That’s the main reason as to why so many people are looking for apps that offer end-to-end encryption in order to secure their messages.

Best Encrypted Messaging Apps for a Privacy-Conscious User

Best Encrypted Messaging Apps for a Privacy-Conscious User

End-to-End Encryption Is A Must

By offering end-to-end encryption, they are providing more security options to everyone. Added security features allow us to ensure that everyone we care about is safe. No one other than the sender and intended receiver can access the messages.

We know that the government and police agencies have a keen interest in maintaining surveillance over digital communications. That is why encrypted messaging is a very hotly debated topic in society today. As far as privacy gurus are concerned, encryption is a must.

In some applications, all your chats are automatically encrypted by default and you don’t have to turn on any settings. In other apps, things might be more intricately designed. You might have to create secret chat rooms. Being security conscious doesn’t mean you are paranoid. After Snowden revelation, privacy is a concern for everyone and so we bring you the best apps for ensuring the same.

Best Encrypted Messaging Apps

In some applications, all your chats are automatically encrypted by default and you don’t have to turn on any settings. In other apps, things might be more intricately designed. You might have to create secret chat rooms. Being security conscious doesn’t mean you are paranoid. After Snowden revelation, privacy is a concern for everyone and so we bring you the best apps for ensuring the same.

1. Signal

Signal, created by Open Whisper Systems, is arguably the most well-known messaging app for privacy-conscious people. The app is free and offers messaging as well as voice call options with complete encryption. Users may text others, make calls, and even share attachments and media securely.

You don’t need PIN codes or unique logins for this. This makes it extremely easy to use. The app also offers auto delete on messages after certain durations. The app can also be used on desktops with a Chrome browser plugin.

2. WhatsApp

WhatsApp has gradually entered the encrypted messaging market. Originally it began working with Open Whisper Systems in 2014 and used methods similar to Signal for secure communications. Further, in 2016, it declared end-to-end encryption on all its services including, chats, video messages, group chats, voice messages etc. WhatsApp provides a security verification code that can be shared with a contact to ensure encryption.

3. Telegram Messenger

This app is widely considered the fastest encrypted messaging service provider. At the same time, it has a reputation for being user-friendly. All you have to do is connect your Telegram account with your mobile number. Then you can send and receive encrypted texts over the cloud.

Messages can auto-delete after a pre-set time period. All communication on Telegram like groups, chats, media etc. are all encrypted. Additionally, users get access to photo editing and video editing tools along with sticker GIF resources for fun chatting.

In May 2018, the Russian government decided to officially ban Telegram. Soon after, Iran implemented similar procedures.

4. Facebook Messenger

While Facebook Messenger is not end-to-end encrypted by default, it is still the most popular app for chatting worldwide. Many people do not know it offers an elective end-to-end encryption option known as Secret Conversation. This allows for one-on-one chats through iOS or Android.

However, there is a catch. You cannot use call, video chat, or send GIFs in Secret Conversation. But you can time your chat threads to auto-delete after a set amount of time. This encryption is based on Signal, which was what Snowden used for his secure communication.  

According to Facebook, Secret Conversation users will be able to access a device key to verify message encryption. However, this can only be done on one single device. Also, anyone you converse with can still screenshot your conversation and share it. This makes some conversations vulnerable to sharing.

5. iMessage

This is the default messaging app on Apple and uses encryption. However, encryption experts have pointed out that the encryption is native to Apple and not the most secure. Contact Id verification is not available and no one outside Apple can review the code. Recently, a weakness was found in it that allowed skilled hackers to decrypt pictures and videos. However, Apple itself was not able to access the messages, even after a court order.

6. ChatSecure

This is the best encrypted messaging app for the tech-savvy users as it is open source and found on both Android and iOS. The Guardian Project, which is an international collective comprised of software designers, developers, activists, advocates, and trainers, is its creator. They also develop open source portable device security apps as well as OS additions.

ChatSecure offers two kinds of encryption protocols. These are Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol and Off-the-Record Messaging. These features have been designed for total privacy and are primarily used as a secure communication platform by journalists. However, it is also available to anyone and everyone. The app is also transparent on the methods used to ensure chat encryption.

7. Cyphr

Think you knew enough? Well, it wouldn’t hurt to know about a few more secure messaging apps. Cyphr is one of the most popular apps for end-to-end encryption. The reason for its popularity is primarily how easy it is to use.

Cyphr has been created by Golden Frog, the company behind VyprVPN. Despite not having desktop or web apps at present, Cyphr is certainly worth checking out. It helps you generate your own public and private keys and start chatting. The private key will belong to you and the public key will be shared with the recipient of your messages.

VPN for an Extra Layer of Encryption

If you want to make sure that nobody is eavesdropping on your messaging, we highly advise you to use a VPN. A virtual private network, better known as VPN, basically enables you to encrypt all of your traffic. This includes your messages as well. Here’s a list of the best VPN service for secure online messaging. You can also read our comprehensive VPN review guide here.

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Best Encrypted Messaging Apps – Final Word

The world is gradually moving into an age of security and privacy-optimized online products. Things like encryption, which were only used by very specific people, are now widely available. It is possible that even more advanced technologies will become available in the not-so-far future.

For now, if you want to stay safe, you can use any of these apps and stay safe from spies and hackers. The best part of using all these apps is that all of them are free and you can use them as much as you want without paying anything.

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