What are the most secure messaging apps for private texting in 2017? The number of times we hear about personal messages and emails getting hacked is now at an all time high, thanks to the undying appetite that unscrupulous hackers now have for users’ private information. Regardless of whether these hackers are acting independently or out of state sponsorship, the mechanisms they’re using to get access to people’s private correspondence are becoming ever advanced. This calls for users to be on high alert, and adopt safeguards that’ll allow them to keep their private data protected.
The Most Secure Messaging Apps of 2017
One of the ways a user can be able to do this is by ensuring that the messaging app they use to communicate contains some level of encryption; such that their private messages are not susceptible to falling into the wrong hands.
You’re probably wondering, what products should you be using to enhance your privacy? Let’s do a run-down of about the most popular consumer messaging services to give you an idea of the level of protection you should expect.
How Private is Your Messaging App?
What you should bear in mind here is whether your message service is “end-to-end encrypted”. This is the kind of encryption where your service provider doesn’t really store copies of the messages you send on their servers. It prevents any message mining by law enforcement agencies, or even advertisers. What you send can only be read on the sender’s and recipient’s devices.
Which Messaging Apps offer End-to-End Encryption?
Popular Messaging Apps and End-to-End Encryption
Here are some of the most commonly used apps/services and what they have to offer in terms of privacy.
- Messenger: As Facebook’s answer to WhatsApp, Messenger allows you to switch on end-to-end encryption by specifying that the messages you type be sent in “secret”. It doesn’t come activated by default though.
- iMessage: The hugely popular iPhone messaging service only offers end-to-end encryption when both the sender and receiver are iPhone users. Texts you send to Android users are not really encrypted. Also keep in mind that if you use iCloud to backup your information, then the messages you send will be stored in Apple servers. Turn off this setting to send your messages without a trace.
- Skype: When it comes to messaging, Skype are one of the oldest names around. In terms of privacy, Skype does not offer end-to-end encryption.
- Snapchat: This messaging app’s popularity has skyrocketed in the past few years. Unfortunately, Snapchat does not offer end-to-end encryption.
- Hangouts: Google’s well known video chat and messaging service is known to only delete messages from your history through the “off-the-record” feature, but they still do remain on the company’s servers.
- Signal: With high recommendations coming in from left, right and center, the use of this app has been growing steadily ever since Donald Trump became president. Edward Snowden, alongside other experts are known to have talked in praise of this app, perhaps because the source code is open source and can be examined for any security loopholes by virtually anyone with a good programming background.
- Telegram: Also hugely popular in the United States, Telegram offers you a feature that’ll allow you to turn on end-to-end encryption through “secret chats”. It’s not set on by default though.
- Confide: Probably not the world’s most popular messaging app. However, The company’s website clearly states that their app offers end-to-end encryption as a default.
- Whatsapp: The guys at WhatsApp really switched up their game following the acquisition by Facebook, since before, they weren’t really offering end-to-end message encryption as they do now.
- Text messages: Ordinary text messages are usually admissible by court, and so to be used like that, it means they’re not really encrypted.
VPN – An Extra Layer of Privacy
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.
Final Thoughts On Why You Should Secure Your Private Messages
Knowing that no-one is able to intercept the private messages that you send through email or text brings an element of security that you can only appreciate if you’ve had an experience where your private information got stolen. It could’ve been by hackers, or credit card scammers. Most importantly, it could have been prevented. All you need is to take the required amount of action. Take the step, and protect your data. The damage that can be done if you don’t can, in some cases, be deemed irreversible. Remember, if you truly appreciate your privacy, it’s always best to connect to a VPN server.