Lately, privacy has become so much concern, that at least some consumers are looking for text-based encrypted instant messengers which are secure. WhatsApp is still very popular, but from what we have heard, and likely because of pressure from government and many X factors, it doesn’t look to be secure. Even if we keep the government factor off, I would like to use a platform which is not under the control of Facebook. They have been long known to mishandle privacy.
Secure Instant Messenger chat apps
The list includes:
- and others.
Our recommendations might not be very comfortable because not everyone is available on these messengers. So you will have to ask your friends to use it or educate your group to move to one of these platforms. So find a balance between conversations you want to keep a secret and with those which are casual. Keep in mind that not all of them are built to keep your messages forever.
The Signal App is made using a platform which is solely for privacy. All the messages are encrypted using the Signal Protocol. The protocol is known to be the most secure text messaging protocol. Technically, it uses HMAC-SHA 256-bit, AES 256-bit, and Curve25519.
When you create a profile, not even Signal can see have any knowledge of the name you have chosen or the image you have set. It finds contacts; signal periodically sends truncated cryptographically hashed phone numbers for contact discovery.
It is available for Desktop, but you will have to first install on Phone and register. Later you can link the desktop to phone, and it works seamlessly. It offers self-destructing messages, option to delete all the messages and other regular messages.
Signal unlike other platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook messenger doesn’t collect any metadata. They don’t create a profile using which you can be targeted with an advertisement or anything else.
It’s useful and free for a small group of a maximum of ten people. You create a network, invite people, share files, and your data is available for a maximum of 30 days. The messages can be timed to self destruct from anywhere between one second to up to six days. They are wiped clean from the computer, and users can choose to delete metadata as well. The process makes sure that no trace of messages is available on the device. Lastly, it doesn’t require you to upload your contacts. Download it from here.
This secure messenger is available for both personal and organizational usage. So yes, it’s free if you are using it for personal usage, and you can also connect with Pro accounts. You can use it on mobile, desktop and web which makes it versatile. Here is the list of features:
- Send encrypted messages, calls, photos, and files.
- You don’t need a phone number to register, instead, use an email id.
- To connect with other users, you can search by their name, and send a join request.
- Wire makes sure that there are no ads, no profiling, no user data sold to anyone
- It comes under Swiss jurisdiction which is known for Privacy first though. Also, the servers are in Germany and Ireland.
There are many other great instant messengers available, but they are not available for desktop. They offer similar features but have restricted themselves to be on mobile. Telegram is one such example where it doesn’t provide the secret chat feature on the computer. The secret chat allows you to self destruct message as soon as they are seen or based on time.
But then we all have a mobile, and it only makes sense to use Telegram. All your secret conversation stays on your phone, and with auto-destruct, messages will be completely wiped off your device.
4] Other Secure Instant Messengers
There are few instant messengers which are paid, but they are definitely worth the money. If you are ready to pay for them, below is the list:
- Threema: While available for desktop, it’s not free. When it comes to security, it uses two layers of encryption. One between users, and second between user and server. It makes sure any conversation caught in between is not revealed. It is available for all platforms.
- Silent Text: The service claims to offer a peer-to-peer encrypted application for secure voice and messaging, and enterprise-grade security. One can also choose to implement it for their company. It provides a dashboard which allows you to configure and manage users, groups, and plans. Modifications for specific users or groups is done through quick views feature.
- Surespot: It uses 256-bit AES-GCM encryption using keys created with 521-bit ECDH and is not associated with a phone number or email id. You can even create multiple ids to use for different purposes. Download it from here.
Do you use any secure instant mesenger? Let us know in the comments.