Messages have become an essential part of our lives. You will not see a single person without their mobile phones with them, texting their way through life. However, the conversations are private, whether a business or a personal chat. So, let’s have a look at how secure your apps are.
You might be wondering why we are talking about deleting messages. It takes a tap on your smartphone’s screen to get rid of any unwanted chats, and you feel like they are completely wiped off the earth’s surface. That is the ideal scenario, but does it always happen the way you assume? Let’s find out.
Many platforms like Skype and WhatsApp realize that there is a lot of sensitive data in the conversation. Therefore, they have introduced multiple deletion methods to secure malicious eavesdroppers.
In case you lose your device or someone else gets a hold of it, they can go through the conversations between you and your partner in the chat. You can rely on reputation management tools to find reviews about these platforms.
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So, these apps have introduced features like “delete for everyone” instead of simply deleting the message. If you delete the message, it will only remove the chats from your device, which means if the other person’s phone gets stolen, a lot of data can be compromised.
Now you can use the “delete for everyone” feature to remove the messages you have sent from all devices.
There is an option of disappearing messages on Facebook messenger and Instagram where the chat disappears after 24 hours or a time that you choose yourself. You can’t avail these options on Apple devices. Even if you delete the messages from one device, they will remain stored on the other devices with the same Apple ID.
Let’s Talk About Encryption
You might have read the word “encryption” whenever you open any messaging platform. Well, let us educate you about it a bit more. Messaging apps never send out your messages the way you type them to the other person. They will use keys and encryption to deform the chats to prevent any third-party or malicious hackers from gaining access to your data.
Some of the platforms might hold a copy of the keys for their benefit. They will decrypt your chats using these keys to read the content and use it for branding and advertisement like Skype does or like WeChat.
In case the database of the company gets compromised, the hackers can use the keys to decrypt and read your conversations too. Such firms can also be open to government warrants, and therefore, these agencies can easily decrypt and read whatever they please.
Always try to go for companies that offer end-to-end encryption. They employ a pair of public and a pair of private keys, which means they only have access to the public keys while the private ones are only stored on your device. It means that even if the company itself wants to read your chat, they can’t because they don’t have access to both the keys. Check out some online reputation management tools to learn more about such companies.
Transparency is Important
It is no surprise that a company will always try to appear in the best light for their services. But a reliable and trustworthy messaging app company should always be open to examination by external experts to check the platform’s security.
Try to opt for open-source companies that make their security codes available to the public to allow for a better peer-review process. Multiple other developers and security professionals can recheck the reliability of the claims made by the messaging app.
Examples of open-source platforms are Telegram and Signal because you can download the codes for all app versions through GitHub. Yes, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp use the open-source signal protocol to encrypt messages, but they aren’t open-source platforms. You can’t gain access to their codes and have to trust them blindly.
A clear example of a closed app can be iMessages because you have to trust Apple completely as you receive no codes. You must rely on their security checks and bug fixes. If you want to check out other people’s collective experiences with such platforms, you can rely on reputation management software to guide you towards some genuine reviews.
Learn About Metadata
The content of your messages isn’t the only cause of concern for users. Metadata is also something you need to worry about. It usually refers to the information on all these apps like your sender and receiver IDs, log-in details, delivery time, IP addresses, duration of calls, etc. Why? They can lead anyone to your identity easily, along with your habits.
If it falls into the hands of a hacker, it can be highly damaging to you because it can guide them to your location, your routine, and so on. Almost everything about you! Many chat apps are fond of accumulating metadata because it can help them understand your buying behavior and which new features to add to their platforms to attract you and make you spend more time on the forum.
But if it gets on your nerve, you can rely on Signal because it only requires your phone number and the last date you access the account. Above that, the company doesn’t take any other information from you. Check out a personal online reputation management tool to see which companies are doing well in offering such high-security levels to their users.
Here are the Apps Meet the Security Mark
Okay, let’s first understand that every app will come with its pros and cons. They are secure to some extent but might not offer the same level of security as the other. One might provide end-to-end encryption, while the other comes with no metadata accumulation.
It will always have to be a choice. You need to pick the one that you feel has the most of the qualities listed above to help you eliminate the drone of stress.
Here are some of the most secure platforms to use for communication via the internet:
Before installing and using them, ensure that you check out the reviews and conduct some research on each company yourself.
Many of us are so busy using the apps and so drawn to them that we forget to focus on the security aspects due to convenience. Now that you have all the knowledge in your bag, you can continually assess which app is more secure for you and keep you out of trouble!