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Every day millions of messages are exchanged all over the world, but how many of us actually know what happens to these messages once they have been sent to the intended recipients? For example, are they being intercepted by some third-party group so that they can get their hands on valuable information?
You might call this paranoia, but the sad truth is that we now live in a time where data logging and internet surveillance is commonplace. Companies, agencies, and cybercriminals all want access to our private conversations. In fact, we have had far too many instances of the FBI or CIA trying to gain unauthorized access to electronic devices.
These high-profile events have rightfully raised a number of concerns. Therefore, the only way to be certain that your messages to your family, friends, or colleagues stay between you and them is to use secure messaging apps that make use of end-to-end encryption.
So, what is end-to-end encryption? Well, in a nutshell, if a message has been encrypted, any information contained within that particular message can only be read by the intended recipient.
To break it down further, when two devices (or more) are communicating using a secure messaging app that features end-to-end encryption, any information that is transmitted has a secret code instead of just plain text that anyone can get their hands on. When using end-to-end encryption not even government officials, internet service providers, or the app producers themselves can read what the messages are saying. That’s pretty fantastic if you ask us.
So, if confidentiality is something that you are concerned about (let’s face it, this is something that everyone really should care about), then you should seriously think about downloading one of the following apps. These apps are some of the best around when it comes to encrypted messaging.
Signal Private Messenger
This app actually received critical appraise from Edward Snowden himself, so we think it’s safe to assume that it’s a secure messaging app. Available for free on both Android and iOS, it makes use of advanced encryption programs to ensure that all messages and voice calls that are shared between signal users are confidential. Messages can also be set to disappear after a period of time. What’s not to like?
Read our full Signal App review
Telegram is an app that connects people all over the world by using a network of unique data centers. While this might be the best encrypted messaging app around, the end-to-end encryption isn’t enabled as soon as you download the app, meaning that you have to make sure to switch it on before you start sending messages.
This is simple enough to do as all you have to do is go your contacts and choose to send a secret, self-destructing message. The interface of this app is very minimalistic, making it super easy to use as well.
Telegram is available for free on Android and iOS, so we think it’s safe to say that this really is a great secure messaging app.
Read our full Telegram App review
This private messaging app has a very unusual background. It was originally created by a team of Japanese engineers after the destructive Tohoju earthquake back in 2011. This catastrophic act of Mother Nature disabled telecommunication all over the country, so internet-connected programmes were the only way people could communicate. If you turn on “Letter Sealing,” no one unintended will be able to read your messages.
The Line app is free and available on Android and iOS.
Kakao Talk is a Korea-based app with over 220 million registered users. With so many happy users, you can be sure that it can be considered as the best private messaging app for anyone’s list of bests. However, just as with Telegram, you have to turn on the “Secret Chat” function yourself from the settings.
Kakao Talk is also free and is available on Android or iOS devices.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps out there, but a lot of its 1.5 billion users are unaware that the app uses end-to-end encryption for all messages that are sent. In fact, it doesn’t just use any old encryption protocol, it uses one of the strongest ones available at this moment in time, making it a strong contender for the best private messaging app.
There is not a lot that WhatsApp cannot do. Along with the usual text-based conversations, it is also able to provide its users with group chats, video calls, the ability to transfer files, and location sharing. It also gives its users the option of leaving voice memos.
WhatsApp is available to download on Android or iOS devices and is completely free.
Read our full WhatsApp review
This app, which used to be called Cyber Dust, is yet another messaging app that makes use of end-to-end encryption. This great app enables its users to erase messages from other people’s mobile devices. Furthermore, no message that is sent is permanently stored on servers or phones. It uses AES 128 and RSA 2048 encryption, which are some of the better (but not the best) around at the moment.
Dust is free and can be downloaded on Android and iOS.
At this moment in time, Threema has over 5 million users and that figure is only going one way and that’s up. In fact, it is fast becoming one of the most trusted messaging apps for Windows, Android, and iOS. Unlike the other apps in this list, this one is not free. You have to pay $2.99 for this app, but this one-off fee is well worth it.
Everything that you send while using Threema has end-to-end encryption, so this includes messages in group chats, media files, voice calls, and status messages. The app makers also declare that they delete any messages you send from their server as soon as they have been delivered to the intended recipient. Threema also has a QR code and fingerprint identification available to prevent any third party attacks.
Read our full Threema App review
Viber hasn’t always had end-to-end encryption, but they realized that if they want to keep up with their competitors, they must get with the times. Therefore, when they launched their 6.0 version, they made sure to include it. This app offers its users secure high-quality calls and video messages as well as texts.
Viber is free to download for iOS and Android users.
Read our full Viber review
In the digital world that we are now living in, our personal security and privacy matters more than it has ever done before. Therefore, if you are concerned about who can get access to any valuable data that you send through your mobile device and you value your privacy, you really need to download one of the aforementioned apps. You won’t regret it!
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Nadin has been tinkering with computers and gadgets for as long as she can remember. She has extensive knowledge about various topics, including IoT, Linux, digital security, and more. Nowadays, she works as an IT network professional and writes helpful guides in her free time.