What is Secure Messaging?
There are several types of messaging applications in the world, a secure messaging application protects your data from outside interference including the application developers themselves, protection is usually in the form of end-to-end encryption, which ensures that your data remains unreadable to anyone other than you and the recipient. For example, the Facebook Messenger application doesn’t protect your data from internal data collection by default but it provides security against external sources that steal data. Messenger also includes a safe option for messaging but you have to enable this in each conversation separately. Moreover, you can’t check the internal workings of Messenger to check where your data is going or how it is used.
Why end-to-end encryption matter?
End-to-end encryption is the encryption of messages on your device and decryption it only on the device of the person you are communicating with. This means, the message is transmitted from the sender to the recipient in an encrypted form, so no one can read it except the person that we need it to reach. What are the alternatives?
One of the alternatives is the transmission of the data in clear text i.e. without encrypting the message at all. This is the least secure option. For example, data sent via SMS isn’t encrypted, which theoretically means that anyone can intercept it. Fortunately, in practice, this requires special types of equipment, which somewhat limits people who can eavesdrop on your messages.
There is also in-transit encryption, which means the messages are encrypted by the sender, delivered to the server, then decrypted there and re-encrypted again, finally delivered to the recipient and decrypted again also.
In-transit encryption protects the information that we sent but allows the message’s contents to be viewed by the intermediate link in the chain (the server).
Maybe this server will handle your secrets responsibly and maybe won’t. You just have to trust its owner but that could be a problem.
At the same time, it may be more appropriate in many cases to use in-transit encryption rather than end-to-end encryption. This is because in-transit encryption allows the server to be a part of the connection and it provides a set of services in addition to transferring encrypted data from one user to another. For example, the server can store your message history, connect additional chat participants via alternate channels (like joining a videoconference), use auto-moderation, and so on. It is important to mention that encryption in transit solves the most important problem, it makes it is impossible to intercept data on the way from the user to the server and from the server to the user (which is the most dangerous part of the message journey). So, you shouldn’t hurry to switch to end-to-end encryption. For users, the convenience and diversity of services may be more important than even providing more data security.
Default encryption settings
It is just a smart way to say “puzzle”. When you encrypt the data, you often convert it into incomprehensible bits of data before sending it to the web. They are completely useless data except when it reaches their destination, its mystery is solved so that it can be read by the intended recipients. This is the idea about how virtual private networks (VPNs) are work.
Open source code
Open source is a feature that could be for a program or programming language or operating system, whose owner or inventor provides the basic codes, the original source, and its algorithms in order to re-programming, modifying, redistribution and sharing according to the requirements of every user.
Open-source programs or languages open the way for their users to participate in improving and revising codes, solving the problems related to them, modifying and adaptation them according to the nature of the use of each user.
Open-source programs or programming languages get a faster development rate and multiple ideas for improvement because when the source is opened, the inventor allows others to verify that the program is free of spyware, viruses, security gap, and so on.
The open-source program also allows other programmers to make modifications in the original code, so new programs are extracted from the original code, so we don’t have to reinvent new programs from anything.
While many messaging applications today started to use end-to-end encryption, some are still collecting data information about you, called metadata. The metadata is somewhat similar to your electronic fingerprint and includes data such as who you are talking to (via your contact list), duration and time, as well as information about the device you use, your IP address, phone number, and more.
Setting up a VPN app on your mobile device is an easy way to prevent the collection of this type of personal information. Both AVG Secure VPN for Android and AVG Secure VPN for iOS is available to help you to protect your privacy online easily.
The Best Apps for Secure Communication
Signal Private Messenger
The signal is widely considered the gold standard for encrypted messaging applications because its encryption engine is open source and available for anyone to check but this doesn’t facilitate the hack but that means there are a lot of cryptography experts who check the robustness of encryption methods. In addition, the app itself is easy and it supports the group chat feature. Moreover, sending files, images, and texts, so all the user’s needs will be covered.
Telegram is considered popular almost like Signal Messenger and although its encryption methods aren’t open source and aren’t revised well by security experts, the prominent user interface is one of its most important features. Another disadvantage in Telegram is that end-to-end encryption isn’t enabled by default, so you have to make sure that you activate secret mode before you prevent spying anyone’s call on your calls. Other types of chatting are encrypted and files are transferred but only in a transitional part to other parts.
WhatsApp is one of the best messaging applications. It has the advantage of providing total encryption for messages. It uses a very strong encryption protocol developed by Signal. There are a lot of features that WhatsApp does. In addition to standard text chats, it is able to make video calls, group chats, transfer files from different extensions, you can call many people at once by using the broadcast feature, make voice messages, and a lot of other functions.
The Silence directly focuses on keeping your messages safe and protected. It provides animated animal stickers in the user’s priority list. It deals directly with SMS and MMS rather than the chat protocols that work across the web. It’s actually a diversification or a derivation of Signal, and it uses the same secure open-source encryption methods which are regularly revised by security experts to ensure the code isn’t unlocked by any government agency that wants to obtain a copy of your chat history. If you like, you can use the Silence and Signal apps together.
Threema provides more than secure communications. It serves senders by ensuring that contact details aren’t saved on the application’s servers. And any messaging data that is sent, is immediately deleted as soon as it is sent. The result is that the local files remain on your phone instead of being opened on external side servers as information can be intercepted by hackers or data collection agencies. Threema is a full-featured messaging application that lets you send photos, files, videos, and websites as well as create groups and set up polls or surveys among trusted users.
Wire uses the open-source encryption technology that is provided by the Signal app. It is also one of the most popular and reliable encrypted chat applications but it also lacks many of the features and options available in competing applications such as Telegram and Threema.
We consider the keeping of a steady backup for the “iMessage” conversations that are synced across all Apple devices, one of the favorite features for the app users. It uses Apple iCloud storage to backup and sync message conversations (including text messages as well).
The Line is one of the social media applications that is spread in the countries of Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand. It works on a similar principle to WhatsApp and Facebook and it has appeared as a result of the tsunami disaster that occurred in Japan in the year 2011. Naver Company created and developed it for making communication to be possible between the employees of her company after many of the regular methods of communication has stopped following the events of the tsunami. Later the company publishes it in the Japanese markets to find great popularity.
It is a smartphone application (Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Symbian Series 40, Windows, Mac, and Nokia).
It allows users to make instant messaging, free phone calls, and send messages ( Free text, images, video, and audio) to anyone who has this application and it is developed by Viber Media Company, which works on cellular networks (third and fourth generation) and Wi-Fi wireless networks. It is available in 10 languages.
You can download the app from the official website
Internet users send tens or hundreds of messages daily. These messages include text, pictures, videos, and files. This time is the time of espionage and heavy surveillance on users.
Especially activists and journalists, so users need to encrypt their conversations, and the encryption may be insufficient in some cases (such as detention, where detainees are subjected to torture to decrypt their messages). Because of theft cases and hacking, users need to get rid of any evidence of encrypted information on both sides but in a secure, non-discoverable, or retrievable manner.
The application “Wickr” provides this feature as it allows users to set a timer for messages and after the expiration of a specified period for messages, messages are deleted from both sides without leaving any evidence of these conversations.
t also provides safe deletion (Secure Shredding) for files that are exchanged, which makes it difficult to retrieve these files through programs or applications which can restore deleted files.
You can download the app from the official website