by Lucia Y.
The safest messaging app, does it even exist? In today’s world of the internet and hackers, security for your personal and business communications safety seems nearly impossible. Heck, even the government (NSA in US and UK, and other countries) is spying on citizens.
While the government is still in deciding how much information they should be surveillancing, app developers are giving us messaging encryption. iOS and Android users, as well as businesses, can now decide for themselves as what they want to share and what they want to keep completely private and secure.
What is encryption?
Encryption is the process of encoding data to prevent anyone besides the intended recipient to monitor your messages and/or calls. Many encrypted messaging apps also offer end-to-end encryption for calls and files sent with those apps. This way, nobody in between (not the government nor even the companies and developers) has any access to data, because the system does not go through their servers.
Standard texting (SMS) is unencrypted, leaving messages open to monitoring for legal or law enforcement-related reasons.
Not all encrypted messaging apps are created equal though. Some encrypted options can be enabled in apps, some are automatic. Some apps are fully encrypted and some are partially-encrypted. Read on for an overview of the safest messaging apps (with different levels of encryption).
[Related: Top 4 Safe Messaging Apps For Android 2018]
Zangi is probably one of the most risk-free and safest messaging apps on the market. The high-rated app is a favorite of the security-conscious users and businesses who are strong privacy advocates. Zangi Safe Messenger’s user-friendliness and features (such as very low data usage and more) do not compromise on security, making Zangi Safe Messenger a fantastic option for users looking for an app used both for encrypted messaging and calling.
Cool Advantages: Offers colorful and interactive animated GIFs and free unique stickers to make your texts even more fun.
Signal Private Messenger
Open Whisper Systems’ Signal is one of the best-known messaging apps for mobile users who care about their privacy. It provides messaging and voice-call services and is completely end-to-end encrypted. You can send texts to individuals or groups, make calls, share media and or other files to your phone contacts.
Cool Advantages: self-destructing messages, and no PIN codes or logins.
Wickr Me is a lesser-known but nonetheless, a great end-to-end encrypted-messaging app. You can send private, messages, photos, video, and voice messages to other Wickr users.
Cool Advantages: It can also delete geotags and message times. Plus, a “Secure Shredder” feature that erases attached files, messages, and other data.
Threema is one of the most trusted messaging apps for Android, iOS, and Windows, and uses the safest open source Networking and Cryptography library(NaCl) to protect your messaging history. The app only costs US$ 2.99, but packs all the necessary features to keep your data out of hacker’s hands (or the governments’).
Cool Advantages: No email ID or phone number needed when registering, instead get a Threema ID. You get end-to-end encryption also for voice calls, group chats, files and even status messages.
WhatsApp slowly but steadily has added its end-to-end encryption feature. In 2016, it announced that all their app communications – photos, voice and video messages, chats, etc – are protected by end-to-end encryption. But since Facebook has bought Whatsapp (and you know about the FB data leak), it might not be the #1 app to trust.
Cool Advantages: Whatsapp provides a security-verification code to share with contacts to ensure encryption and security.
Viber also recently joined the end-to-end encryption gang. All data is tied to your number, but to call non-Viber users, you’ll have to make small payments.
Cool Advantages: Color-coded system that show how protected your conversations are. Grey= encrypted communications, green=encrypted communications with a trusted contact, and red=there is a problem.
Silent Phone provides encrypted video and voice calls, with keys held by subscribers themselves. The company has no way of reading your data. Unfortunately you have to pay for the service.
Cool Advantages: It’s not only a safe-communications software but also a hardware like the Blackphone.
The Swiss feature-rich messenger app is very compliant with European data protection laws. Wire includes end-to-end encryption for text messages, voice and video calls, GIFs, audio,video clips, sketches, local sharing, and Dropbox file sharing. The app also offers multi-platform cross-device syncing and support. The app uses Proteus encryption protocol like Signal, and its code is open source.
Cool Advantages: Both the mobile and web versions are free and even available for business.
For more information on the safest messaging apps and the latest news and innovative approaches to safety and encryption visit this tech blog.