In a world where technology has taken over various sectors and areas of life, it is either we accept the revolution or stick to the old way of doing things. But millennials and the newer generation are not in any way going the latter way as they derive pleasure in using messaging apps as opposed to SMS and traditional calling.
With these apps, we can interact with our friends and loved ones, and businesses can relate to their customers in an easy and secure way. As important as it may be, security is still an issue in messaging. In cases where important personalities have had their chats leaked leaves one with questioning how safe and secure messaging apps are. While you may not be able to fully grasp the technology behind digital security, it is important for you to know that for a messaging service to be called “secure”, it must have end-to-end encryption.
Comparing the top players in terms of encryption and other features leaves us to with three major messaging services – WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal – which we will be comparing today.
Facebook is known to pry on users’ data and acquiring WhatsApp can put many people off from turning to it to chat. Privacy and security are one feature people look for in social media apps and Facebook, which people avoid because it tracks users’ data promises that your collected WhatsApp data will not be shared with the social network. You may not trust that promise or simply it may not matter to you, but it’s left to you. And for the fact that many people around you use WhatsApp, you may still want to keep in touch with them easily. End-to-end encryption is in place but you must be sure it is activated at your end and that of your recipient. The encryption is based on the Signal Protocol which is also employed by Signal. WhatsApp doesn’t store any messages on its server after they have been delivered as stated by the company but should the recipient be yet to receive sender’s messages, these messages are retained for up to 30 days.
Telegram allows you to send self-destructing, encrypted messages on its cross-platform messaging app. Telegram wasn’t well known like WhatsApp, but recently, it is gaining popularity as people are exploring other alternatives to WhatsApp. The app lets you chat as well as make voice calls. Just like we have “Broadcast” on WhatsApp, “Channels” exist on Telegram and works like WhatsApp broadcast feature with some differences. Channels in Telegram are one-way broadcasting, and publishers will find it useful. Telegram boasts of a massive number of participants for group chats. Each channel has a limit of 200000 users that can be added. Add spice to your conversations with emoticons and GIFs that can be searched for too. One great feature of the messaging app is its customization options and the ability to add bots. Telegram can be operated on multiple devices at once, something that other messengers doesn’t have.
An open-source messaging app, Signal is a private instant messaging platform that is secure in nature. Signal can work on major mobile platforms such as Android and iOS as well as web browsers on the desktop. It has the basic features of modern messaging services such as support for text, images, videos, voice and video calls, and documents. There is also support for group messaging. End-to-end encryption is available for Signal making you be assured that Signal or anyone cannot see your messages. It has the self-destruct function where you can set certain messages to destroy themselves after a time interval. One amazing privacy feature is Screen Security that you can enable in your privacy settings. This feature will block other apps on your phone from taking a screenshot of your chats on Signal. Signal says they won’t display any ads, at least for now. WhatsApp had this same promise but it seems they might begin to display ads.
Seeing these top messaging apps in terms of security and other important feature, you can decide which of them best suits you. Depending on your needs and preferences, I believe this comparison can help you decide which one to use.