When reports of NSA collecting millions of our messages everyday surfaced last year, there was an uproar about privacy invasion and the need to secure data from any breaches or hackers. This was accompanied with individuals and businesses looking at encrypted messenger apps and tools to secure their information and passwords. According to sources, US spending on cyber security is estimated to reach $66 billion this year.
We live in a world of internet surveillance and data logging, and if things keep going at this pace, we might be headed into a dystopian situation similar to the one we read about in 1984. Fortunately, the increase in the number of encrypted messenger apps makes us all feel slightly more relieved about the situation apart from the overwhelming number of choices available. To help you decide from all the popular encrypted messenger apps today, we have created a list of the 7 best encrypted messenger apps and what makes them so effective:
Similar to several other Apple products and services, iMessage is a gamechanger and while many applications have come up after it, none of them come close to competing with it. What makes this one of the best encrypted messenger apps is the fact that the private key is stored on the device and hence, makes it impossible to access it without the device. While technology has a huge role to play in this, another equally important stakeholder is the company that uses its own encryption technology to keep things secure. Apple, as a brand, has a lot of weight to defend its privacy and litigate for the same cause, which it does.
Kaizala is the latest name in the encrypted messenger application market and is suited more to workplaces. Microsoft has recently launched this application and it has been acquiring a huge user base with considerable speed. It was initially launched keeping in mind an end user who does not have an email identity and can use his/her mobile number instead. It stands out from other competitors since it is high on data privacy and provides enterprise level security one would expect from Microsoft products.
Any list on encrypted messenger apps would feel incomplete without WhatsApp after they launched end-to-end encryption in 2016. WhatsApp is used by more than 1.5 billion users and was recently acquired by Facebook. The application is free for individuals as well as small, medium and large businesses, and hence, any security flaws in the application would have cost it a lot of users. This is why their encryption feature saves us from any cyber criminals etc. who try to get their hands on the information.
While the name might not sound as popular as some of the other encrypted messenger apps mentioned in the list, Threema has every reason to be mentioned here. Its popularity is on the rise, and rightly so. We love that the app goes out of its way to ensure that all information stays out of bounds for governments, corporations and hackers. This is because of their end-to-end encryption feature that is applicable on messages, group chats, media shared and even statuses. Threema developers ensure that your privacy remains intact since any messages on the server are deleted after they are delivered. Moreover, you do not even need to use your phone number or email ID to use the application and instead, are given a unique Threema ID.
When it comes to their security features, Telegram ticks off almost all the items on the checklist owing to its ‘Secret Chats’ feature. While Telegram is in itself a secure messaging app, the Secure Chats usher in end-to-end encryption as well as the option to send and receive self destructing content like texts, media and files.
It may lack in popularity compared to many other messenger apps on this list, Signal has been steadily climbing up the ladder, especially because of its strong encryption features. Its offerings include a strong and truly end-to-end encryption whether you are using an iPhone, Android or desktop. In fact, what is intriguing is the fact that even Signal does not have access to the messages. Moreover, it is free and is good with all the features that you need group texts, voice notes, videos and images. Also, the coolest feature has to be disappearing messages and all of this comes without any ads or nonsense!
While Viber comes last in this list of the best encrypted messenger apps, it does not lack on any of the parameters that we have been discussing here. Viber has been one of the more popular messenger apps since the last few years and its 6th version saw the rolling out of end-to-end encryption. This feature offered more security for its users, and the company went a step ahead and crafted a Viber Encryption Overview, which is a comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to know more about this security feature. Just remember to use the methods suggested by Viber to communicate, and your data will stay secure as it travels from you to the recipient.
As you can see, there is no dearth of encrypted messenger apps today and all you need to do is tick on the end-to-end encryption feature in whichever application you choose to use from the list given above. With technological advancements reaching new peaks every day, the days of compromising on privacy are long gone.