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How to Secure Your Text Messages
With the NSA peering into everyone’s pockets without permission, and nosy siblings snooping through your message history while you’re away, there has never been a better time to start encrypting your text messages than there is today.
Encrypted texting isn’t always necessary, but it can still be a welcome safeguard for whenever you, your family, or business partners need to communicate sensitive information from one side of the globe to the other.
Signal (Android, iOS) is widely regarded as the most secure text messaging app available.
Signal replaces your phone’s default text messaging app, and uses your phone’s regular contact list. If a contact also uses Signal then any messages sent to or received from them are securely end-to-end encrypted.
On the off chance that a contact does not utilize Signal then you can welcome them to utilize the application, or simply send a decoded instant message through standard SMS.
Jitsi (Windows, OSX, Linux, Android (experimental)) – is a great desktop messenger app, and is very secure. It is almost certainly not quite as secure as Signal app.
The very popular WhatsApp app now uses the same end-to-end encryption developed for Signal. Unlike Signal, however, WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) retains metadata, and has other weaknesses not present in the Signal app.
Unfortunately, this argument has been badly undermined by a recent announcement that WhatsApp will start sharing users’ address books with parent company Facebook by default. This can be disabled, but the vast majority of users will not bother to do so.
For years, Apple has maintained the gold standard in industry-wide encryption through its iMessage service, which has throughout its history continued to act as a thorn in the side of law enforcement officials and rogue government agencies alike.
In an era of eavesdropping smartphones, public Facebook profiles, and massive international spying operations run amok, it could feel like the days of personal privacy could be coming to an end. But there’s still a way to fight back, and the best place to start is by locking up all your communications behind a safe, secure, and secretive wall of encrypted texting apps.
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