While WhatsApp advertises its app as end-to-end encrypted, specific clauses exist in the user agreement that allows it to share user data with its parent company, Facebook. We all know that Facebook isn’t the greatest when it comes to protecting user data. They can utilize your personal data for different purposes within the organization or even sell it to third parties.
If you are one of the privacy-conscious users looking for WhatsApp alternatives, we are here to help. We have outlined some of the best messaging apps for privacy that you can consider. Read on.
Telegram’s user base has grown tremendously since WhatsApp’s announcement to share user information with other Facebook companies. Telegram hit 500 subscribers in January, making it one of the most popular messaging app.
Telegram has an interface quite similar to WhatsApp iOS, so new users shouldn’t have any problem switching over. It supports messaging, voice and video calls, file-sharing, and public channels.
To support your privacy and security, Telegram uses end to end encryption, though not by default. This feature protects only one-to-one secret chats. The app servers delete the encrypted chats once they are delivered, and you can set delivered messages to self-destruct after a specified time.
Telegram is free for Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and Linux.
Signal supports texting, file-sharing, and video and voice calls. Privacy-wise, the app allows you to set your chats to self-destruct after a certain period after they have been delivered. Everything shared through Signal is end to end encrypted by default, and the foundation that owns it doesn’t keep any backup on its servers.
Signal is an open-source, free app that is available for Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Though it’s less popular than Telegram and Signal, Dust is also an excellent option when it comes to keeping your content secure. The app uses end to end encryption to help you hide your tracks online. It also has a monitoring system that instantly alerts the user if their passwords are compromised.
By default, messages on the Dust app disappear from the servers after they are delivered, and chat histories automatically erased from the phone every 24 hours. What’s more, you or your contact can erase chats on either end of the conversation with a single tap.
The only disadvantage is that Dust doesn’t support voice or video calls—only texts and file sharing, so it may not be ideal for people looking for a more comprehensive service. Dust is free for both Android and iOS.
Threema is an open-source, end to end encrypted messaging platform, and just like Signal and Dust, it deletes chats from its servers immediately after they are delivered. With Threema, you don’t need an email or phone number to sign up. Instead, users are verified through QR codes, and this allows them to be totally anonymous, unlike Signal.
This app supports messaging and voice and video calls. The best part is that the company servers and headquarters are located in Switzerland, making the platform fully compliant with the more stringent European privacy laws.
The greatest drawback of Threema is that it’s not free.
A secured messaging app(s) will help protect your communication, but you need to do more to have complete protection online. Even if you use one of the above-mentioned apps, you should practice mobile security basics, such as using a reliable VPN to hide your location and make it harder for eavesdroppers to trace your communication online, therefore ensuring security and privacy online.