The Best Secure & Private Messaging App in 2019
WhatsApp recently sent out a notification asking its 1.5 billion users to update the app out of the fear of hackers injecting malicious code using the app’s call function. It is not the first and not the last instance where prominent service providers put their users at gunpoint. Then after a while users were baffled by the news that Facebook had been collecting call history and SMS data from Android devices. It came up when some users downloaded their Facebook log file and found the call and SMS logs. Such news pushes us towards finding a safe way to chat and thereby going for an alternative for popular messengers and look towards private messaging apps.
What is equally important to know is that all our data is private and service providers do not secretly collect our usage information.
To make sure you get the best of what’s out there, we have compiled a list of the top 10 best private messaging apps which are available and will be a sigh of relief.
When it comes to encrypted messaging service, one name always stands out and is so popular and secure that even the politicians use it.
Signal which started on July 29, 2014, has come out to be one of the most popular secure messaging apps.
The reason for its popularity stems from the fact that it created an encryption standard that is used by many other messaging apps and of course, none other than Edward Snowden endorsed it.
The only downside is that you need to register with a phone number which should cause much privacy issue but still can be misused.
NOTE: Has a paid version
Wickr Me, founded in 2012, uses peer to peer encryption to provide the highest form of privacy. Wickr Me has the edge over other apps because you do not have to use an email address to a phone number to register, this makes it more a private messaging app.
One of the many useful features is “Secure Shredder,” which overwrites deleted data making it almost impossible to recover it using modern tools apart from offering encrypted video call.
Its technology is patented, also known as digital security bubble which ensures nobody can snoop on your conversations. When it comes to disadvantages, the only thing that comes up is that it is not as popular as Telegram or other apps.
iOS: Not supported
Silence private messenger makes it to the list because of its simplicity, easy to use, privacy and it uses a reliable encryption standard on top of that. Silence secure messenger is really like your inbuilt messaging app and even works as a replacement to it.
What makes it different from other app is that it doesn’t require the internet. It doesn’t connect to any external server at all.
The SMS is processed using an external server, and none of the information is stored on the remote server making the data visible to only sender and receiver. Data stays private and can’t be leaked from 3rd parties. That makes Silence to be one of the best private messaging apps ever.
As Telegram claims, it has been a secure messaging app since 2013. It is one of the most popular messaging apps, especially after a recent showdown with the Russian government.
Telegram uses your phone number as the messenger ID. You can share a wide range of media files with other users.
It has a self destruct feature, where messages and media can be self-destructed after the recipient has read it. The “unsend” option lets you delete any message within 48 hours after you have sent it. Privacy is a choice so it is up to a user to decide what to share and what not. These features make Telegram to be a private messenger app indeed.
Although it offers end to end encryption, it has to be enabled manually, and if this is not allowed, the Telegram secure messaging app stores data on external servers spread across the globe so it is hard to compromise.
As Cyphr says, they are the zero-knowledge messaging app. It means that it is impossible to read, share, or decrypt the messages by anyone other than the sender and the recipient. Zero knowledge means it is not only a secure messenger but also a private messaging app.
The Cyphr secure messenger was developed by Goldenfrog, which also provides VPN service, making them pioneer in encryption business.
It uses 256-bit AES Symmetric Key Encryption with Public & Private Encryption Key Pairings which ensures that only the intended recipient can read the messages
The best part is that Cyphr owns its servers rather than relying on 3rd party providers, which gives it an edge over other providers.
NOTE: Has a paid version
The Wire secure messenger more focuses on business and bigger organizations for an encrypted form of messaging platform for them. They comply with all the European laws, and they are not bound to share data with the union.
The best part is that it is available on browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. However, the downside is that Wire collects some user data.
Previously known as Cyber Dust, it’s a private messaging app which uses end-to-end encryption as their stand out feature.
When you visit their website, you will see the message “You can erase your messages off other people’s phones. No messages are permanently stored on phones or servers. Messages are heavily encrypted and not accessible to anyone, even us.”
The Dust private messenger is trying to create a social communication platform, but with advanced security and privacy, it uses a combination of AES 128 and RSA 248 encryption.
NOTE: Has in-app purchases
No matter which mobile platform you are using, Pryvate can be used as a free secure messaging and chat application.
The best thing about the app is that it uses the advance 4096 bit RSA encryption and has no third party servers that can intercept your communication.
As we have seen in most of the apps, it comes with a self destruct features which will help you in deleting the sent messages after a fixed period.
Recently Pryvate came up with their own cryptocurrency called PryvateCoin and provides a secure wallet to store these coins. It also has an Anti-blocking tech which ensures global access to all contents.
We all know how popular WhatsApp is, with over 1 billion downloads, it makes it the most used messaging app on the planet.
With growing popularity, the concerns equally grew, which is when WhatsApp came up with the end to end encryption feature that uses the encryption protocol developed by Signal which is also an industry standard.
This includes Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS). With PFS even if someone manages to get the private key, they will only be able to see the last sent message, the rest of the chat will remain private.
The only concern that comes up is that WhatsApp is downed by Facebook, which is infamous for its data collection model, which is the center of Facebook’s business model.
Also Read : How to Unblock WhatsApp with a VPN?
Like WhatsApp, Viber didn’t have any encryption when it first started. With its 6 version, Viber rolled out end to end encryption which makes it be a secure messaging app.
They also came up with “Viber Encryption Overview,” which will let any user help understand or learn the details on their security features.
Any message that goes out from Viber will be encrypted, and only the recipient can decode it. The keys only exist in users phone and nowhere else, which makes it impossible for anyone to snoop on your conversation.
Like every other secure app, Viber also has a self destruct mode, which will help you erase any message after a set period. Having self-destructed messaging and end-to-end encryption Viber acts as a private messenger app.
If you follow the method that is recommended by Viber for chatting, then for sure you will be protected by end to end encryption.
The Best Private Messaging App in 2019
Every private messaging app out there supports an end to end encryption, but this doesn’t make all of them the most secure. There are a lot of other factors that need to be considered while going for the one that you will be using.
After analyzing all the features, it is safe to say that “Signal” is the best secure and private messaging app. Most of the more popular apps like WhatsApp use Signal’s encryption standard, which means it all. The Signal secure messenger is open sourced and was even picked up by Edward Snowden.
Also Read : Top 10 Best WhatsApp Alternatives in China
In the end, it is up to the user to decide which ones suit their requirements. Let’s hear it out in the comment section about your favorite secured messaging app.
Don’t forget to use a VPN to hide your online identity, browse privately from ISP and government monitoring and encrypt all the internet traffic on your device.