List Of 9 Messaging Apps That Provide End-To-End Encryption
Messaging app developers know that end-to-end encryption (E2EE) is way to go to keep the customer data secure. The latest messaging app to offer the security feature is Facebook Messenger. With the widespread increase in leaks, users are continuously looking for apps that not only send the message across but also keep it out of the view of snooping eyes.
What is End-to-End Encryption?
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a method of secure communication that prevents third-parties from accessing data while it’s transferred from one end system or device to another, especially as they travel across the social web. In other words, it is designed to keep eavesdroppers out of the conversation. Even companies that own the messaging platform wouldn’t have the means to decrypt the files.
In E2EE, the data is encrypted on the sender’s system or device and only the recipient is able to decrypt it. Nobody in between, be they an Internet service provider, application service provider or hacker, can read it or tamper with it.
NOTE: Not all apps willing install end-to-end encryption by default. Some will require users to set chats in certain modes or enable specific functions before the messages are kept off the record.
In this article, we bring you nine messaging apps that currently makes use of the more secure end-to-end encryption.
1. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is now providing a small batch of users the Secret Conversation mode with end-to-end encryption. There’s also an optional timer that shows how long a secret message would stay visible.
By default, Messenger’s end-to-end encryption would not be used, though: secret conversations will be available only on the two devices used by the sender and recipient, at the time of the conversation.
You cannot access specially encrypted messages just anywhere — if users switch from device to device — the way regular chats or calls are logged across devices.
Still, with 900 million users on Facebook Messenger each month, the option for a full-on E2EE by default looks like long overdue.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp rolled out E2EE for all types of messages on the platform in April. These include video and voice calls, photos and regular text (which had already been encrypted before). This guarantees conversations of the 1 billion WhatsApp users are unobtainable by authorities and even WhatsApp itself.
Apple is one company that has undergone a long and hard battle to keep device owner’s data (on the device) private, even amidst a battle with authorities.
For one, iMessage is secured by E2EE. Unless users store their messages in the cloud, it is a line that Apple cannot cross. If they are stored in iCloud, then they are freely available to Apple and can be handed over if the company is served a warrant.
By default, Google’s own messaging app, Allo, does not provide end-to-end encryption. However, as an option, it does have the Incognito Mode. Google believes E2EE cannot cover the messaging app across the board for its artificial intelligence (A.I.) systems to work. It is exactly this A.I. that classifies it from other competitors too.
A popular messaging app for long, Viber’s Version 6.0 brought in E2EE for texts and voice chats between individuals and groups. This app is functional on both the desktop and mobile platforms. Color-coded “locks” are also visible to show different E2EE settings.
Line also provides optional E2EE through Letter Sealing. Only if the sender and recipient both turn on the function, then it will be activated. All other messages without this layer of security can be accessed by Line and, if necessary, can turn over to Japanese authorities.
Signal is a favourite of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden who uses it almost every day. Text, photo and video messages are heavily encrypted on the app. What is interesting is that Signal is open source and can construct upon feedback and suggestions from other privacy-focused occupants.
8. Cyber Dust
Messages on Cyber Dust are covered by E2EE (the company cannot spill the data to authorities, even with a warrant). Not only are the messages locked away and unreachable even to Cyber Dust, but also like Snaps on Snapchat, they are deleted from the users’ device instantly after they have been read.
Only when users activate the Secret Chat mode, Telegram messages get protected by end-to-end encryption. Messages which are included in this mode are logged in Telegram servers.