You probably don’t have anything to hide in your text messages, but that doesn’t mean that you want just anyone to be able to snoop into what you send and receive. When you text, message, or chat with your coworkers, friends, and family, you can rely on basic texting, which isn’t secure and which leaves your messages vulnerable, or you can download one of these apps, each of which offers security measures designed to keep your private conversations private.
The fast and secure Telegram app is available for free for both Android and iOS. When you download Telegram, you aren’t limited to a smartphone. It works on all devices, you can create groups of up to 5,000 people, and it’ll let you send all sorts of attachments. The app uses algorithms to encrypt the data, making this more secure than traditional texting. Plus, Telegram’s cloud gives you free access to all your messaging history.
The Signal Private Messenger offers open-source code, which means that users in the know can look at it to check that it provides truly secure messaging. Signal offers end-to-end encryption for both iOS and Android devices, and it allows you to make actual phone calls without charging you long distance. With Signal, you don’t have to log in or create a new username; it uses your existing information — just more securely. Your group chats are secure, too, since not even the Signal server gets access to the list of members in your chat.
The Wickr Me app is popular because of the options you have when it comes to deleting your messages. It offers end-to-end encryption, so you can message securely from your T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge to any of your friends. Not even the Wickr Me employees will know what you’re saying while you send private messages over T-Mobile’s lightning-fast and reliable network. Plus, the app offers a shredder feature, which wipes your chat conversations from your device, and a timer, which allows you to decide how long your messages remain before they get deleted. It’s free for iOS and Android.
Free on both iOS and Android, Gliph is a secure messaging app that also lets you take and make Bitcoin payments in its marketplace. Hop on a 3G or 4G network, or connect to Wi-Fi to use the Gliph app. It has a QR scanner for those Bitcoin addresses and a desktop app so you can connect via your regular computer. It also offers a “real delete” feature: when a message is read, it gets deleted from both devices engaged in the conversation. A customer support feature is available through the app, and you’ll get to connect with an actual human for help.
Get ChatSecure free on both Android and iOS devices. It’s another open-source app, and it offers OTP encryption. Use XMPP servers to create a new login, or use your existing Google information. Through ChatSecure, you can even use your own server. This is the chatting app to download if you want an extremely customizable secure chatting experience.
Remember when everyone had a BlackBerry and was agog over the company’s messenger service? Now you can download BBM for iOS and Android devices, too. It lets you retract messages and photos as long as the other person hasn’t read them (they get deleted, and the other person never knows that you sent them!). It also offers private chat mode, which wipes the chat when you’re done with it. You can set timers on messages and photos, which means that someone can only look at the content for a certain amount of time before it deletes itself. If you’ve never had a BlackBerry, now you’ll understand why BBM is so cool!
You may not have anything to hide, but you still don’t want to worry about your private conversations. Make sure that the decision to share your words and your data stays with you and doesn’t end up in someone else’s hands. Maintaining privacy is important no matter what you’re texting about.