I’m guilty of texting most of the day, and I’m sure many relate to that. When we text, we don’t tend to think about the security of the app we’re using. However, even if you don’t send confidential information back-and-forth with someone over text, it’s still important to protect yourself and your information.
The Most Secure Messaging Apps
In this article, we’re going to go over my pick of the best messaging services you can use right now. Most of these are third-party, of course, but one isn’t.
Apple’s crowning jewel, iMessage shines as one of Apple’s best pieces of software ever. And with Apple’s pledge to keep user security in mind, it’s one of the most secure messaging services available. I’d go as far as to say it’s the best.
If you have iOS 10 (or later) installed, iMessage offers end-to-end encryption, meaning no one can view your messages with a simple network hack. The end-to-end encryption, along with being able to control how many times the message can be seen, makes for one of the most secure messaging services available.
Next up, we have Wickr, a messaging service founded by Joel Wallenstrom, an information security expert. Wallenstrom designed Wickr for the security-conscious, and the features packed into the messaging service show it.
Along with sporting end-to-end encryption, Wickr undergoes frequent security audits. The source code for Wickr is open-source as well, giving us a window of transparency into how the app works.
The Edward Snowden-sponsored messaging service, Signal, offers the most secure experience possible—yes, even beating iMessage. This is because Signal built and uses its own protocol for end-to-end encryption.
Better yet, the protocol is open-source, giving us yet another look into how it works. Signal’s been the pride and joy of the cybersecurity community, and I can 100% vouch for it.
With end-to-end encryption, the ability to protect the app with a password, and a setting that allows you to add a time limit to your messages, Signal is the most secure app out there, and it’s available for most modern devices.
Viber was created as a way to compete with Skype, but the lack of security features kept it from growing to the size of Skype. Still, 260 million monthly active users is nothing to scoff at.
In 2016, however, Viber started adding much-needed security features, such as end-to-end encryption and color encoding to denote if a chat message is secure or not.
However, group chats do not benefit from end-to-end encryption, so watch out for that.
Telegram, one of the more popular messaging services on this list, made a name for itself by being easily accessible. And the app does have some security benefits over other messaging services, such as end-to-end encryption, but compared to the other services on this list, I’d urge you to pass over Telegram.
Why? Well, it has some security issues, mainly leaking user metadata and storing data on Telegram’s servers. Yeah, it’s not the most secure. It’s not horrible by any means, and I’d rather take Telegram over the default Samsung messaging service, but I do recommend you seek out other options.
And there we have it—5 messaging services for the most security-conscious! Before you rush off and download one (or all) of these services, remember that you can secure any messaging service with some third-party apps.
For example, a simple VPN download for further protection can encrypt your data and connections effectively. There’s no shortage of ways to secure yourself!