Have you ever needed to say something – uh – sensitive to your buddy? Maybe it was a photo of an explicit nature, or maybe sending him/her directions on where you hid the booty? Hey, we are not judging, but if you find yourself wishing you could communicate securely, check out Signal by Open Whisper Systems.
Signal is an app for iOS, Android and Chrome/Chromium that encrypts your text messages and phone calls. It’s so secure that people like Edward Snowden, Matt Green, Bruce Schneier and Laura Poitras all recommend using it. Snowden recommends anything by Open Whisper Systems.
- Multimedia: Send high-quality texts, group chats, photos and videos, without running into SMS or MMS fees.
- Free speech: Make crystal-clear calls to anywhere in the world with no long-distance charges.
- One account: There aren’t multiple logins separate usernames and phone numbers to remember. Use your existing phone number and contact list.
- Privacy: Keep your communications private. No one at Open Whisper Systems can read your messages, and no third parties can either. Everything is end-to-end encrypted.
- Stay organized: Archive your messages to save them for later, or delete them immediately – you decide.
- Free: Signal will always be free. Donations and grants support Development.
Open Whisper Systems is so secure that the company partnered with Google on its Allo messaging app, and helps keep WhatsApp secure. Recently, Facebook – seemingly the antithesis of privacy, has announced a new Messenger feature called Secret Conversations. That too is all thanks to the Signal protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems.
Facebook claims that “Messenger uses secure communications channels (just like banking and shopping websites) as well as Facebook’s powerful tools to help block spam and malware.”, however, it’s no secret that the company reads your private messages.
Users will have the ability to use a timer to control the length of time each message remains visible within a conversation before it expires. Facebook notes that secret conversations can only be read on one device, so syncing is not an option. Content like GIFs, videos, payments, stickers, etc., will also not work within secret conversations.
It’s scary to know that entities like the NSA and GCHQ are surveilling the open web. Apps like Signal, TOR, and LiquidVPN protect your privacy. As we have said before, there will always be some trade-offs when it comes to security and privacy. The bad guys can use encryption too.