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Signal: How the most secure encrypted messaging app will keep you under a safe umbrella

February 14, 2020

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In present scenario, data breaches have become so common that using a strictly secure messaging app has become mandatory for everyone. There are a few secure messaging apps available in Apple’s App store and Google play store like Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. But all of them have full access to users’ data, which means that under a few circumstances they can share users’ data with law enforcement institutions like the FBI, police etc.

Icing on the cake, these services also sell users’ data for making money.

If you don’t want this to happen to your personal data then opt for a secure, encrypted software like Signal. Signal is a secure and encrypted messaging app available for Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS.

Signal App is developed and maintained by Open Whisper Systems, a non-profit organization exclusively run on donations and grants. Its server and client side code is open source and peer reviewed. World’s most distinguished whistleblowers, privacy advocates, cryptographers, security technologists, journalists and celebrities like Matt Green, Bruce Schneier, Laura Poitras and Edward Snowden have publicly endorsed it.

Signal is basically designed to keep users’ private messages and calls safe and offer them ultimate instant messaging experience. Security and privacy are what distinguishes Signal from others.

Recommend Signal to your Pals

Since Signal is an end-to-end encrypted messaging app, therefore it needs you to invite your contacts with whom you wish to have a private conversation. Its design does not allow users to connect with other apps in order to prevent security from being compromised.  5 million downloads on Android shows that Signal is a matured messaging application. So, if security and data privacy are real concerns for your colleagues and friends then convince them to switch their messaging app now to Signal.

Enhance phones basic security

Thanks to Signal’s solid end-to-end encryption protocol due to which no one can sniff and decrypt users’ messages and calls. Big names like the NSA, FBI etc. or even the developers of Signal at Open Whisper Systems or any 3rd party cannot read Signal messages or intercept Signal calls.

However, Signal cannot do anything if someone physically snatches your phone and read your messages. To prevent users from such a worst case, Signal comes with world’s best app lock mechanism. It can be locked using phone’s in-built screen lock or fingerprint. Even users can also set screen lock inactivity timeout. In addition, users can block screenshots in the recents list and within the app by enabling ‘Screen security’ feature under ‘App Access’.

There’s also an incognito keyboard feature in Signal app to ‘Request keyboard to disable personalized learning’.

Hide Signal messages on your lock screen

There’s no use of locking app screen if Signal messages appear on the lock screen as
notifications. To enhance your privacy, you must command Signal to stop showing messages on
the lock screen.

Delete messages automatically

Signal messages only remain on the receiver’s and sender’s devices. Signal servers store sent messages for just a short period of time to confirm if they are delivered properly. Signal messages are entirely encrypted and Signal cannot access them in any format including plain text.

But everything is useless if device gets into the wrong hands and somehow gets unlocked. It will bring a great chaos to the victim. So to avoid that, Signal allows users to delete messages automatically after a fix period of time. Message disappearing time can be adjusted by the users between 5 seconds and 1 week.

Along with above mentioned, there are some others features built into Signal that will ultimately help users to increase their security and privacy.

Features related to security like inactivity timeout passphrase, screen security, read receipts etc. are under Settings > Privacy.

In the end, users who want to have a secure and private digital communication in the wild internet world must download and install Signal app now.

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